Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To Distraction

To Distraction
By Stephanie Laurens
Published by Avon Books

Okay, you are going to have to forgive me if you see me reviewing lots of romance "type" books this summer. Summer just seems the time to read lots of fluff. And believe me, there are lots of books of fluff out there to read. Most of it not worthy of mentioning much less writing a review from a faith perspective. However, there have been some fairly good ones that I have been reading lately.

To Distraction is one of them. I enjoyed many of Laurens' earlier books. She really did something a bit different with her plots and her heroes. I also love that she began writing because no one was producing the kind of books she wanted to read. However, many of her later books seem mass produced. There doesn't appear much originality in them or they are just focused on the heavy breathing side of romance.

To Distraction is more like Laurens' earlier works. Although there are some spicy scenes and similar action (in that day and time?), the one thing Laurens does right in this book is the relationship between the two characters, Phoebe and Deverell. At first Phoebe is a determined bluestocking who wants nothing to do with men (for a very good reason) and who has a business of rescuing young working women from sexual harassment. She does her best to try and get Deverell to stop chasing her. But Deverell is a determined former spy who sees her as something he wants to acquire. He wants Phoebe as his wife and is focused on controlling her.

The interesting part is how both of them mellow in their relationship and end up working together thereby making a great team. Phoebe learns that not all men are alike and that she can trust a man and not be taken advantage of in her weaknesses. Deverell learns that companionship and partnership are much better foundations for a marriage than ownership and control. I also liked the fact that even when Phoebe is put into danger, she doesn't just become a helpless female waiting for the guy to save her. Working together, they are able to save themselves and others in danger.

How did this book address my own life of faith? As Christians we are called to be part of the Body of Christ. But many times I find myself trying to be that eye or that hand that does it all -- including the work of the foot and the ear. Instead, I should learn how to partner and work with others. I need to embrace stepping back rather than trying to take over. This allows God to work as well. It is not about ownership (that is "my" ministry) but about the fruitful results. At one point Phoebe realizes that Deverell has great business and financial gifts. She could have been snotty and not let him be a part of her endeavors. She opted to allow him to use his gifts. This meant that not only did her business thrive but she was able to concentrate on the parts that she did well. She was able to give up ownership and allow partnership. That is how it should be in the Body of Christ.

I recommend this book.

Happy reading!


Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims

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