I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Redeeming the Rogue: Her Ally or Her Enemy?

C.J. Chase’s Regency, Redeeming the Rogue, is a quick-paced tale of treachery and deliverance. Suspense, action, and romance come together for a satisfying inspirational read.

American Mattie Fraser comes to London in search of answers after her brother is forcibly taken by the British Navy during the War of 1812. Military official Kit DeChambrelle offers help, but trust comes hard to Mattie, and it’s clear Kit knows more than he’s letting on. While the two hunt for answers in the highest and lowest of London streets, threats on Mattie’s life follow, and Kit must protect her and all who shelter her from danger. But he can’t protect his awakening heart, no matter how hard he tries.

Mattie and Kit are complex characters. Mattie can’t forgive those who’ve wronged her; Kit can’t forgive himself. Both cope with their pain in self-destructive ways, as Kit drinks to excess and Mattie seeks revenge. When they recognize peace prevailing in the hearts of their Christian companions, however, both Kit and Mattie take steps toward God and find He’s been there all along.

I appreciate the spiritual struggles of Chase’s characters. Relatable and familiar, their struggles aren’t easily dealt with—just like in real life—and the characters’ experiences are an encouraging reminder of God’s faithfulness and the high price of grace. Mattie is likable, brave, and kind, but flawed. At times her choices disturbed me a bit, especially when she uses others—like a young urchin, Nicky— to achieve her goals, but her realistically-portrayed sins are essential to her character development. When she recognizes her errors and seeks forgiveness, there is great significance for her…and for me as a reader.

I felt the same way about Kit. He is bold, dashing, and adorably sweet with his sister. Yet the burden of his sins weighs heavily on him, and he hasn’t the means to cope, so he drinks to excess. Mattie’s presence makes him confront the rifts in his family and in his soul, and grace isn’t cheap to him when he finally accepts it.

Chase’s research impressed me. From detail types of pistols to the inner chambers of ships, historical details are woven into the action in a way that enhances each scene. Chase's writing is tight, descriptive, and cohesive, with a plot full of twists and turns.

I look forward to more from Chase, and I recommend Redeeming the Rogue to any lover of Christian historical romance, suspense, or the Regency period.

Redeeming the Rogue is available wherever Love Inspired Historicals are sold, including Amazon.


Jessica Nelson said...

Great review! I know I want to check this out, for sure. I'm also in awe of those who can write historicals that far back. The research must be intense.

Susanne Dietze said...

Hi Jessica! I was wondering how CJ did her research, too--she did a great job.

Thanks for coming by. When does your LIH come out? I can't wait for that!