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Redeeming Love

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California's gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep. Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside. Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man wh California's gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep. Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside. Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father's heart in everything, Michael obeys God's call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel's every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw. But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband's pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does ... the One who will never let her go.


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California's gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep. Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside. Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man wh California's gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep. Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside. Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father's heart in everything, Michael obeys God's call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel's every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw. But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband's pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does ... the One who will never let her go.

30 review for Redeeming Love

  1. 4 out of 5

    Auntee

    I'm not even going to attempt to review this one because I doubt that I could do it justice. Besides, there's over a thousand reviews of this book on GR (hard to believe--I must have been one of the few people who haven't read this book)! Anyway, it was definitely the best book I've read all year, and probably one of the best books I've EVER read. It was easy to read (the story flowed very smoothly), yet emotionally, it was very difficult to read. Parts of the book just tore me up inside, and I I'm not even going to attempt to review this one because I doubt that I could do it justice. Besides, there's over a thousand reviews of this book on GR (hard to believe--I must have been one of the few people who haven't read this book)! Anyway, it was definitely the best book I've read all year, and probably one of the best books I've EVER read. It was easy to read (the story flowed very smoothly), yet emotionally, it was very difficult to read. Parts of the book just tore me up inside, and I had to take frequent breaks to wipe my tears. I loved the broken and bitter prostitute heroine, Angel, and the saintly, patient (too good to be true) farmer hero, Michael. But to categorize them that way seems so unfair, because they were so much more than that. I guess this book could be called religious fiction, or inspirational romance, but don't let that scare you. It's based on the bible story of Hosea and Gomer, but you don't have to be up on your bible studies to enjoy this one. And it gets just slightly preachy at the end, but you won't care because you'll be too wrapped up in Angel and Michael. The book deals with some really horrible and heartbreaking stuff (child rape, prostitution, incest)(but not in real explicit terms) and just when you think you've read the worst, something else is revealed that will break your heart all over again. But please try to get through those moments, because there is a beautifully written romance, too, about unconditional love, faith, and hope. I must have cried buckets while reading the last 100 pages, but it was worth it. I don't think I'll forget this story for quite a while--5 stars!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Karla

    5 Inspiring Stars!! I'm soooo happy!! Where's a box of tissues when you need them?? I have to listen to the end again. Oh my, I can't stop crying!! Michael...he is the power of love!! No review I could ever do, would give this book the justice it is so deserving of! You have to experience it to understand all the meaning that it holds. Thank you to KarLyn who was the first to tell me about this book, and then all my other friends who encouraged me to read it. It's an amazing journey I will NEVER 5 Inspiring Stars!! I'm soooo happy!! Where's a box of tissues when you need them?? I have to listen to the end again. Oh my, I can't stop crying!! Michael...he is the power of love!! No review I could ever do, would give this book the justice it is so deserving of! You have to experience it to understand all the meaning that it holds. Thank you to KarLyn who was the first to tell me about this book, and then all my other friends who encouraged me to read it. It's an amazing journey I will NEVER forget!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister

    Utterly heart wrenching. Gripping. Riveting. Extraordinary...I could go on and on and still not justify the magnitude of this story's brilliance— what it means, what it stands for, and how deeply it has affected me. Reading Redeeming Love was an intensely humbling and inspirational experience. It isn't about drama or angst or sexy loves scenes...it is a powerful, eye-opening story focused on faith and redemption; on rising up from the dust of despair and finding yourself worthy. It's about the u Utterly heart wrenching. Gripping. Riveting. Extraordinary...I could go on and on and still not justify the magnitude of this story's brilliance— what it means, what it stands for, and how deeply it has affected me. Reading Redeeming Love was an intensely humbling and inspirational experience. It isn't about drama or angst or sexy loves scenes...it is a powerful, eye-opening story focused on faith and redemption; on rising up from the dust of despair and finding yourself worthy. It's about the unparalleled ways love and faith can conquer all, and I could not have been more pleased with this loving and fulfilling journey. Sarah, aka, Angel is a beautiful, damaged woman who remains a prisoner of a past that heartlessly sold her into prostitution as a child. She was abandoned, abused, and alone, and my heart shattered for her. Selling her body was all she'd ever known...so when Michael attempts to show her an honest life, she is untrusting and feels unworthy to receive it. Angel had a quiet strength and I was completely blown away by her transformation. Her quest for freedom was relentless and she easily became one of my most beloved heroines. Michael, in my opinion, was saint-like. His patience and love for Angel was astonishing, and his faith in himself and in God--inspiring. I've never before felt such a strong sense of love and acceptance through a character. Angel and Michael's connection stands as a pure example of love in its most honest and unconditional state...exactly how it's meant to be. The writing simply wow'd me. It was eloquent and its grace brought this story to life. I felt every pain and heartache displayed within these broken characters, as well as every rejoice. This was my first Christian Fiction novel and I was initially unsure what to expect. Although faith in God plays a big role in this story, having faith in oneself is an equally apparent theme—one to which anyone can relate. The element of religion was heavily pronounced, but I didn't find it to be preachy — in fact, I found it comforting and enlightening. It wasn't over-the-top; it was delicate and its message seemed to transcend the structures of organized religion. Freedom does not come from without, but is instead brought forth from within. My song for Sarah Blackbird singing in the dead of night Take these broken wings and learn to fly All your life You were only waiting for this moment to arise. Blackbird singing in the dead of night Take these sunken eyes and learn to see All your life You were only waiting for this moment to be free... Book Stats: ▪ Genre/Category: Christian Fiction/Romance ▪ Steam Caliber: Clean ▪ Romance: Emotional and heartbreaking. Beautifully evolves. ▪ Characters: Expertly composed. Patient, kind, loving hero. Tragically broken, but lovable heroine. ▪ Plot: Centers largely on redemption, faith, and the healing power of love. Substantial depth. ▪ Writing: Accomplished and exquisite execution. Inspiring narrative. ▪ POV: Third person perspective. ▪ Cliffhanger: None

