Title: EMERALD FIRE
Author: Hallee Bridgeman
Publisher: Olivia Kimbrell Press
“Help her to trust You like she has never trusted another person. Teach her how to find in Your Word the direction she seeks, and answers to the questions that plague her,” Maxine’s sister prays in Hallee Bridgeman’s novel, Emerald Fire.
At two hundred and eighteen pages, this paperback book is the second in the Jewel Series, continuing the story of the three half-sisters in current day society. With no profanity, overt sexual scenes or extreme violence, this Christian-themed romance has minor discussions regarding adultery, pregnancy and physical abuse along with a few Bible verses. It is targeted toward mature teenagers and women who appreciate clean, tender tomes. Besides seven discussion questions at the end of the story, several luncheon recipes are included.
Maxine Bartlett and her two sisters, Robin and Sarah, have had a tough upbringing, especially when their mother died violently while they hid in a nearby closet. As two were put into the foster care system, the girls were kept apart yet yearn to be together. Maintaining emotional walls, Maxine is unapproachable, untouchable and unattached when it involves the opposite sex.
Years later, all three women still have to deal with their past. Maxine, who enjoys watching football games, befriends Barry, best friend to Tony, her brother-in-law. The ex-professional football player and lawyer is the only male that she considers taking down those pent up, pain-filled walls. One issue stands in her way: Barry, twelve years her senior, has been married for almost twenty years to the aloof, selfish Jacqueline.
However, Barry has his own internal issues, specifically anger and turning his back on God, Who does not seem to answer his pleas or give him relief from loneliness, depression and heartache. Pulling away from God, his friendship with Tony, and his church, he speeds on a path of personal destruction.
Maxine, not obvious to Barry’s pain and turmoil, slowly feels more passion and promise toward her close friend in spite of her sisters’ warnings. Through her artistic drawings, she deals with her past demons as she accepts and changes her attitude about God and trusting others while questioning if Barry is to be part of her future.
Having not read the first in the series, this is a gripping, romantic tale that stands on its own in dealing with seeking, knowing and learning about God, even when one has to “be still” and wait for His guidance when looking for a life-long soul mate.
This book was furnished by The Book Club Network in lieu of an unbiased review.
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