Like most women, I’m a sucker for a good love story. But even me, who hasn’t always been bothered by many liberal ideas, doesn’t like reading books that are overflowing with sex scenes and vulgar dialogue. It’s just in poor taste to me and I wish there were more “wholesome” (for lack of a better word) and fewer Harlequin books out there.
Oh, thank Heavens for Love, Charleston by Beth Webb Hard. I was lucky enough to receive a copy from Thomas-Nelson to review for Book Sneeze, their book review site. It’s kind of hard to write a review of this book without giving anything away, so forgive me if I’m vague. Just know this was an awesome book that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a good story that’s build on solid morals. There is so much that I love about the book, starting with the writing. Some Christian writing is, well, just plain bad. It’s either preachy or cheesy, and sometimes both. But Love, Charleston is neither — it’s quality writing with good dialogue (yes, I’m a stickler for dialogue!) that keeps you reading. Because the writing is good, you see the message of love and friendship and most of all, of listening and waiting on God come through.
Another reason to love this book? The characters. Not only does bad writing drive me batty, but so do characters who are flat and/or fake. Neither of those things will happen with Love, Charleston. Be warned: there’s one character you probably won’t like. This person raised my hackles from the get-go. While I didn’t like his or her actions, I will say this: sometimes, good writing makes you dislike a character. Bravo to Beth Webb Hart for making me both love and dislike the characters as they came alive on the page for me.
I think this is a great novel for someone who is a new Christian primarily because of the writing and its lack of in-your-face-hellfire-and-brimstone. It’s gentle, it’s loving, it’s good, and it all leads back to a God who loves us and has magnificent plans for every one of us. The last line on the back of the book says it best: “Family, friendship, and faith converge in a beautiful story about how God’s transforming love works in the Holy City of Charleston.” God’s transforming love indeed.