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Kyle

    Please note: I read the Kindle version which apparently is the clean Christian version. The original paperback is what I should have read. Darn. 4 Angel Stars This is a Christian based love story about a prostitute finding redemption and spirituality with her farmer husband. This book quotes a lot of scripture and the story itself is based on the Bible story of Hosea and Gomer. Set in California in the 1950’s during the gold rush, Sarah is working as a high priced prostitute after years being owne Please note: I read the Kindle version which apparently is the clean Christian version. The original paperback is what I should have read. Darn. 4 Angel Stars This is a Christian based love story about a prostitute finding redemption and spirituality with her farmer husband. This book quotes a lot of scripture and the story itself is based on the Bible story of Hosea and Gomer. Set in California in the 1950’s during the gold rush, Sarah is working as a high priced prostitute after years being owned since she was just eight years old. She catches the eye of a farmer named Michael. God speaks to Michael and tells him that Angel/Sarah is to be his wife. Michael sets out to wed the closed off Angel and offers her a home and freedom. "Love cleanses, beloved. It doesn't beat you down. It doesn't cast blame. My love isn't a weapon. It's a lifeline. Reach out and take hold, and don't let go." Michael and Angel/Sarah were wonderful characters and their love was epic but somewhere around 78 percent the story went pretty preachy for my tastes. Nonetheless the writing was strong and it is a nice story of redemption and spiritual rebirth. ”Though fallen low, God raised her up, an angel.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    4.5 stars Redeeming Love is one of those must-read romances worth reading at least once There are two versions of Redeeming Love. This is a review of the original 1991 version. The 1997 version is basically the same as the original, but was edited to remove any descriptions of the love scenes and any coarse language to make it suitable for the Christian market. Based on the Book of Hosea from the Bible, where God told the prophet, Hosea to marry the prostitute, Gomer - "Go marry a prostitute and 4.5 stars Redeeming Love is one of those must-read romances worth reading at least once There are two versions of Redeeming Love. This is a review of the original 1991 version. The 1997 version is basically the same as the original, but was edited to remove any descriptions of the love scenes and any coarse language to make it suitable for the Christian market. Based on the Book of Hosea from the Bible, where God told the prophet, Hosea to marry the prostitute, Gomer - "Go marry a prostitute and have children with her. - here we have Michael Hosea, a farmer being told by God to marry Angel, a local whore in the 1850s goldfields of California. Author Francine Rivers wrote historical romances and historical fiction before she became a Christian. Redeeming Love written in 1991, bridges the writing of her original romances and her later Christian fiction, illustrating well the old and new Francine Rivers in the one book. The original does contain some coarse language (eg son of a bitch, damn, bastard, etc) and some descriptive love scenes, not contained in the second version. The original holds up better in my opinion as a romance than the revised version, with more emphasis on their relationship and the physicality of it. Nevertheless, both versions contain the same plot. For those who prefer a clean read, then the edited, or Christian version, is preferable. Although it is peppered throughout with Bible verses I don't think they're intrusive. It is afterall, a Christian story, based on a book of the Bible and written by a Christian. My only real complaint is that often it lends itself to cheesiness, but that's my complaint about most, if not all, romances. He felt her loosen and melt in his arms and he sent her up again in to the heavens, joining her there and holding on to the moment as long as he could before the slow descent back to earth. Oh, to You be the glory, Lord, Lord.... Um, okay. On my fourth read of this story over the years, I don't view it with the same wide-eyed romantic wonder as I first did. The prose is average at best, the historical setting adequate. The stubbornness of Angel in refusing to accept Michael's love and her consequent running off was overdone and tiresome. Michael himself often forces Angel to do his bidding, believing as he does that it's for her best, and so their relationship comes across as patronising and paternalistic at times. Some of his thoughts and reactions are not those of a Godly man. Some of the tragedies that beset Angel's wretched life, seem gratuitous. Francine Rivers seemingly wanted to heap mankind's collective sin onto the head of this poor woman. Some of the scenes are unnecessarily explicit. The conclusion is way too neat with its fairy-tale ending. Yet Redeeming Love still holds up as an allegory of God's love for humankind. Love, forgiveness and redemption. It is one of those rare novels that though based on a story from the Bible, manages to captivate an audience who may not claim any Christian beliefs. It can be at times depressing, heart-wrenching, horrifying and preachy. Yet it is also uplifting, glorifying, hope-filled and romantic. Despite some reservations, Redeeming Love is still a worthy read for lovers of Christian fiction and for lovers of romance. Even if you don't end up loving it, it is so popular, so highly rated and reviewed that it's worth reading just the once. Because despite its flaws for me it still manages to resonate with the ideal of true love and the romantic notions of love conquers all. Steam: 2.5

  6. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Vellacott

    I didn't get very far into this before realising that it was R rated. Luckily I got it free so haven't wasted any money and can happily throw it away. One of the most troubling things about this book is that there are a number of reviews from non-Christians commenting on the graphic nature of this book and stating that they wouldn't have thought the writer was a Christian. That alone explains why Christian authors need to be careful with their content, they are representing Jesus. I am aware that I didn't get very far into this before realising that it was R rated. Luckily I got it free so haven't wasted any money and can happily throw it away. One of the most troubling things about this book is that there are a number of reviews from non-Christians commenting on the graphic nature of this book and stating that they wouldn't have thought the writer was a Christian. That alone explains why Christian authors need to be careful with their content, they are representing Jesus. I am aware that this is meant to be based on the book of Hosea in the Bible. However, Rivers presents her main character as a prostitute prior to her marriage... What are the moral implications of God’s command for Hosea to marry a prostitute? It appears best to see Gomer as chaste at the time of marriage to Hosea, only later having become an immoral woman. The words “take yourself a wife of harlotry” are to be understood proleptically, i.e., looking to the future. An immoral woman could not serve as a picture of Israel coming out of Egypt (2:15; 9:10), who then later wandered away from God (11:1). Chapter 3 describes Hosea taking back his wife, who had been rejected because of adultery, a rejection that was unjustifiable if Hosea had married a prostitute with full knowledge of her character. (https://www.gty.org/library/bible-int...) The first few chapters dealt with child rape, child trafficking, brothels, drunkenness, adultery, death.....that was enough. If Rivers was trying to relay events in Hosea, I don't understand why she felt the need to include child rape and trafficking in her narrative. It just makes a tragic story even more depraved. The point of Hosea is God's love towards unfaithful Israel despite their waywardness. It is not focused on the graphic exploits of Gomer. I don't recommend this book which is full of graphic detail for shock value. For those who will no doubt comment that the book of Hosea also contains graphic scenes of a similar nature. It doesn't. The whole focus is on Israel's unfaithfulness and God's pending judgement. It is not on the details of Gomer's sin. The popularity of this book and some of the comments are representative of the "God as love" or some kind of "divine romancer" beliefs that are prevalent, as if God needs us and is desperate for us, rather than the other way around. The author writes that God says, "Though you deny me, I love you with an everlasting love." That is not in line with Scripture, where God does not love with an everlasting love those who deny Him. God hates sin (and sinners) and demands obedience. Yes, God loves us and forgives us when we sin if we approach Him through trust in Jesus, but that doesn't give us a licence to sin or to presume upon His grace. Redemption (the supposed theme of this book) should lead to a complete transformation of heart and life. https://answersingenesis.org/answers/... For those seeking a cleaner read by Francine Rivers (and to prove that I'm not just being deliberately controversial) try The Atonement Child [https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...] or And the Shofar Blew [https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...] or even The Last Sin Eater [https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...] but avoid Bridge to Haven [https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...]. The Scarlet Thread is mediocre [https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...]. Enjoy! Check out my Francine Rivers shelf!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amy (Foxy)

    *Read this book about 10 years ago. Re-reading it now! (March 14th, 2013) I finished and this book is still my all time favorite book! Deserves more than 5 stars.* This book is based off the love story from the Bible of Hosea and Gomer. Gomer is a prostitute and Hosea is a Godly man told to marry her. It's their struggle (she finds it hard to turn away from the life she has always known and basically born into). This is the ultimate love story! I loved reading about Michael & Angel's love sto *Read this book about 10 years ago. Re-reading it now! (March 14th, 2013) I finished and this book is still my all time favorite book! Deserves more than 5 stars.* This book is based off the love story from the Bible of Hosea and Gomer. Gomer is a prostitute and Hosea is a Godly man told to marry her. It's their struggle (she finds it hard to turn away from the life she has always known and basically born into). This is the ultimate love story! I loved reading about Michael & Angel's love story. There were so many things I wanted to highlight throughout this book. One of my favorite lines was: "Hello, Sarah. I'm very pleased to meet you. Finally!" Also this written on the cross was very touching: Though fallen low God raised her up An angel. The song Amazing Grace reminds me of this book: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see. Michael is definitely my book husband. He isn't someone you just date. He is someone you marry. Standalone

