Wednesday, July 3, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Brides and Blessings by Molly Noble Bull

Brides and BlessingsBrides and Blessings by Molly Bull
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes opposites attract and sometimes they don't. Author Molly Noble Bull treats us to a glimpse of both realities in the inspirational romance Brides and Blessings. Identical twin sisters, separated since birth, discover life to be anything but a Patty Duke episode when they reunite and decide to switch places for six months in this engaging romp through Hollywood and a rural Texas town.

Mild-mannered, born-again Holly Harmon only has her sister's spiritual welfare in mind when she proposes the madcap switch. Holly senses the notoriously worldly Suzann Condry will benefit from time spent away from unforgiving cameras and sundry Tinsel Town temptations. Although understandably nervous about stepping into the designer shoes of a world-renowned actress, Holly finds an unlikely ally in Suzann's agent's brother, Dr. Shawn McDowell. And Holly discovers to her delight that not every Hollywood denizen is a callous phony who considers the concept of love as transient as a movie set. Shawn's love becomes Holly's lifeline in opening galas, hospital rooms, commercial shoots, and everywhere else those expensive borrowed shoes take her.

For sophisticated, glamorous Suzann, her role as the mousy church librarian promises to be her greatest challenge ever. However, little does Suzann realize the "script" also includes a devastatingly handsome "co-star" in the form of the church's newly hired youth pastor, Josh Gallagher.

Suzann struggles with her burgeoning feelings for this man, fighting deep-seated beliefs that God does not exist and that no one can possibly be as authentic as they appear. Besides, how can the wholesome, gentlemanly Josh continue to love her after Suzann confesses her deception? The process of coming to terms with this turmoil, further fueled by anxiety over a close escape from a mugger, propels Suzann closer to developing trust in Josh and other church members and, ultimately, in God.

Even though the ending for both sisters feels somewhat rushed, it proves a happy one on all accounts: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I only regret the book didn't afford a longer escape from the pressures of daily life.

(Originally published in Crescent Blues. Reprinted with permission.)

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