Having vanquished his political enemies. Rhyan Cason is anxious to get home to beloved Carianne. Then he receives word that an anthrax outbreak threatens his ranch. Even as he ponders how he can afford to take a wife, dark secrets from the distant past shakes his beliefs to the core and convince him he’ll never be able to find forgiveness or make Carianne happy.
Carianne is stunned when Rhyan breaks their secret engagement. She leaves Sallano, the beautiful ranch house that she loves almost as much as its owner, and returns home to Westerfield. While waiting for her shattered heart to heal, she shifts her attention to building the library she’s promised the town.
Even though Colt Holliman offers her a courtship, circumstances keep drawing her back to Sallano and Rhyan. Torn between her affection for Colt and love for Rhyan, Carianne realizes almost too late Rhyan’s troubles lie deeper than saving the ranch. He fights an evil that threatens more than his love for her – one only God can defeat.
SERIES: Intrigue Under Western Skies #2
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
RELEASE DATE: December 28, 2016
Other Books In This Series
“Honey, love is everything.”
Surrendered by Elaine Manders is a sweet story with flawed but compelling characters and a classic Western setting. It’s best to have read the first book in the series – Pursued – before reading Surrendered as the events in the latter pick up where the former left off.
Rhyan is a ladies’ man with a less than innocent past, a reformed atheist who believes in God but doesn’t really think God cares about him. His faith journey is authentic, and a pivotal (mildly shocking) scene in this journey brought tears to my eyes. Loosely entwined with his path toward God is his love for Carianne, a woman who loves him deeply in return and is grieved over the condition of his soul. Her prayers for Rhyan throughout the novel are touching and sincere… and they act as a reminder to listen when God impresses upon your heart to pray for someone.
Bottom Line: Surrendered is more than a romance. It’s a picture of the wild West and of God’s love for us. While I didn’t really connect with this story or the characters as much as I was hoping to, I know it will appeal to other readers. The editing needs to be a little tighter, as there are several distracting errors in the finished copy, and its degree of sensuality doesn’t have the necessary emotional depth backing it up. Overall, though, this is a pleasant read which many readers will enjoy.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 3 / Pleasant read but not my fave
KissingBook Level: 3 / Sensual but not necessarily passionate
Elaine Manders writes wholesome Christian romance and suspense about the bold, capable women of history and the strong, dependable men who love them. She prefers stories that twist and turn and surprise, told by characters who aren’t afraid to show their love for God and each other. She lives in Central Georgia with a happy bichon-poodle mix. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, crafts, and spending time with her friends, daughter, and grandchildren.
Other Books by Elaine Manders
I was born with the gift of story. The make-believe of childhood never left me, but it wasn’t until my daughter left for college, and I was left with the empty nest, that I decided maybe it was time to start writing the stories crowding my mind. I joined a local writers’ group, took a fiction writing course, developed the craft, went to conventions, and started pitching to editors.
Since I wrote romance, I found the publishing industry pushing me to a place I didn’t want to go. The secular publishers wanted steamier writing, and I complied as much as I could. Then when I was offered a chance for publication, I couldn’t allow my name to go on the book. The Christian publishers had a very narrow marketing concept. Again, I tried to comply until I felt the joy of story being squeezed out of me. I took a twelve year hiatus from writing.
Then in 2012, I was sitting in church listening to the familiar parable of the talents. When my pastor asked the question, “Are you hiding your talent?” I immediately visualized that closet filled with my unpublished manuscripts. I rededicated myself to putting my talent to use, and I asked God to send me a new story, if this was what he wanted me to do.
Later that week, I was on the golf course when I laid down on a little hill waiting for my husband to chase a ball in the woods and stared into the deepest, bluest sky I’ve ever seen. The sun was high in the sky, but the shade of blue was so dark I could actually see, not only the moon, but some of the stars. Looking into that sky, I experienced a strange sensation, as if I’d lost contact with the earth and was moving into infinity. I wondered, as I had many times before, how an atheist could look into the heavens and not believe in the Creator. This led me to an investigation of scientific atheism, Darwinism, and the entire series, Intrigue under Western Skies, was born. My protagonist is a Darwinist of the 1880s. Book 1, Pursued, is his spiritual journey to belief in Christianity, and Book 2, Surrendered, takes him to acceptance. The heroine, of course, helps him on this journey, while dodging all the dangers the old west has to offer.
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