Saturday, July 11, 2015

Refining Fire by Tracie Peterson ~ Book Tour and Review

Publisher's Description:  
Twenty two year old Militine Scott is in training at the Madison Bridal School in Seattle, yet she has no intention of pursuing marriage.  What respectable man would have her?  But she has found the school provides the perfect opportunity to keep her unsavory past hidden.

Thane Patton, though fun-loving and fiercely loyal to his friends, hides a dark secret, as well.  He finds himself drawn to Militine, sensing that she harbors a haunting pain similar to his own.

Will they allow God to make something new and beautiful from the debris of their past?

My Thoughts:
Abrianna Cunningham and Militine Scott both attend the Madison Bridal School in Seattle.  Having met there they have become best friends.  Abrianna was adopted by the 3 single sisters who own the school when her parents died and Militine basically attends the school so that she can hide from her past.   The school is a training ground for young women to prepare them for marriage but Militine has no intention of ever marrying.   Abrianna is very strong in her Christian faith and very purposefully pushes onto what she feels is her calling and will do anything to accomplish that purpose,  There is nothing that will stand in her way of helping the poor including a new pastor whom she doesn't trust.  Militine is very hesitant about God because of her past.  She can't reconcile what has happened to her with a loving God.

Thane Patton also has trouble believing because of his own past but he is drawn to Militine.  Though she attends a bridal school she has no intention of ever marrying.  In spite of her resolve she agrees to court Thane being totally honest with where she stands on the issue.  Thane's heart however is also being drawn by God and his best friend, Wade, is a strong Christian who shares his faith in a real and authentic way with him.

 From the publisher's description on the back, this story was supposed to be about Militine and Thane.  While Militine and Thane's story did play out in the book I wish there would have been more focus on how they worked through their painful pasts while coming together as a couple and confronting their beliefs. I really thought that their stories only scratched the surface.  I found that the character of Abrianna who was not even mentioned on the back of the book,  totally usurped the lead role in the story.  She was a very strong personality in the story and I found all others took a back seat to her and her escapades.  The story, for me, was very conversation driven, again mostly because of Abrianna, and I found I kept wondering when and if  anything was really going to happen.  That being said, it was an interesting setting being Seattle 1889 and a time period when strong women were not really tolerated.  The attitudes of the times were written into the story well and I really got a sense of what it might have been like.  Abrianna's total commitment to doing the Lord's work was to be admired and desired though some of her decisions to accomplish the work were not wise at best.  There is a bit of a twist concerning Abrianna that played in nicely to the story that I didn't see coming at all.   The Great Seattle Fire was included and that was really interesting and provided the tension the story needed.

Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing the book free of charge for an honest review.  I was not required to give a positive review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Barbara H. said...

Odd about someone becoming a main character though not mentioned in the description of the book. Kind of odd names as well. :-)

Faith said...

I probably would pass this on by but I see you are also reading Crazy Love. I LOVED THAT BOOK!!!!! I'm reading (almost done) his other one he wrote with his wife about Marriage in light of Eternity. HIGHLY recommend that as well!