In "Refining Fires," author Erin Rainwater breathes new life into Christian fiction with her wit, humor and intelligent expositional style. This book departs from traditional romance storytelling in a unique and charming way. It's definitely an investment of time and money well spent. Cheers to new Christian romance publisher, Torn Veil Books, for seeing the value of these three separate yet seamlessly interwoven stories tied together with the timeless threads of faith, hope and love.
I personally dislike reviews of books where major plot points are divulged, inadvertently or not. However, it's not giving away anything to say that main characters in the first story, Peter and Clare, leap off the page and into the heart and mind of the reader. The characters are sharp and smart, the dialogue sparkling. The action never lags in this Beauty and the Beast story, the longest of the three, with a disfigured post-Korean War hero and the disgraced, desperate woman who applies for the position as his nurse. Peter's irascible and bull-headed, and he's met his match with sassy Clare. She's just what the doctor ordered for his heart as well as his physical frailties, if only he'd let down his guard long enough to admit it. The humor in the story is infectious and welcome, and the secondary characters add dimension and are well-drawn.
In the second story, you'll cheer as young Susannah makes a treacherous journey alone to find help in order to save her mother in spite of a considerable handicap and impossible odds. You'll be touched by the unbreakable bond of love between a mother and child. In the third story, a woman who has always depended on her beauty and charm discovers the greatest love of all from a surprising source. Peter and Clare make appearances in these last two stories in unique ways, and it's truly like revisiting old friends.
So many Christian books focus on the angst and drama in life. "Refining Fires" offers the perfect balance of elements for anyone seeking a great read. Erin Rainwater doesn't shy away from the message of God's love and the hope He offers. This book will resonate in your heart long after you finish the last page...and leave you wanting more. I wholeheartedly recommend it, and can't wait for her next book!