Author: Rachelle Rea
Publisher: WhiteFire Publishing
Source: Author Provided
Publication Date: 2015
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Series: Steadfast Love, #2
Genre: Fiction; Historical
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
REVIEW: Rachelle’s debut novel blew me away. Its precise storytelling and quietly compelling plot sort of snuck up on me. It started out great, but as each chapter passed, it became progressively better (and better). Her sophomore novel keeps pace with the first by picking up immediately where book one left off. We catch up with Gwyneth and Dirk immediately following their disastrous encounter at Gwyneth’s ancestral home. Now without a home, Dirk safely sees Gwyneth to his family home where she can be cared for and watched over by his mother and family, but he leaves. You see there is still a price on his life – people who would see him punished for crimes he didn’t commit. This shatters not only Gwyneth and their fledging relationship, but forced Dirk to look at himself and revisit some of the dark things about his past.
Rachelle is a beautiful talent. Not only does she know how to draw a reader into the world (rooted in history without losing the voice of the characters) she’s brilliantly imagined, she knows how to see to the best (and sometimes worst) emotional impact for or of her characters. Gwyneth and Dirk’s story continues to be as tumultuous yet gentle as its hesitant and difficult beginnings. I will admit this novel feels more like a stepping stone between The Sound of Diamonds and the final novel, The Sound of Emeralds, but this in NO way befuddles the loveliness that is ‘Silver.’
Each of Rachelle’s characters has their own unique signatures and personalities. I love that sense of distinction in Rachelle’s writing. There is wisdom to the faith she captures to page as well as the characters. I did think the romance was slightly overplayed (simply considering the amount of time Gwyneth and Dirk had been together), but again, as a romantic, I’m not sure I should be saying that. Either way, the book is lovely; beautiful in a kind of shattered way. Shattered because Dirk is forced to look at his past and face the darker side of his past, and what he know regrets. Shattered because Gwyneth is left feeling like a piece of herself is missing. The beauty of this story is that everyone comes out the other side having thrived separately in spite of broken promises. They feel stronger, which makes the reader all the more captured by what’s to come in the final novel, The Sound of Emeralds.
Synopsis: The stalwart saint and the redeemed rebel. One is fighting for faith, the other for honor…
After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile—and hope is not as easy as it may seem. Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted.
Meanwhile, Dirk’s quest is to prevent his sullied name from staining hers. Will his choice to protect her prove the undoing of her first faltering steps toward a Father God? Once separated, will Dirk and Gwyneth’s searching hearts ever sing the same song? – Goodreads
Coming Next from Rachelle Rea, The Sound of Emeralds: What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?
With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God had brought together…
As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders—or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast? – Goodreads, February 2016
Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.