Friday, October 29, 2010

Review: Emily's Chance

Emily's Chance (The Callahan's of Texas series - Book 2) by Sharon Gillenwater

Publication Date: October 2010
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group/Revell Books
Format: Paperback, 338 pp
Genre: Christian Fiction
ISBN-13: 9780800733544
ISBN: 0800733541

(Received for review from Revell Books)

Synopsis (Book Blurb):

Emily Rose may be in the tiny West Texas town of Callahan Crossing for the moment, but it's just a rung on her ladder to success. Her work at the Callahan Crossing Historical Museum will look good on her ever-growing resume as she attempts to break into the prestigious world of a big city museum curator. Little does she know that cowboy and contractor Chance Callahan has decided that he can convince her to stay - both with the town and with him. As he helps Emily restore the town's history after a devastating fire, can he help her uncover the value of love?


Sharon Gillenwater's second addition to the Callahan's of Texas series is filled with heartbreak, that is transformed by the healing power of love. Emily's Chance is a book that readers will find a refreshing change in Christian Fiction. I think that Western themes should have their own sub-genre under the Christian Fiction umbrella. Gillenwater's book has a western theme, but with a unique main character.

Emily Denny is a woman on a mission. She has a goal and she knows how to get it done. The west Texas town on Callahan Crossing is just a means to an end for her. Breaking into a career as a top museum curator takes a lot of hard work and she is determined to show her parents that she can do this and succeed at it. But, she didn't count on meeting Chance Callahan. Chance knew from the moment he met Emily that she was the one. The one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Now he just has to convince her of the same thing. It will disrupt her well laid plans, but perhaps God has another plan. Working together to restore what can be salvaged from a devastating fire, Chance and Emily get closer even as she pulls away. Can Emily let herself get close to Chance and run the risk of losing her dream?

I enjoyed this book. Sharon Gillenwater has a unique gift of creating characters that unexpected and different. Emily wants to be a museum curator, not the career I generally expect to find in a Christian Fiction selection with a western theme. I was pleasantly surprised at how normal that choice seemed in this novel. I really liked the aspect of Emily and Chance working to try to piece together the history of the town. I have always been a history fan and this sat really well with me.

One of the underlying themes of the book was restoration and how a person's heart can be restored just as the history of the town was. Another theme was how sometimes our best laid plans are not what ends up happening. I can think of many times in my own life when I thought I had it all figured out. How could God not be in this situation when it was something I'm sure he would have liked? Sometimes you just aren't where you need to be when you need to be there and something has to happen to get you back on track. I believe Emily thought she was working toward a goal that God would want her to complete, but it wasn't what he had in mind for her. I think it's amazing how God works and this book is a clear reflection of that idea.

Available October 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of the Baker Publishing Group.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Sharon Gillenwater was born and raised in West Texas and loves to write about her native state. The author of several novels, including Jenna's Cowboy, she is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. When she's not writing she and her husband enjoy spending time with their son, daughter-in-law, and adorable grandchildren.


Demon Hunter said...


I read a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction. Thanks for sharing this. :-D