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, October 10, 2014

Anne Mateer's Playing by Heart

It's another great WWI-era read from Anne Mateer!

Here's the story:

Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But then a shocking phone call from her sister, Jewel, changes everything.

With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn't even consider those real subjects!

Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the newfangled game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college and her scholarship as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends around Jewel's family, the girls' basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula comes to realize what she's given up in her single-minded pursuit of degree after degree. God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look a lot different than she'd expected.

As with Mateer's previous publications, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The writing is crisp, the plot moves quickly, and the multi-dimensional characters have flaws, hopes, and disappointments to work through.

Lula can't shake off her past as Fruity Lu in her hometown. She doesn't want to take the only job available, but she has to prove to her town that she can start and finish something. The only person who can help her is Chet--who's single and attractive. But she won't fall for a local fellow. She has bigger plans.

Chet has his own issues--staying home from the war, his mother, his burgeoning feelings for Lula... Both he and Lula have to come to terms with God's plans for them, rather than their own plans.

The story differs from Mateer's previous works in that the hero and heroine both have viewpoints (as opposed to just the heroine). This makes for a rich romance and deeper character development for the hero.

A fully engaging read. I recommend to fans of inspirational, historical romance!

I received a copy from Bethany House for the purposes of review. A positive review was neither promised nor expected.

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