Borrowed Light - Borrowed Light, Bk 1 Author:Carla Kelly Julia Darling never expected to cook for some cowboys in Wyoming, but when she breaks off her engagement in Salt Lake City, it s the perfect opportunity for her to escape. Determined to stick the job out, Julia faces her biggest challenge yet letting go of borrowed light to find her own testimony. Set in the early 1900s, this is one romantic adv... more »enture you ll never forget!« less
I love Carla Kelly books, and immediately ordered this one when it appeared on Amazon. I overlooked the unfamiliar publisher. I enjoyed the story. Kelly's characters in all her romances are human. In some ways strong, and in others ways growing. This book is no different, however the struggles are personal and the growth occurs in the souls of the hero and heroine. This book has a strong religious bent. It is aimed at an LDS reading public, and includes references to Mormon readings and traditions. Get past that and the story is one of growth in true Carla Kelly tradition.
I have only read a couple of Carla Kelly's books before Borrowed Light. I like her writing. I like her characters. I like the situations she puts the characters in. I really love the dialog between the Hero and Heroine. I loved the city vs. homesteading challenges the Heroine faced.
I don't have the same reaction to the LDS slant of this book. I don't find it any more heavy on the religious content than the other Christian romances I have read. I am a little surprised that other readers feel that it is any more pushy than the Amish or other sects Bible quoting that we read. I have been enjoying all the Christian or religious romances I read.
I think that the main theme that gives the book its title was quite beautiful: don't base your beliefs or faith in your God on anyone else's. You must find your own 'light'. All of us need to find faith for ourselves. Our husband or wife or brother or sister or mother or father cannot be the source of that faith. It must come from a sure place within each of us.
I do understand that some folks will not want to read anymore of the LDS books that Kelly writes, but I am a Catholic girl that welcomes them. She is a great writer.
This was a very sweet Christian read with a Mormon twist! Kelly has become a beloved author through her mainstream romances so this, her switch to inspirational, will either be a delight or disappointment depending on ones point of view.
Her easy, engaging style, lovable, believable characters and down to earth warmth are wonderfully present in this Western romance. The character of Julia Darling is a graduate of Fannie Farmer's school of cooking in Boston and prides herself in being able to cook culinary masterpieces, so when she accepts a job cooking for a large ranch full of men in Wyoming, one can imagine the plethora of predicaments she gets herself into while trying to heighten the cowhand's palettes. Her relationship to Mr. Otto, her employer is absolutely dear. In fact this whole book reads like a warm fuzzy on a cold night.
If there are drawbacks it would be in two areas. First, Kelly's attempt at incorporating everyday "Mormonism" into the storyline seems somewhat clumsy in the beginning, almost as if Ms. Kelly is trying a little too hard. It does level out as the book progresses and develops into a more subtle yet integral part of the development. Second, with a "sweet" romance, (NO sexual graphics whatsoever) the emotions of the relationship become paramount to the believability of the romance. When we finally work up to that first kiss, we really want to know how it felt! What was it like? Unfortunately here, there was litle more than a mention, then on to cooking dinner.
Still, for a wonderfully clean, delightfully engaging, sweet romance, "Borrowed Light" goes to the top of the list!
Carla Kelly fans shouldn't be put off by the negative reviews of this story. It's a wonderful story and it just happens that the heroine, Julia Darling, is a Mormon. Kelly writes all the characters so wonderfully. In my opinion, the Bible scripture and the Book of Mormon scripture are just a minor sub-theme in this whole story; not overbearing or intimidating to me at all. And I'm not Mormon. I'm sure that I won't stop reading her stories because she now has an LDS publisher. Personally, though, I preferred her London Regency settings as opposed to Historical Western locales.
Laura T. reviewed Borrowed Light (Borrowed Light, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
It will not be easy to write this review because I have always loved author Carla Kelly. At first, I thought I would enjoy this one as much as I did The Admiral's Penniless Bride--which I read two or three months ago and gave high marks.
The first third of the book was very interesting with a strong, promising story line. Had the story remained in that style, I would have probably given this book at least 4 stars, maybe even 5. Unfortunately, it did not.
I'm a Christian and admire an author for incorporating that into a story when it is important to the premise. (For example, The Outsider by Penelope Williamson is on my Keeper Shelf and the conflict between H/h mainly involves her religious beliefs.)
However, sometime after the mid-point, this story and dialogue become very LDS to the point that it was offensive to me. Too much Mormon doctrine and quoting from their scriptures--even characters declaring they finally understand how the LDS religion is the "right" way and all the others just don't get it.
Sadly, I will probably never read another "new" Carla Kelly book if this is her new style and subject. Thankfully, she has many older books we can read and enjoy.
RATING: The beginning and premise of this book were not strong enough to overcome the Mormon sledgehammer that is the second half. I gave this book 1 STAR.