The Marine

A Goodwater Ranch Suspense Romance

Christian - Romance - Contemporary
290 Pages
Reviewed on 01/01/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Delene Vrey for Readers' Favorite

Ophelia Day is practicing her mayoral debate speech when she meets Chase Bondurant – the owner of Bondurant Construction. For Ophelia, winning the election will be the pinnacle of her career in Goodwater Ranch, a small city in Texas. Over the past ten years, she has built a life for herself that she never thought she would achieve. The Goodwater women's shelter is her passion, giving down-and-out women opportunities for a new beginning and a meaningful life. Chase settled in Goodwater Ranch, successfully building his construction business. When he meets Ophelia, he has no idea of the drama he is about to be drawn into. He is caught off guard by Ophelia and the past that has caught up with her on the eve of the election. Will Chase run away, or will he allow Ophelia to help him deal with his personal issues while he protects her in her time of need? The Marine: A Goodwater Ranch Suspense Romance by Amanda Lewis is the third in the Goodwater Ranch series.

The Marine by Amanda Lewis is a romance with Christian themes. It is refreshing to read any romance in which the characters have self-restraint and values, and they can sit and converse and deal with trust issues before acting on their mutual attraction. This book series shows that it is possible to write emotionally charged stories without compromising values and beliefs to make them sell. Lewis has written a suspenseful story that reflects growth in the characters, emotionally and spiritually, without any Bible bashing. She interweaves belief and faith in Christ into the plot so that it feels natural and right. May we see more of these stories that reflect the values that Christians live by and want to read about.

Edith Wairimu

The Marine: A Goodwater Ranch Suspense Romance by Amanda Lewis is a soul-stirring novel about facing the past and finding healing. Despite her traumatic past, Ophelia Day emerged stronger, intent on moving forward and giving back. She is running for mayor of Goodwater Ranch and if she is elected she is hoping to offer a haven for abused women and children in the town. However, the past she thought she had left behind comes flooding back into her life after she receives a disturbing note. Determined to forget his former life, Chase Bondurant moved from his hometown and established a business in Goodwater Ranch. Despite their brief acquaintance, Chase drops everything for her when she comes to him for help. Together, can they face and overcome the past?

Amanda Lewis skilfully crafts a realistic story with an optimistic ending in The Marine. I enjoyed the light-hearted conversations the characters shared. Lewis also injects humor into other scenes involving Ophelia and Chase which balances the more difficult, moving scenes. Victims of abuse will be uplifted by Ophelia’s story of healing and not letting her past define her. Readers will also find inspiration in Chase’s moving story which involves facing trauma and working toward recovery. Other characters are nuanced with backgrounds that add depth to them. I appreciated that the story is standalone and enjoyed the many hair-raising scenes as well as its captivating ending. This is a contemporary romance that contains profound lessons of faith and portrays love's ability to heal beautifully. It is witty, intricate, and immersive. Highly recommended.

Maria Victoria Beltran

The Marine: A Goodwater Ranch Suspense Romance by Amanda Lewis is a contemporary Christian romance novel about two people who find love most unexpectedly. Trying to escape from his past, Chase Bondurant rebuilds his life by moving to Goodwater Ranch and keeping himself busy with running a construction company. Ophelia Day, on the other hand, is the beautiful mayoral candidate whose platform is to make Goodwater Ranch a haven for abused and neglected women and children. After a chance meeting, they form a friendship when Ophelia’s painful past catches up with her. What follows is a series of suspenseful events that brings them together and forces them to confront their painful memories. Can they build a future together?

The Marine by Amanda Lewis is an inspiring story that explores emotional healing and the benefits of putting the past behind you. Painful life experiences do not stop Chase and Ophelia from rebuilding their lives. The love story that develops here in the context of a life-and-death or potential crime situation is interesting. The author’s beautiful descriptive literary style makes it easy to relate to the characters of the main protagonists, although I would like to get to know Chase Bondurant a bit more. Most of the characters in the story are likable, especially the inhabitants of Goodwater Ranch. The action moves at a medium pace at the beginning. It increases toward the end, enhancing the element of suspense in the storyline.