  8. 5 out of 5

    Arlene

    Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers has undeniably earned a coveted spot on my top bookshelf of classically flawless stories. This is a book that I will probably find myself reading over and over again until it simply falls apart at the seams. Such a beautiful love story that I could not separate myself from both mentally and emotionally. I read this book while I was traveling, and I truly don’t know how I made my connector flights or found my departing gate terminals, or even who sat next to me o Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers has undeniably earned a coveted spot on my top bookshelf of classically flawless stories. This is a book that I will probably find myself reading over and over again until it simply falls apart at the seams. Such a beautiful love story that I could not separate myself from both mentally and emotionally. I read this book while I was traveling, and I truly don’t know how I made my connector flights or found my departing gate terminals, or even who sat next to me on the airplane. Forget all the flight instructions about cabin pressure, oxygen masks and floating devices, I was lost in my book as I was more concerned about the turbulence in Michael and Angel’s life and their ultimate destination than anything I was experiencing at the moment. I think I must have sighed a hundred times from heartbreak and angst for these characters and forget about keeping track of my facial expressions, but I treasured every moment irregardless of what people around me must have witnessed. First off, one thing I must note about this book, and it’s probably the one small element that held me off from reading it sooner than I did, or reading it at all for that matter. The book is categorized as Contemporary Christian Fiction as it’s based on the biblical story of Hosea and Gomer. Wait!! Don’t let that turn you off just yet. Just give me a few more moments to share its fabulousness; I swear I’m not a religious fanatic (See?? I’m swearing!). But before I move on let me explain my reading preferences. I pick up books for fictional journeys, normally young adult, paranormal, and dystopian. For me to pick up a book with a religious/spiritual tone, well… let’s just say I’d never think that would happen, and I’m just being honest. Secondly, I’d be lying if I called myself a devout anything… Christian or Catholic. Nope, that’s not me… the devout part that is... so when the situation feels preachy, I get uncomfortable. I’m not saying I have absolutely no faith… not the case at all. I just wouldn’t normally read a book about religion, faith or spirituality. And, I’m not going to feel guilty about that because God and I have our private convos, and let’s just say… we’re good. Okay, so keeping that in mind, I still picked up this book and I was wowed… Not in a spiritual sense mind you. It was more like it showed me how when you really love someone, you’re willing to sacrifice a piece of yourself and forgive your partner’s grievances no matter how much it might hurt sometimes. I saw it from more of an emotional perspective rather than a spiritual sense. So if I missed the mark… oh well… it was mine to miss. Overall, this book does a masterful job of blending love and betrayal, hope and despair, self-destruction and ultimate redemption. I fell in love with these characters as Michael and Angel experienced a turbulent journey towards trust, hope, love and ultimate faith. Michael Hosea was the true angel in this story for the number of times he forgave Angel’s transgressions and painful, ongoing betrayal. He was such a gentle and trusting soul and just an all around, too good to be true person. His faith in God and his belief in his purpose as dictated by a higher being were heartfelt and poignant. As for Angel, for all of the mistakes and sins she committed, I still held a soft spot for her and cared for her character deeply, and that never wavered. My heart broke when her back-story was revealed, and I read about how she was betrayed, destroyed and used. No matter how awful her choices were and how badly they hurt Michael, I still wanted to come to her defenses. What an emotional ride! Another thing I want to share about this book. It has one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever read. There is a part in the story, right after Angel betrays and abandons Michael (and not for the first or last time) that he takes her to an unknown destination. She is frightened that he’ll hurt her as punishment, and their journey through the dark forest to get where they were going was intense. He ultimately leads them to the crest of a mountain and he points to the moon… yes, that ball of cheese in the sky, and he holds her tightly. After resisting him for some time, she finally stops to look at the beauty around her as the hours pass, the moon descends and the sun begins to set. He doesn’t say much, but he shows her the hope held in the renewal of a new day and the absolute beauty around you if you just stop to look and listen, rather than destroy it or pretend it doesn’t exist; and he simply tells her, “This is the life I want to give you.” *tear...sob* Am I a total sap if I admit it reminds me of the song Moonlight? Noooo, not the Barry Manilow version… more like the Jason Castro rendition. :) So for me to quote a sappy love song, you know I was moved by this book! Gah!!! *head desk* I’ve been pegged as being a sucker for melodramic love stories. Well, I’m good with that and willing to own it because it’s books like Redeeming Love that remind me some of them are just worth it. Absolutely worth it! There are some books you want to convince everyone to read and then there are some that you want to keep to yourself because you’ll be disappointed if someone bashes to pieces something you just absolutely adore. I’ll tell you right now, I loved this book, but if it doesn’t gain traction by many, I’ll feel comforted that it’s safe and treasured on my bookshelf. Now here are the lyrics to Moonlight and I’ll just end with that. :) Midnight, not a sound from the pavement Has the moon lost her memory, she is smiling alone In the lamplight, the withered leaves, collected my feet And the wind begins to moan Memory, all alone in the moonlight I can smile at the old days, it was beautiful then I remember the time I knew what happiness was Let the memory live again Daylight, I must wait for the sunrise I must think of a new life, and I mustn't give in When the dawn comes, tonight will be a memory, too And a new day will begin Burnt out ends of smoky days, the stale cold smell of morning The street lamp dies, another night is over, another day is dawning Touch me, it's so easy to leave me, all alone with the memory of my day in the sun If you touch me, you'll understand what happiness is Look a new day, has begun *sniffle... sniffle... tear... tear*

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kathy * Bookworm Nation

    I think the purpose of this book was overshadowed by the very dark subject matter. A lot of people have called this a Christian Romance, I find that very hard to believe. The story is about a young girl sold into prostitution at the age of eight who later is rescued by a man named Michael. The books goes into shocking, disturbing detail of the sad life she led. She run’s away from her devoted husband multiple times, which also got old. The whole thing was very depressing and I only continued to I think the purpose of this book was overshadowed by the very dark subject matter. A lot of people have called this a Christian Romance, I find that very hard to believe. The story is about a young girl sold into prostitution at the age of eight who later is rescued by a man named Michael. The books goes into shocking, disturbing detail of the sad life she led. She run’s away from her devoted husband multiple times, which also got old. The whole thing was very depressing and I only continued to read hoping it would get better. I also didn’t like that her husband was suppose to be so understanding yet was still sleeping with her before she even loved him or before they really had a decent relationship. If he really had respect for her and what she had been through he would have waited until she was ready. The book was way too long and way too gloomy. For the subject matter and details given I would have give it at R rating. I wish I hadn’t bothered reading it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Romanyjoseph

    رواية تضع أمام القارئ حقائق بالغة الدقة عن الفرق بين المقاييس البشرية والمقاييس الألهية في التعامل مع الأحداث التي تعترض حياة البشر . وتكشف الحكمة من العذابات والصعاب التي تعصف أحيانا بحياة الأنسان والتي يقف العقل عاجزا عن استيعابها أو فهمها.ما لا يفهمه البشر بشكل عام تكمن وراءه حكمة الهية وخير عميم . ولا يقوى على استيعاب متناقضات الحياة وأهوالها إلا من تسلح بالإيمان العميق . تعاملات مايكل معاها, وتعاملاتها مع مايكل, هم صورة حية لعلاقتنا مع الله الذي لا نستوعب محبته وقبوله الفائق لنا مهما كان حال رواية تضع أمام القارئ حقائق بالغة الدقة عن الفرق بين المقاييس البشرية والمقاييس الألهية في التعامل مع الأحداث التي تعترض حياة البشر . وتكشف الحكمة من العذابات والصعاب التي تعصف أحيانا بحياة الأنسان والتي يقف العقل عاجزا عن استيعابها أو فهمها.ما لا يفهمه البشر بشكل عام تكمن وراءه حكمة الهية وخير عميم . ولا يقوى على استيعاب متناقضات الحياة وأهوالها إلا من تسلح بالإيمان العميق . تعاملات مايكل معاها, وتعاملاتها مع مايكل, هم صورة حية لعلاقتنا مع الله الذي لا نستوعب محبته وقبوله الفائق لنا مهما كان حالنا. إن كل كلمة في القصة لهي درس عميق يري فيها القارئ نفسه مكان “سارة” ويلتمس حب الله في شخص “مايكل” البطل

