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「戌年」連載小説 第8章

キャミー・タング著「戌年」連載小説 プロのドッグトレーナーであるマリ・ムトウは、厄年を迎えている。 犬小屋と訓練所の改築をしながら、いつも不服そうにしている家族と同居することになった。母と姉に言わせれば、犬の毛とよだれかけにまみれる仕事は、家族にとって恥ずべきものだという。彼女は元カレを説得し、数ヶ月間犬を預かってもらうことにした。しかし、彼の兄は、数週間前に彼女が誤って車に追突した、怒り狂ったセキュリティ専門家であることが判明する。 アシュウィン・ケイトウは十分な問題を抱えている。叔母が玄関先に現れ、同居を希望している。彼は彼女にすべてを借りているので、断ることができません。母親が家を出て行った後、ネルおばさんはアシュウィンと弟を引き取り、愛のあるキリスト教の家庭で育てた。しかも、弟のダスティもアパートを追い出され、居場所を求めている。しかし、彼は犬を飼っている。そして、その犬の飼い主は誰だと思いますか? しかし、旧友でオアフ島のノースショアでデイスパを経営する私立探偵のエディサ・ゲレロから依頼を受ける。マリの施設で奇妙な破壊行為があり、3年前に失踪したエディサの妹の財布を発見する。エディサはマリが危険な目に遭っているのではと心配する。警備の専門家であるアシュウィンがすでにマリを知っていることを知ったエディサは、忙しい若い女性を密かに監視することを彼に依頼する。 アシュウィンは、活発でのんびりとしたドッグトレーナーに不本意ながら惹かれていく。彼女は、幸せそうな母親を思い出させる。その母親の裏切りによって、彼は人と距離を置くようになったのだ。マリは、アシュウィンの冷たい外見を見抜き、彼が家族に忠実な男であることを認める。彼は、彼女のキャリア選択を批判するだけの母親や姉とは違う。 マリのバラバラな家庭とアシュウィンのバラバラな家庭の中で、過去を隠そうとする人たちから、彼らの周りに危険が迫ってくるようになる。彼らは、影で動く秘密に光を当てることができるのか? 過去に発表されたパートへのリンクはこちら。 *** 第8章 - 恐ろしくも真っ白な不動産書類 『みんな仲良くできないのかな?』 マリは無用に力を込めて箱に本を投げ入れた。最近、なぜ彼女は人生の中で全員と言い争いをしているのだろう?もしかすると、これは本当に悪いアイデア

A FAMILY FOREVER by Brenda Coulter

A FAMILY FOREVER by Brenda Coulter

Book description:

Devastated by the accidental death of her fiancé just three weeks before their wedding, violinist Shelby Franklin has just learned she carries his child. She can't give up the baby, but the only way she can keep it is by accepting a shocking proposal of marriage from a man who doesn't seem to like her very much.

Bike shop owner and semi-pro cyclist Tucker Sharpe owes Shelby more than she will ever understand. Determined to protect her and his brother's child, he presses Shelby to marry him. He insists that if they make an honest effort, God will bless their marriage and teach them to care for each other. But can it really be that simple? Can two people will themselves to fall in love?

Excerpt from A FAMILY FOREVER

Camy here:

I liked Brenda’s debut novel FINDING HOPE (which won a billion awards or something like that, but you know, she’s modest about those) so I was eagerly anticipating this, her sophomore release. She also has a hecka funny blog (“No Rules. Just Write.” Isn’t that a terrific title?) where she expounds on whatever strikes her fancy.

Before I read the book, several people mentioned they didn’t care much for the heroine but absolutely adored the hero. They said it sounded more like the hero’s story than the heroine’s. So I admit I had some preconceived notions before I cracked the spine.

I disagree with all those people (I must be a rebel at heart). I loved the heroine Shelby. She’s very real. She’s prickly and hormonal and irrational and emotional. Just like me! How can I not like someone just like me? Yeah, she did a few rather stupid things, and there are places she went where I don’t know that I’d go, but I was totally feeling her personality and her character.

I think in that sense, Shelby stands out as a unique inspirational romance heroine. She’s a character that not everyone will love. But I think that the readers who relate to her will really connect to her.

Tucker...yeah, he’s dreamy. He’s also a bit too perfect at times. Like when he gives an expensive bike helmet to the kid who stole a bike from his shop. Cute, but...I was waiting for Tucker to whoop the kid’s butt halfway across the state. His actions in the novel are definitely in-character, and he’s very consistent throughout the story, which is nice to see. I just would have liked to see more grit and grime in his personality.

I don’t think this was Tucker’s story. He wasn’t annoyingly perfect, but he was a little too with-it for this to be his story. It was definitely Shelby’s emotional and romantic journey.

There are some scenes and some lines that made me tear up. Really. It’s true, I cry pretty easily when I watch movies and read books, but Brenda has some fabulously poignant lines that are worth the cover price right there.

Aside from the crying, I did a lot of laughing while reading this, too. The snark and sarcasm from Brenda’s blog saturates this book, moreso than in FINDING HOPE. The humor kept the story snappy, refreshing, and fast-moving.

As for audience, I don’t think a younger crowd would necessarily get into some of the particular types of child-rearing and marriage issues in this story. In my opinion, it seems targeted more for the late 20’s and 30-something crowd. I’m sure a teen or college-aged student would enjoy it, but I think an older reader would more appreciate the conflicts, the emotional swings, the plot twists. A younger reader would definitely appreciate the snark.

Get this book before it goes out of print! Love Inspireds don’t have as long a shelf life as other books, so get this while you can. The is easily one of the best inspirational romances I’ve read in a long time.

Comments

Lindi said…
What the heck. I'll enter this one too. Thanks for having these contests Camy,

Lindi P.

belindapeterson@tds.net

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