The Christy Award is a "Christian fiction award to recognize novelists and novels of excellence in several genres of Christian fiction." The nominees for this year were announced recently and the winners will be announced July 12. Every year I make it my goal to read all the books that are nominated for the Christy Award. I also give them away!
I will giveaway the books by category while I am reading the books nominated in that category.
To enter to win any/all of these books, please do the following:
1. Post a comment indicating which book/books you would like to be entered for in the featured category.
2. Enter by the date indicated. For this category, please enter by JUNE 12, winners announced on June 13.
3. Respond within 10 days should you receive an email indicating you have won a particular book.
4. To win even more books, share the links to the giveaway...tweet them, status them, email them, whatever! If I get 250 retweets and/or new Facebook likes over the next 6 weeks, I'll give away an extra copy of my top 5 favorites from the list.
5. Come back soon for the next category giveaway!
Today's category is: "Contemporary Romance."
The books nominated in this category are:
My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren
Unknown to her tiny town of Deep Haven, Isadora Presley spends her nights as Miss Foolish Heart, the star host of a syndicated talk radio show. Millions tune in to hear her advice on dating and falling in love, unaware that she's never really done either. Issy's ratings soar when it seems she's falling in love on-air with a caller. A caller she doesn't realize lives right next door.
Caleb Knight served a tour of duty in Iraq and paid a steep price. The last thing he wants is pity, so he hides his disability and moves to Deep Haven to land his dream job as the high school football coach. When his beautiful neighbor catches his eye, in a moment of desperation he seeks advice from My Foolish Heart, the show that airs before his favorite sports broadcast. Before he knows it, Caleb finds himself drawn to the host-and more confused than ever. Is his perfect love the woman on the radio . . . or the one next door?
This was a sweet and fun read for me. I've always enjoyed Warren's books, and, although I haven't read any of the other books in the "Deep Haven Series," the book was fine to read on its own too. I found the romance between Issy and Caleb was a bit predictable, but still fun to witness its growth.
Larkspur Cove by Lisa Wingate
Adventure is the last thing on Andrea Henderson's mind when she moves to Moses Lake. After surviving the worst year of her life, she's struggling to build a new life for herself and her son as a social worker. Perhaps in doing a job that makes a difference, she can find some sense of purpose and solace in her shattered faith.
For new Moses Lake game warden Mart McClendon, finding a sense of purpose in life isn't an issue. He took the job to get out of southwest Texas and the constant reminders of a tragedy for which he can't forgive himself.
I found myself completely cheering for Andrea right from the start. She wants to prove herself and stand out from under her past marital failures to suceed at a job that her parents disapprove of. Her romance with Mart comes on faster than I expected and grows at a nice pace, until she panics about how it will affect her 14-year-old son. I really liked the characters in this story and found myself totally engrosed in their lives and in the bits of suspense that run through the final chapters of the book. I love Andrea's Robin Hood. I also loved to see Andrea come into her own confidence.
Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig
Embark upon a danger-laden mission within the pages of Ronie Kendig's riveting Wolfsbane. Demolitions expert Danielle Roark thought escaping from a brutal Venezuelan general was a challenge. Now she's charged with espionage and returned to the jungle where a new nightmare begins. Will Dani survive or become just another political pawn destined to be lost forever? Former Green Beret Canyon Metcalfe is disgusted with the suits on Capitol Hill. Still wrestling with the memories of a mission gone bad, he and Nightshade launch a mission to find Dani. Can Canyon rescue Dani, armed with nothing but raw courage?
The "Discarded Hero" series by Ronie Kendig is one not to be missed. And, while each book blends with the characters of the other, they can certainly be enjoyed on their own as well. Since I love a good suspense, this contemporary romance selection appealled greatly to me since it contains a good dose of action as well. I love this series.
My pick to win this category if I were the only judge? This is a close one, but I lean slightly toward Larkspur Cove only because of the richness of the characters and the honestly of their experiences. All good books though!