  11. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    5 STARS She thought she had been saved by his love for her, and in part she had been. It had cleansed her, never casting blame. But that had been only the beginning. It was loving him in return that had brought her up out of the darkness. Wow. So much to say about this book. And I don’t even know where to begin. The emotions incited were overwhelming. My chest still hurts from the feelings I have. I must say, I don’t cry often when I read. And when I do, it is more often out of sorrow and pain 5 STARS She thought she had been saved by his love for her, and in part she had been. It had cleansed her, never casting blame. But that had been only the beginning. It was loving him in return that had brought her up out of the darkness. Wow. So much to say about this book. And I don’t even know where to begin. The emotions incited were overwhelming. My chest still hurts from the feelings I have. I must say, I don’t cry often when I read. And when I do, it is more often out of sorrow and pain. But this book made me cry out of sheer joy. It chokes me up still to think about it. Very inspiring read. This story follows the life of a girl who has believed from her earliest memories that she was a mistake. Not meant to be born. A burden to everyone she encountered. And as she grew up, her beliefs were reinforced time and time again. She lost any hope she had of love and happiness in her life. She’d had to trade those frivolous needs for mere survival. And she knew deep down to the bottom of her soul that those things were not meant for her. [image error] All they saw was her beauty, a flawless veil wrapped around a frozen heart, and they were enthralled. They looked into her angel eyes and were lost. It was the 1850’s, and the California gold rush was in full swing. And it wasn’t long before Angel found herself in the midst of chaos. Enduring the ship alone to get there was enough to take her sanity. The freedom she thought she would find upon her arrival had quickly turned into a fight to survive. Penniless and alone, she was quickly drawn right back into the life she had tried so hard to escape. There was no freedom. There was no happiness. Not for her. Not ever. But then something happened. And his name was Michael Hosea. Now this was a man who was told by God, that he should marry Angel and deliver her from her bondage. But Angel wasn’t buying it. The more he tried to convince her, the more convinced she was of his insincerity. What was it about this man that got to her? She preferred the numbness to this stirring of emotion. Hope was torment. Hope was an enemy. And this man was a thorn in her side. Until fate eventually gives her up to him, just like she knew it would… but she wouldn’t go easily. She was the blackest night, and he the starlight piercing it, creating an unfolding pattern in her life. This book was a struggle for one woman to overcome the power of her own self worth. And in a way, it proved that although food and water are needed to nourish our bodies, they may not be as important to our survival as faith and hope and trust. She stared at those aristocratic hands, hands without calluses, pale and manicured. Beautifully shaped hands that were capable of unspeakable cruelty. She remembered Michael’s hands, large and strong, clearly used to hard labor. They were callused and rough. His hands had looked so cruel and yet been so gentle. His touch had healed her body and opened her heart. I don’t want to say much more. I will say though that this one will go straight to my favorites list. I’m sorry, I know this review is lacking in so many ways… but the book is definitely not. I will leave you with a few quotes, and photos, and my updates photos as well. I cannot recommend this one enough. BTW... my update photos are better. ;)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eastofoz

    This is a difficult book to rate because at times it’s a 1 and then a 3 and I can even see how readers could give it a 5 star rating. It’s an inspirational romance that at times is quite heavy on the religious aspect in my opinion. If the idea of a kind of self-sacrifice to the extreme that doesn’t seem to benefit anyone apart from God (but even then that’s debatable) appeals to you, then you’ll probably like this book. I didn’t particularly enjoy it, but I could appreciate it. It’s not the great This is a difficult book to rate because at times it’s a 1 and then a 3 and I can even see how readers could give it a 5 star rating. It’s an inspirational romance that at times is quite heavy on the religious aspect in my opinion. If the idea of a kind of self-sacrifice to the extreme that doesn’t seem to benefit anyone apart from God (but even then that’s debatable) appeals to you, then you’ll probably like this book. I didn’t particularly enjoy it, but I could appreciate it. It’s not the greatest writing in the world. It’s very simple in style and reminded me of something like the Good News Bible where Biblical verse is written in a more modern, accessible way with a simplistic approach to what is otherwise complicated religious dogma when you really look at it. The relationship between the two frontier families is a bit too utopian but fits in with this striving-to-be- like-God ideal and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I think you have to like reading about that sort of “wholesomeness”. There’s a note from the publisher that says it’s a PG 13 novel and maybe for people who read inspirational romances it is but I didn’t think so. There was one very brief disgusting scene but given the situation and the period I thought that was misleading to brand it PG 13. There is virtually no physical intimacy in this book, apart from the odd kiss, and any sex is glossed over leaving you wondering if they had sex or not. The violence in the novel is treated the same way and I think it’s a disservice not to “show” the reader what the author is seeing. You get these one liners about horrific beatings, great sex on a very spiritual level but no detail. The author shows a lot about God but not enough about the h/h together as a married couple. Emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy make for better rounded characters I think and I felt short changed not to get all that. The book could probably be a good 4 ½ stars if this aspect of the writing had been developed. The hero and the heroine are very well-drawn. Michael is a true saint and if you took away his devout belief in God he’d make one of the best romance heroes around. He gets kicked in the teeth so many times but he still keeps coming back for more. He reminded me of poor Job at times. His self-sacrifice skirts the incredulous and I still can’t see what he got out of it during those years of waiting. His character’s endless patience reminds me of Sarah McCarty’s Asa in Promises Linger. As for Angel/Sarah, she is such an irritating/stupid woman. She has heaven in hand and she keeps throwing it away. Her life is a nightmare and it’s a wonder she never killed herself to get out of it, but I had a hard time understanding that after so much unconditional love from Michael that she felt too she ended up leaving him. It was difficult to believe all this love at first sight and God speaking to these people in mysterious ways. It’s the Old Testament mysterious mean God in this story at times who takes everything away and you get to live in emotional hell. Why I don’t know and that’s what I really didn’t like about this book from a romance perspective. Michael’s a good guy why keep testing him? Angel has been through hell and back why have her leave her haven incessantly? I guess you could say that they both had things to do first before they could be together but I think they really wasted some very valuable time that they could’ve been better spent together. The epilogue is quite moving and God finally decides to give something back apart from just his love which is supposed to be the true reason for living, but I didn’t really see what kind of happiness it brought these people because without each other they were horribly sad and lost. If you take the novel as a retelling of the Book Hosea(what little I know about it) it’s pretty good, but if you read it as a romance you may be disappointed. So two stars for romance, four for the retelling of the Book of Hosea for me. FYI: If devout believers who see God in everything as well as true faith being the only way to find happiness in life bother you, you may want to pass on this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lexie

    I recieved this as a part of the First Reads program. I was repulsed by this book. It's supposed to be a Christian romance novel. Full disclosure, I'm an atheist, so I wasn't expecting to exactly fall in love with the book. But I found the concept of the story of Hosea being retold during the Gold Rush interesting, or else I wouldn't have picked it up. So you may ask, why was I so repulsed by this book? Looking past the forced marriage, rape, beatings and child rape described in the book. Also look I recieved this as a part of the First Reads program. I was repulsed by this book. It's supposed to be a Christian romance novel. Full disclosure, I'm an atheist, so I wasn't expecting to exactly fall in love with the book. But I found the concept of the story of Hosea being retold during the Gold Rush interesting, or else I wouldn't have picked it up. So you may ask, why was I so repulsed by this book? Looking past the forced marriage, rape, beatings and child rape described in the book. Also looking past the flat, one dimensional characters, that are by the way, stunning and physically beautiful (how boring is that). Not to mention, looking past the horrible source material that is the Old Testament. I'm repulsed by the ideas that this book reinforces for women. I'm disgusted that this drivel was written by a woman. And after reading some reviews prior to recieving the book, I'm appaled that some people found this book moving, positive and uplifting. The plot device of using these characters to represent god and his unconditional love that he supposedly has for his children was weak. This was represented by the two main character's and Angel. So god talks to him(I'll leave that one alone) and tells him to marry her. He has a priest marry the two of them while she's pretty much unconsious. She runs away after being forced to work for and take care of him. I wonder why she would run away. So she finally meets a family who is willing to take care of her. She's in a good place. And then he comes back for her. She for some unknown reason, goes back to him. The worst part is the ending, because she wants nothing more than to please him and bear him a son. This book does nothing more than subjugate women. In my own opionion, so do gods and religions, but that's a different story for a differnt time. What positive message is there in this for anyone? Be a good wife and devote all your time to making babies. I think we all know there is more to life than that. Please don't waste your time reading this book, get something else that will celebrate life and the worth of an individual, or something that you will learn something from. I'll be trading mine in at the local book mine, to get something of more worth.

