Risking Love by Brenda Anderson is a beautiful contemporary Christian romance. It is the first book in the Where The Heart Is series and I loved it.
I always love Brenda Anderson’s novels. They are beautifully written with God at the centre. Risking Love is an intricate love story with very realistic and likable characters. The battles and struggles they face are easy to empathise with. They tug at the readers heart. Lissa is a wonderful leading lady – full of character traits that just spoke to my soul. I could see myself in her as I too am risk adverse. Caleb was the perfect leading man – rugged, good looking, adventurous and kind. The supporting characters of Haven, Abigail and two year old Aimee were all perfect in their roles. Brenda Anderson had delightfully captured a two year old in Aimee with her speech and mannerisms.
There was a triangular love affair which reminded me of Wuthering Heights where Cathy has to choose between her heart for Heathcliffe and her head for Edgar Linton. Risking Love also has a head/heart choice to make.
The novel deals with the theme of plans. Lissa wrote her lists and had her life all mapped out. “God’s path for her life written in a tidy package. Step by step rules for assured happiness.” Lissa was running her life according to her plans which will not necessarily bring happiness. Would she ever be prepared for God to interrupt her life with His perfect plans?
Risking Love deals with the theme of loss. Caleb’s wife died (before the novel opened) and he is still clinging to her memory. “You clutch Janette so tightly to your heart that her memory cannot breathe.” In his grief he is obsessed with the past. For him the past was perfect but he needs to learn to live again and move out of his memories and into his future.
There is the theme of addictions. “Addictions… seduce you with comfort, then jail you.” Addictions come in various forms – food, alcohol, cigarettes – once cravings take a hold, a downward spiral begins. There may be guilt that drags you down. Actions may happen in secret, you feel ashamed. One needs to admit the addiction and seek help from others to beat it.
Words spoken over our lives can trap us. “Forcing down accusing words: stupid, weak, unlovable.” They may be words others have spoken over us or we may have spoken the words over ourselves. They are a lie from the enemy. We need to hear God’s words over us – beloved, beautiful, brave. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.
God is an important presence in the book. Faith in Him can help us through horrendous circumstances. “I’ve been tested and I’ve questioned, but I’ve never stopped believing.” No matter what life throws at us, God will walk alongside us.
Linked in to faith in God is the need for believers to meet corporately together in church. “God doesn’t care where you meet, but that you get together.” Church is important in that we can both worship God and meet with others who can help us in our walk with Him.
Sometimes in life we need to play it safe. Sometimes we need to take a risk, step out and learn to fly. Brenda Anderson explores these twin topics within Risking Love. Playing it safe may keep you safe but is it really living life to the full as God intended?
There are the twin themes of hurt and forgiveness. Lissa has been hurt in the past. “He didn’t love her enough to change his lifestyle for her.” This hurt has ruled her life. Lissa needs to forgive and move forwards into her future. She needs to step out from the shadows of the past.
Oh wow, I really enjoyed Risking Love. It was a wonderful story with loads of godly themes, lovable characters and a fabulous storyline. Brenda Anderson always delivers a cracking story. I cannot wait for book two.
Give yourself a treat and buy Risking Love today.
I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.
Thank you, Julia, for your very gracious review! I just got home from a very long car drive, and finding your review really made my day!
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