Generally, when I begin a book and it doesn't grab me, I move on. And when I first began reading "In the Midst of Deceit", well...it ended up going back on the shelf for a few weeks.
But I'm not able to do a lot these days due to some medical stuff, so I was browsing my to be read shelf and picked up Deborah's novel again.
I must have been NUTS to give up on this one so soon! While there are some elements that could have been a tad bit stronger, this is a story that is well worth finishing.
Slade Mitchell is the ultimate playboy and financial success story. He's at the top of his game, and the only challenge he hasn't found success with is conquering his adorable neighbor across the hall. Not bad, not bad at all!
Stasi Courtland is a woman of high conviction and standards. But it's not good to look down one's nose at an unbeliever, for any reason. And it takes awhile for her to climb down from her high horse to see Slade as a man who needs God...and needs her as well.
When unexpected tragedy strikes and Slade is nearly killed, Stasi is the only person who is willing to stand by him and help him through the recovery, and ultimately to unravel the mystery behind his accident.
Was it merely a fluke that his chute didn't open? Or does someone want Slade dead? Who can he trust, and why won't he trust God? Will Stasi's heart withstand the temptation to fall for an unbeliever, or will her faith in God prove strong enough?
I must admit, at first I found Stasi's stand on unbelievers and believers being involved...until God whispered to me, "I really like this part!" I realized how much we've let go of God's high standard for us as believers, and gone chasing after the world's message of what's okay.
This novel wasn't just an enjoyable reading experience. It was also a reminder to build up my faith muscle once again and to remember to teach it to my two children still at home. Praise God my kids get it right now, and are clinging to God's teaching to only marry someone who believes.
Now, the character development is a tad bit flat, and I had a hard time caring about any of them as real people...but that's just my thing! I like my characters to leap off the pages, which is a difficult thing to do. I'm pleased to say that as the novel progressed, my involvement deepened with Slade and Stasi.
I was also turned off by Stasi's judgement of Slade...until I was reminded how easily I can be like Stasi with certain people in my life. It wasn't until Slade's accident that I really connected with this story, which was about the time Stasi and Slade really connected.
Don't know if it was planned that way, but it sure worked! All in all, for this debut novel by Deborah M. Piccurelli, I'm giving it three out of five bookmarks, with a rainbow tassel and a double charm of a parachute and a tiny copy of the Book of John from the Bible.
I encourage you to check out Deborah's writing. She has more novels in the works, and I for one can't wait to read another. I look forward to even better stories from this wonderful debut author!