  14. 4 out of 5

    ♡Karlyn P♡

    wow, a very powerful story! I listened to this one on my iPod. I tried so hard not to cry (especially toward the end) but I finally had to pull over and wipe my eyes when it ended. So much grief, redemption and joy. A fantastic story that drew me in and kept me glued. Its a historical romance set in mid 1800's gold country region of California. Angel is a damaged young woman working a brothel and struggling with many horrors from her past. Michael is a devout Christian who believes God wants him wow, a very powerful story! I listened to this one on my iPod. I tried so hard not to cry (especially toward the end) but I finally had to pull over and wipe my eyes when it ended. So much grief, redemption and joy. A fantastic story that drew me in and kept me glued. Its a historical romance set in mid 1800's gold country region of California. Angel is a damaged young woman working a brothel and struggling with many horrors from her past. Michael is a devout Christian who believes God wants him to marry Angel - a soiled dove. Apparently this is a retelling of a bible story. I think this may be only the second Christian themed novel I've ever read, which means its the first one I ever finished. While it was very inspirational it refrained from being preachy. Its not a light read, and at times was even depressing. But the writing was so spot on and the characters so real I couldn't stop. And it does end with a great ending. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to crawl into the book to talk with Angel, hug Michael, slap his brother, kill a bad guy, shelter a person down on their luck...etc. I can see why it has such high ratings by sooooo many people. But my next book will be a light read. I don't think I could take two books like this in a row!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest I am not religious, so my review of this inspirational romance will be coming from the perspective of a secular reader. Our theme read in the Unapologetic Romance Readers group for the month of May was "christian romance," and REDEEMING LOVE was actually my nomination. Francine Rivers is a name that gets bandied around a lot, not just in the christian fiction groups, but also in the historical romance groups in general. I was curious to see Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest I am not religious, so my review of this inspirational romance will be coming from the perspective of a secular reader. Our theme read in the Unapologetic Romance Readers group for the month of May was "christian romance," and REDEEMING LOVE was actually my nomination. Francine Rivers is a name that gets bandied around a lot, not just in the christian fiction groups, but also in the historical romance groups in general. I was curious to see what she was like. As soon as I began reading this book, I literally had two people message me to inform me that this book allegedly takes two forms: the 1991 version and the 1997 version. I apparently have the 1997 version, which was edited to remove swear words and explicit love scenes to make it religion-friendly, which is definitely the case in my version. All sex scenes are very much fade-to-black, or in the case of one scene, ends with the hero and heroine soaring towards heaven - metaphorically, I'd imagine. Unless I somehow picked up a paranromal romance book without actually catching on. Sarah/Amanda/Mara/Tirzah/Angel is a prostitute who was sold into the profession against her will as a child and then raped. Over the years she has become bitter and cold; it's her only defense against her growing despair at sleeping with men she doesn't like in a prison gilded by the gold dust of the Californian mining town she's settled in. On one of her walks, Michael Hosea sees Angel and hears God tell him that this is the woman he is destined to marry. When he finds out what she is, he throws a mini-hissy before pulling up his britches and delivering Angel the news. She is not amused, and rebuffs him multiple times. When he marries her, she's actually unconscious from a beating. Much of the book is Angel learning to deal with her guilt and self-hatred. Her bitterness is exceptionally well done, and the pain she feels is warranted. The epilogue of this book is straight out of a bodice ripper, and the more I found out about her backstory - neglect, abuse, rape, assault, incest, probably PTSD - the more I sympathized with her. No matter how frustrated I felt with her as a character, I always felt that her actions were in line with her character. It takes a long time before she's able to trust Michael, and when she does, it happens in stages. She trusts him with her body and her well-being long before she's willing to let him have her heart. This story is apparently a retelling of a bible story about two people named Gomer and Hosea. I have not read the original story, so I'm not sure how accurate or true the retelling is. I will say that the story manages to stand on its own fairly well and I was engaged for the majority of the book. It was in the last quarter where I feel it begins to fail a bit, as God appears to drive Angel away from Michael because she views Michael as a god instead of Him...and he drives her right back to the man who raped and abused her, which seemed...cruel? Then one of Angel's friends tells her that she has a prayer box to remind her not to be self-sufficient, but to rely on God instead, and that whenever there's something she wants to do something about she just writes a note and puts it in the box...right. I didn't mind the way God's voice was written in this book, however, and I thought it was clever how what I assume was the devil took the voice of Angel's abuser. What better way to turn her away from the path of self-betterment than to take the voice of the man who made her feel as if she were beyond redemption in the first place? I also thought that the way the religion was written in this book is probably suitable for the time period in which it was written (1850-ish), because most people in the 19th century were religious, and it formed the backbone of their social circles in many cases. Honestly, my two biggest pet peeves were that epilogue and the fact that Paul got an HEA. The epilogue annoyed me because I felt like it wasn't realistic. I get that it was intended to be a miracle, but I really did not like it. I also really did not like Paul. He ill-treats her for 95% of the book, and then at the end of the book she apologizes to him. Ooh, I saw red when that happened. I kept thinking to myself, "If this were a bodice ripper, Paul would be killed in a stampede of cows, or in a cave-in while trying to steal someone else's gold." But this was not a bodice ripper, so Paul accepts Angel's apology, condescends to give one of his own, and gets his stinking HEA (the bastard). In spite of its flaws, REDEEMING LOVE is a good book, and I think secular readers will be able to enjoy it too (probably more so if they can find copies of that elusive 1991 edition). I'm very glad I finally got around to reading a Francine Rivers book. She is a good writer, with a sense of characterization and pacing, and absolutely beautiful descriptions of nature. Yes, religion is a definite focal point in this book but not to the point where it's utterly preachy, either. 4/10, would read more by this author later. Her Mark of the Lion series looks especially interesting, and I'm hoping I'll be able to get a copy of that on the cheap. I love Ancient Rome. 3 stars

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Hm, hard review to write! I appreciate the story of redemption Rivers set out to tell, but I didn't like how she went about it. The story was riveting at first, drawing me in, so that I read the first 100 pages without even setting it aside. But I had to lay the book down to complete a task, and as I did it, I realized that I was feeling...dirty. Truly, a great deal of the book is focused on sordid and dirty details. Even after we are away from the subjects of child rape, human trafficking, auct Hm, hard review to write! I appreciate the story of redemption Rivers set out to tell, but I didn't like how she went about it. The story was riveting at first, drawing me in, so that I read the first 100 pages without even setting it aside. But I had to lay the book down to complete a task, and as I did it, I realized that I was feeling...dirty. Truly, a great deal of the book is focused on sordid and dirty details. Even after we are away from the subjects of child rape, human trafficking, auctioning of women, and seduction, it talks a great deal about nakedness and marital relations. I didn't like what I'd gotten into, frankly. I also didn't like how Michael tried to control her every thought and action in an attempt to hold onto her and not let her go. It wasn't a strict retelling of the story of Hosea, but I felt that choosing to give Michael the name of Hosea was too forced. Yes, we have him losing her three times. We don't have her doing so because of wanting to return to the life she knew. Her situation is portrayed as very bad, and instead of having Michael a bright light of God still chasing her like the hound of Heaven, we have a very flawed man not fully understanding who she is past her protective walls, a man letting her run back into independence because he labors under a misconception of what she's gone to do. This isn't an illustration of the redemptive side of marriage, where the man is to show what Christ is willing to do for the church...Michael failed her at the end. He gave up on her and stayed on his farm in discouragement, instead of chasing after her and making sure she is safe. The real, biblical Hosea kept after his wife, chasing her down and dragging her out of sin even when she made the choice to go back into it. Hosea was a picture of God reaching out to sinning Israel and dragging her back to a clean life. Sarah's story is a powerful one. I felt that it often went too far into the descriptions of what she was feeling...thus, instead of giving the facts, it presented images and drew out emotions where bare facts would have been much less sensual. We didn't have to go down into the depths to feel how revolting her life was. We didn't have to spend two chapters on her being sold at the age of eight and raped by a monster, over and over again, over the next number of years. So, in the end, it fails as an allegory; Michael doesn't chase after her quite as the real Hosea did; Sarah isn't wanting to return to a life of sensual fulfillment as Gomer was. Also, it tipped over the edge more than once into sensationalism, ending in being more like a soap opera than like a story focused only on the redemption of a soul and a lifestyle. I welcome thoughtful comments...I'm quite willing to explain my thoughts further, but don't want to spend too much time on the review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mona M. Kayed

