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by Susan May Warren
This action packed Christian romance centers around triplets Dodge, Colt, and Ranger. Each of these men served their country in a different branch of the military; they continue to find themselves involved in rescue operations. Sundown is the third book in the Sky King Ranch series and it focuses on Colt, a daredevil since childhood. There are also women in the book who play an important role in each man’s story. For Colt, it is the beautiful, intelligent Dr. Taylor (Tae) Price whose research is sought after by the Russian mafia to provide a bioweapon for terrorism.
The characters go through a lot physically, mentally, and spiritually as they face off with deadly terrorists, the hauntings of their own backgrounds, and relationship struggles. All of their issues eventually lead them back to the role of God in their lives.
I like Sundown and recommend it; but because each book introduces a different brother, there are a lot of characters and backstories to catch up with if you start with this third book. Author Susan May Warren does a good job of inserting information from previous books, but the initial chapters were a struggle for me. My advice is to read all three books in sequence: Sunrise, Sunburst, and Sundown.
My other issue is that Tae’s research deals with recreating a lost strain of smallpox that could destroy the world and then devising a vaccine for it. The whole process was rushed through so that this untested vaccine could be “approved” by the FDA. As has been shown in recent years, the untested vaccine could be as deadly or more so than the disease. Without the history of the last few years, I could have more easily accepted the premises as fiction and just enjoyed the story.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Category: Romance, Christian, Fiction, Suspense
Notes: As this is #3 in the character rich Sky King Ranch series, I suggest you not read this as a standalone.
Publication: November 1, 2022—Revell (Baker Publishing)
“You’ve always belonged here. But until you forgive yourself, you’re going to keep running, going to keep believing that you’re trouble. Until you let God tell you how much he loves you, how much he has done for you, you’ll believe you’re not worth saving.”
“In the Bible, God is repeatedly with his people when they’re fighting evil. I think there is such a thing as a righteous battle, and when we are on the side of saving lives…well, God is about life and truth, so I think that puts us on his side.”
“I used to think that way. That if God didn’t answer me, or not in the way I wanted, that he didn’t care or even like me. But that’s not true. I’ve started to see God at work all over my life. Now and in the past. He wasn’t ignoring me. I just didn’t see his work until I wanted to.”
Read a Book, Help a Cowboy: Support the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund with Shanna Hatfield #RABHAC #JCCF #rodeoromance @ShannaHatfield
Ever wonder what happens to a rodeo cowboy who is injured? It’s not like he has a boss and goes on disability for a work related injury. Author Shanna Hatfield did some research and discovered that Justin Boots in partnership with some professional rodeo associations created a fund to help. This post gives you a way to help while reading! What could be better? Between October 1 until December 24, she will donate 10% of her sales to the fund. If you are a social media fan, you can read this post to learn more about a special online event, but it is not necessary to participate in that. My thanks to Carla at carlalovestoread.wordpress.com for sharing the word!
Seabiscuit–racehorse with a heart
Seabiscuit: An American Legend
by Laura Hillenbrand
Seabiscuit is the story of an incredible racehorse who took the nation by storm at a time when people needed something positive. He lacked perfect conformation. It seemed like he never got a lucky break when it came to weather or rulings about the amount of extra weight added to his saddle for the races. What he had, however, was strength, speed, competitiveness, and the ability to give all that was asked of him. He also had a supportive team that never gave up on him.
Laura Hillenbrand had been writing about horses and racing in periodicals for years. In Seabiscuit she took that writing to a whole new level, researching, interviewing, delving into archives and corroborating the facts. Then she worked her magic as an outstanding writer to organize the information and make it come alive in word pictures that capture the reader’s heart and imagination.
Hillenbrand doesn’t just help the reader understand and come to love Seabiscuit as his fans did. She takes us into the life of Red Pollard, the jockey who knew Seabiscuit and his ways best. She introduces us to owner Charles Howard and trainer Tom Smith who were as unlikely to be part of his success story as Seabiscuit himself. We are treated to mini-biographies of those around Seabiscuit and the general nature of racing and betting in the 1930’s.
As a complete novice in the world of horse racing, I had to labor a little initially to follow the details, but I soon caught on and began chasing the powerful horse across the pages of this well written book. Hillenbrand’s words are chosen with care and create images in the mind and stir emotions in the heart making this a truly unforgettable piece of nonfiction.
Category: Nonfiction, History
Notes: I purchased the Special Illustrated Collector’s Edition which contains more photographs than the original publication. I highly recommend this edition.
Publication: 2003—Random House
Red Pollard and George Woolf had signed on to a life that used men up. But for all its miseries, there was an unmistakable allure to the jockey’s craft, one that both found irresistible….When a horse and a jockey flew over the track together, there were moments in which the man’s mind wedded itself to the animal’s body to form something greater than the sum of both parts….At the bottom of the Depression, when wrenching need narrowed the parameters of experience as never before, the liberation offered by the racehorse was, to young men like Pollard and Woolf, a siren song.
Seabiscuit seemed a cumbersome giant in comparison. At 1,040 pounds, he outweighed War Admiral by 80 pounds, with six feet of girth and a markedly wider chest. But the big body was perched on legs a full two inches shorter. His neck was thick, his head heavy, his tail stubby, his boxing-glove knees crouched….the mane plaits didn’t lie right and stuck out like quills. the horse stood straddle-legged, as if perpetually bracing himself against a strong wind.
A mournful hush fell over the barn, broken only by the long, low moans of a saddle pony who missed his absent stable companion. All evening long, the deep sad sound drifted out from the shed rows.