    قرأت هذه الرواية لأول مرة في يومين ، ثم أعدت قراءتها بعد ذلك أربع مرات على مدار ثلاث سنين ، بساطتها و عمقها تجبرانك على الولوج في الأعماق الإنسانية كما لم تفعل من قبل .. كلماتها مفعمة بالتسامح و المحبة غير المشروطة ، لا أحد على وجه البسيطة يملك الحق في اتهامك أو تصنيفك ، لا أحد يملك سلطة على نفسك ، قد تكبلك القيود لكنك وحدك تملك مفاتيح أقفالها ، و حين تنهي قراءتها تتفهم تماماً أن معظم آلامك كانت نابعة منك أنت لأنك لم تكن قادراً على مسامحة نفسك و لم تتمكن من استيعاب طبيعتك البشرية المجبولة على ا قرأت هذه الرواية لأول مرة في يومين ، ثم أعدت قراءتها بعد ذلك أربع مرات على مدار ثلاث سنين ، بساطتها و عمقها تجبرانك على الولوج في الأعماق الإنسانية كما لم تفعل من قبل .. كلماتها مفعمة بالتسامح و المحبة غير المشروطة ، لا أحد على وجه البسيطة يملك الحق في اتهامك أو تصنيفك ، لا أحد يملك سلطة على نفسك ، قد تكبلك القيود لكنك وحدك تملك مفاتيح أقفالها ، و حين تنهي قراءتها تتفهم تماماً أن معظم آلامك كانت نابعة منك أنت لأنك لم تكن قادراً على مسامحة نفسك و لم تتمكن من استيعاب طبيعتك البشرية المجبولة على الخطايا .. يحدث أحياناً أن تنتزعك الشدائد من نفسك انتزاعاً ، تفقد على إثرها القدرة على المواصلة و تغدو سقيماً في أعماقك، كافراً بكل النعم المحيطة بك ، لكن حياتك قد تنقلب إثر صدفة ، مجرد صدفة تلقي في طريقك حباً عظيماً و تسامحاً أعظم ، صدفة تهبك الراحة التي تنشد حتى لو ظننت في داخلك أنك لا تستحقها .. كل ما يتوجب عليك وقتها أن تفتح نوافذ قلبك للشمس و أن توطّن روحك لاستقبال المحبة ، فبالرغم من كل ما حدث ، أنت إنسان من حقك أن تحب و من حقك أن تكون محبوباً .. ببساطة ، هي رواية مناسبة لمن يبحث عن الاختلاف ..

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stacia (the 2010 club)

    Oh, if she could only be Eve again, a new creature in Paradise. Before the Fall. 3.5 stars. I had a full review typed out and accidentally closed my window without saving. Take 2 will have a couple of thoughts (and a very awesome quote) missing. Michael and Sarah/Angel are destined to be together. Michael's prayers have led him to Angel, and when he sees her, he knows that she is the one he has been praying for. However, Michael is having a hard time convincing Angel of this. For Angel is a pr Oh, if she could only be Eve again, a new creature in Paradise. Before the Fall. 3.5 stars. I had a full review typed out and accidentally closed my window without saving. Take 2 will have a couple of thoughts (and a very awesome quote) missing. Michael and Sarah/Angel are destined to be together. Michael's prayers have led him to Angel, and when he sees her, he knows that she is the one he has been praying for. However, Michael is having a hard time convincing Angel of this. For Angel is a prostitute - a woman who knows nothing of love. She was raised to be an object for men. No man has ever shown her love or respect, which makes Angel wary of Michael's good intentions. Even though I ended up with the less-descriptive version of this story (the intimate scenes were cut back), I didn't mind the lack of sex. What I did mind was the way that the editing was done, in such a manner that I felt like there were pieces missing from the overall connection between the couple. If I'd had the original copy, I'm sure this would be a solid 4 star (or higher) book for me. Will non-inspirational readers like this book? I think in many cases, yes. The message was more about patience and perseverance than anything. Michael had to wait years for his beloved Sarah (Angel) to let him into her heart. Fans of stories such as Love Comes Softly will appreciate the love and effort put forth from Michael in his wait for Sarah. "You and I are not an accident." If I had to nit-pick anything, I would say that I was not a fan of the excessive inner dialogue. I was fine with God speaking to Michael and Sarah, but adding in the "dark" voice only made for a dueling-banjos (or classic cartoon with the devil and angel on each shoulder) effect. I feel like the story would have had more impact if there had been a few moments of quiet prodding from God, vs. the "we hear everything from everyone" thing going on here. It got a little noisy in the characters heads with the question and answer sessions. The best part of this story was going on the entire journey with Michael and Sarah, from start to finish. The love might have been inspired, but getting the Happy-Ever-After was no easy feat. This is 1850's Gold-Rush California, where the times are hard and you have to work to carve out a life for yourself. I love frontier and pioneer stories, and getting to see how people survived in these times. I rooted for these characters and empathized with their struggles. It made the love story that much sweeter. An extra bonus was seeing the lives of friends and people close to the main characters achieve their own happy-ever-afters. Paul and Miriam's story was lovely (and a great tribute to Boaz and Ruth, one of my favorite Bible stories). All in all, I came away from this read content and inspired. I would love to take in something else from this author at another point in time.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ivan

    DNF @ page 50 I was supposed to read this to page 200 as punishment for lost bet but I'm gonna be dishonorable scum and just bail out of it because I just can't go on with this. This book is probably good if you are into this kind of stuff but religious romance about redeeming love for anti-romantic, cynical atheist like me was just torture.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Misfit

    Sarah was the by-product of an affair between her mother and a wealthy married man - a father who was only interested in his mistress and wants nothing to do with his child. He eventually dumps them, and cut off from funds and family let's just say that life on the docks isn't easy. When she's left on her own, Sarah is sold to a pedophile and eventually into prostitution. The main focus of the story begins years later as Sarah (now called Angel) is most highly sought after prostitute in the Cali Sarah was the by-product of an affair between her mother and a wealthy married man - a father who was only interested in his mistress and wants nothing to do with his child. He eventually dumps them, and cut off from funds and family let's just say that life on the docks isn't easy. When she's left on her own, Sarah is sold to a pedophile and eventually into prostitution. The main focus of the story begins years later as Sarah (now called Angel) is most highly sought after prostitute in the California gold rush town of Pair-of-Dice. Farmer Michael Hosea is in town for supplies and he spots Angel as she's taking a well-guarded stroll through town and God in his mysterious ways tells Michael that Angel is *the one* and he's set on marrying her despite the odds against him. Angel's not only a valuable commodity to the house she works for, but the life she's been forced to lead comes with some serious emotional baggage - does Michael have enough faith and love for both of them? Yes. He. Does. But it's a seriously long road with plenty of ups and downs. Despite wanting to have to smack Angel a few times I thoroughly enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. River's story is based on the Book of Hosea, and while this is Christian fiction (a genre I don't normally read), I didn't find it overly preachy at all. My only quibble is with the epilogue, just skip it and let the story end where it should have. Oh, and have the tissue box handy for the ending, you'll need it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay - Traveling Sister

    Read this years ago and realized I hadn't rated it. Such a beautiful story!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Leighton

    I feel like my heart has just been put through the wringer. Wow. There are two versions of Redeeming Love: the original 1991 version, and the 1997 version that was sanitized to remove the coarse language and (very) mild love scenes to make it fit for the Inspirational market. I bought the original 1991 version, but even with it being the original, the story still has a strong religious bent, and the love scenes are not explicit but more implied. To be honest, I put off reading this for a very lo I feel like my heart has just been put through the wringer. Wow. There are two versions of Redeeming Love: the original 1991 version, and the 1997 version that was sanitized to remove the coarse language and (very) mild love scenes to make it fit for the Inspirational market. I bought the original 1991 version, but even with it being the original, the story still has a strong religious bent, and the love scenes are not explicit but more implied. To be honest, I put off reading this for a very long time, thinking I wouldn’t enjoy it as I don’t normally read Inspirational. You have only to browse my bookshelves to know I prefer books with a bit more...spice. ;-) But after reading a friend’s review, and learning about the 1991 version, I became interested enough to click buy. I have to say, I’m so glad I took a chance on this one! It’s such a beautiful, angst-filled, heart-wrenching love story, and I know it will stay in my memory for a very long time. Angel has known nothing but a life of pain from the day she was born. At a very young age, she was sold into prostitution, and from that point on, lives through unspeakable horrors, at times barely surviving and often asking herself why. “Why was I even born?" is a question that often goes through her mind, and after reading about the unspeakable things and situations she's forced into time and time again, I honestly couldn’t blame her. Enter Michael Hosea. From the moment Michael sees the beautiful golden-haired angel walking by, he knows she’s the one. The one that would be his wife. How is he so certain? God tells him so. Michael is a man of faith, and his faith is what carries him through during the duration of this story and his heartbreaking relationship with Angel. And it’s his faith and steadfastness through betrayal after betrayal and hurt after hurt that finally shows Angel that he’s unlike all of the other men she’s known before him. He doesn’t want to use her, hurt her, or take advantage of her…he only wants to love her, and have her love him back. Having never known the true love of any man, it takes Angel a very long time to believe Michael’s love is real, and even longer for her to feel she’s worthy of it. Redeeming Love is a deeply emotional roller coaster. Just when you think it can’t get any worse...it does. Be prepared for some hard-core angst. Be prepared to cry. But in the end, my tears of pain turned to tears of joy as Michael and Angel walked through fire and came out strong on the other side.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Verity

    My 1st Xtian romance & may be my last. Nothing wrong w/ the writing, just not my cuppa. I was raised a baptized & confirmed Catholic who went to Catholic schools, but turned into a semi-atheist (plz don't cast rocks @ me). I still don't feel like converting after reading this book. The romance is above par & told in a smooth style, but I didn't buy the message the author tried to convey & it took some adjustment to see the words 'God' & whatnot popping up way too liberally. I My 1st Xtian romance & may be my last. Nothing wrong w/ the writing, just not my cuppa. I was raised a baptized & confirmed Catholic who went to Catholic schools, but turned into a semi-atheist (plz don't cast rocks @ me). I still don't feel like converting after reading this book. The romance is above par & told in a smooth style, but I didn't buy the message the author tried to convey & it took some adjustment to see the words 'God' & whatnot popping up way too liberally. I thought the hero deserved a wake-up call to ditch the heroine. He's too saintly & his heart must've been the size of an ocean to have accepted the runaway heroine again & again. I could see why the ending was deemed touching & moving but I expected so much more. Oh yeah I've never liked books that don't know when to stop @ HEA, it ruins the romance when I read epilogues where H/H perish @ certain age after a long, blissful matrimony w/ a boatload of children & grandkids. Why not leave it @ how they finally meet again & get their HEA ? Spare me the morbid ending.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    I can safely say that I should have never started this book. I have heard about this book for ages. It pops up from time to time on friends' feeds, and with over 70,000 Goodreads ratings and over 1,600 Amazon ratings, I'd say it is a pretty popular book. When I saw this come up on NetGalley, I was hesitant to give this a try. However, the Kindle book costs $9.99, so I figured this was my only shot to see what all the fuss was about. I asked a few GR friends if they thought that this book was app I can safely say that I should have never started this book. I have heard about this book for ages. It pops up from time to time on friends' feeds, and with over 70,000 Goodreads ratings and over 1,600 Amazon ratings, I'd say it is a pretty popular book. When I saw this come up on NetGalley, I was hesitant to give this a try. However, the Kindle book costs $9.99, so I figured this was my only shot to see what all the fuss was about. I asked a few GR friends if they thought that this book was appropriate for someone who isn't Christian or religious, and they all said yes, that it was more of an uplifting love story than anything else. I have to respectfully say that they were wrong. This book is very heavy on the religious themes. There is a case of insta-love (as dictated by Jesus) and God saving a woman from a life of despair and prostitution. The theme of the story is based on the Book of Hosea from the Bible, where God told the prophet, Hosea to marry a prostitute. "Go marry a prostitute and have children with her." I can see how people who have a religious background and like the idea of Jesus leading them to their soul-mate would love this book. It is a love and God conquers all type of story. However, religious content aside, this book is just not my speed. The beginning of this book is actually very sad and depressing. It features child abuse and neglect, all of which I dislike reading about. Also, technically speaking, I wasn't too impressed with the writing style. It often dove into the realm of "cheesy" and "eye-roll-inducing". Besides, the insta-love is annoying in any setting. I won't do a long, picky review of this book. I didn't finish it and I'm not rating it because I recognize that I am not the target audience for this story. Despite what people might say, this is 100% a Christian book and should be read only by those that enjoy religious fiction. I'm glad that many of my friends have loved this one but this certainly isn't for me. **Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

  25. 5 out of 5

    Crista

    Redemption. This is a story about redemption. I am not a person who is ever at a loss for words. It doesn't happen. Yet as I sit at my computer, wanting to write this review so badly, I am at a loss for words. The beauty and lasting impression this novel makes on the reader is hard to put into words. After reading Redeeming Love, I am emotionally exhausted. I have cried many tears, been angry, hurt, and horrified at the atrocities in this story, and yet have this silly grin on my face when I thin Redemption. This is a story about redemption. I am not a person who is ever at a loss for words. It doesn't happen. Yet as I sit at my computer, wanting to write this review so badly, I am at a loss for words. The beauty and lasting impression this novel makes on the reader is hard to put into words. After reading Redeeming Love, I am emotionally exhausted. I have cried many tears, been angry, hurt, and horrified at the atrocities in this story, and yet have this silly grin on my face when I think about the hope this novel gives, and the truth of God's love and devotion to all. I can not go into all the details of this book, but I can say it's about a little girl who was robbed of her innocence at a very young age. This little girl becomes a beautiful woman who has had to harden her heart in order to deal with her life as a prostitute. She is covered in shame. An innocent victim of life's cruelty. she has never known real love from any man....until Michael Hosea. Michael Hosea chooses to love this woman. Knowing everything about her...he sees her worth and inward beauty. He pursues her. Even when she betrays him and refuses to accept the free gift of his love...he pursues her. It is in his endless pursuit that we witness a commitment and love so strong it can only come from above. This is not an easy read. It is an emotional and spiritual journey through the deep waters of abuse, neglect, and shame. There are definite spiritual themes though out, as Angel seeks to find peace, not only within herself, but also with God. God's love and devotion to her are apparent as He uses believers around her to show her love, forgiveness, mercy, and ultimately freedom. There are not many books out there like this. I believe it is inspired. A 5 star rating is simply not high enough.

  26. 4 out of 5

    KatLynne

    5+++ Stars An amazing and unforgettable love story that touched my heart deeply. I do not own the words that would do this book justice in a review. I highly recommend this to everyone. Angel lost her innocence and hope as a young child. At only eight years old, she is sold to a man who rapes her and then forces her into a life of prostitution. Now, a young beautiful woman, she is full of bitterness and has little or no self-worth. There is no hope left in her soul. Her tragedy is heart breaking, 5+++ Stars An amazing and unforgettable love story that touched my heart deeply. I do not own the words that would do this book justice in a review. I highly recommend this to everyone. Angel lost her innocence and hope as a young child. At only eight years old, she is sold to a man who rapes her and then forces her into a life of prostitution. Now, a young beautiful woman, she is full of bitterness and has little or no self-worth. There is no hope left in her soul. Her tragedy is heart breaking, bleak and her despair is palpable. I found myself crying buckets. Michael, a handsome, young farmer with a great faith in God, offers her a new life. He wants to marry her, cherish her and show her the true meaning of love. Knowing her past doesn't deter him at all. His love, compassion and tenderness are all remarkable things to witness. An intense, emotional story of faith, hope and unconditional love. The author's incredible talent will keep you captivated. This book retells the story of Hosea and Gomer from the Bible. It's not at all preachy and one of best loves stories I've ever read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    StMargarets

    This is a Christian Inspirational Historical romance - a genre I rarely seek out. Thanks to some enthusiastic reviews, I decided to take the plunge. I read the 1997 version that is posted at Open Library and I was moved by it, but I didn't understand why I could sigh and say "how romantic." Then I read some of the reviews here and I learned there is a 1991 version that has more explicit and/or sensual love scenes between the two protagonists (it's all fade to black in this version) and it has ro This is a Christian Inspirational Historical romance - a genre I rarely seek out. Thanks to some enthusiastic reviews, I decided to take the plunge. I read the 1997 version that is posted at Open Library and I was moved by it, but I didn't understand why I could sigh and say "how romantic." Then I read some of the reviews here and I learned there is a 1991 version that has more explicit and/or sensual love scenes between the two protagonists (it's all fade to black in this version) and it has rougher language, etc. . . That might be why I felt like something was being held back from this version and why I couldn't give it an unequivocal five stars - there was a pinch of salt missing at some really emotional moments. I'm really sorry that Francine Rivers felt that she had to tone things down to appeal to a different market (Can't we read about explicit religion and explicit sex in the same book? - it's part of the human condition.), but I'm glad I read this story. Parts of it our sublime. I can't remember where I read the definition of sublime that explains it in terms of beauty that is so powerful it shatters our perceptions of reality, but it's the one I'll use here. This is that kind of sublime love - romantic and spiritual - Francine Rivers is exploring in this story. She based the story of Angel and Michael on an Old Testament story about a man who is told by God to marry a prostitute. This marriage was quite rocky, with the new bride returning to her old life many times and the husband seeking her out and forgiving her. With that kind of material, you're going to have a rollicking, dramatic story on your hands. Angel - Mara - Amanda - and finally Sarah (names are important in this story) is treated like garbage (almost had to quit after the chapter where she is sold into prostitution at age 8) and doesn't understand the love or life Michael tries to give her. She runs out on him several times, but he never stops loving her - even though he has to pray without ceasing to have the patience and wisdom to deal with her. We are treated to multiple points of view, so we have Michael's pained prayers, and Angel's anger and confusion and hurt, and Paul's jealousy and self-righteousness. I really liked these imperfect Christians questioning everything and praying with a rawness that felt familiar to anyone who has had a dark night of the soul. Sublime and very much appreciated. No easy answers here, folks - just time (via the narrative) unfolding so that God's will came shining through for the characters and the readers. Five stars for the religious content. I'm glad I read it on a Sunday - better than any sermon. It was the romance that was missing - and the beautiful sex scenes that *showed* what the characters had to *tell* the readers - that sex between a husband and wife is beautiful and pleasing to God. I wanted to see that sublime sex - the shattering of Angel's reality - rather than being told about it. As it stands, because of prudishness or skittishness on the part of the publishers, the emphasis is still on the perverse and "dirty" sex that hurt Angel, her mother, and the other women in the brothel, rather than the love between Angel and her husband. Four stars for their romance. So four and half stars for a compelling read. There is a lot of beauty in this story and a lot of darkness. Lots of triggers - especially if child exploitation and sexual abuse gives you nightmares. (Or God talk). But there is healing, too and the story ends happily, rest assured.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    This book is incredibly romantic, in that it is a story about a powerful love that brings about happiness in the lives of the couple. It is less romantic in that it is also the story about a couple who must deal with a damaged past, and a damaged soul, and the pain and destruction that that damage can still inflict. It is not the story of an easy love. It is also a story about God's plan. Most Christian books are about people who are Christians. The main characters mostly do good things. This bo This book is incredibly romantic, in that it is a story about a powerful love that brings about happiness in the lives of the couple. It is less romantic in that it is also the story about a couple who must deal with a damaged past, and a damaged soul, and the pain and destruction that that damage can still inflict. It is not the story of an easy love. It is also a story about God's plan. Most Christian books are about people who are Christians. The main characters mostly do good things. This book, as with many of Francine Rivers's books, is about characters who actually trust God and rely on God, not only in words, but in their actions. All in all, an incredible read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    ESRAA MOHAMED

    الرواية من الأدب الديني المسيحي ومعتمدة اعتمادا كليا علي ذلك في توضيح أهمية الدين للوصول إلي بر الأمان .. جسد واحد بحيوات عديدة بائسة ... سارة الفتاة البريئة ... انجل الفتاة المُغتصبة ثم بائعة الهوي ... أماندا أو ترصة زوجة الفلاح ... لتعود في النهاية إلي سارة الرقيقة زوجة المحبوب مايكل .. فتاة نبذتها الحياة وكل ما ومن فيها بدءا من أبيها عشيق أمها مرورا بصديق أمها ومواجهتها لحياة الساقطات في كل مدينة حتي نبذت هي نفسها وأصبحت تحمل أوزارها في كل مكان .. بنت سورا عاليا حول قلبها فهي لا تستحق الحياة منذ الرواية من الأدب الديني المسيحي ومعتمدة اعتمادا كليا علي ذلك في توضيح أهمية الدين للوصول إلي بر الأمان .. جسد واحد بحيوات عديدة بائسة ... سارة الفتاة البريئة ... انجل الفتاة المُغتصبة ثم بائعة الهوي ... أماندا أو ترصة زوجة الفلاح ... لتعود في النهاية إلي سارة الرقيقة زوجة المحبوب مايكل .. فتاة نبذتها الحياة وكل ما ومن فيها بدءا من أبيها عشيق أمها مرورا بصديق أمها ومواجهتها لحياة الساقطات في كل مدينة حتي نبذت هي نفسها وأصبحت تحمل أوزارها في كل مكان .. بنت سورا عاليا حول قلبها فهي لا تستحق الحياة منذ البداية لذلك لا تؤمن بشي ولا بأحد .. كره ويأس وعدم إيمان ... استغلال وعنف واستنكار ... حب غير مشروط وغفران وتسامح ... غضب ومقاومة ورفض للحياة ... تعاني سارة من كل هذا وهي لم تصل إلي العشرين بعد فقد عاشت أعمار كاملة منذ عمر الثمان سنوات ... ولكنها وصلت أخيرا إلي شاطيء الأمان بين يدي حبيبها مايكل من أنار قلبها للحقيقة والنور ، من رسم لها طريق الخلاص ... استمتعوا ... دمتم قراء ❤❤❤

  30. 5 out of 5

    Angela DeSilva

    Such a great book!

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