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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Foolish Games by Karen Wiesner

Foolish Games by Karen Wiesner
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Falling in love will take letting go of their fears. That, or a miracle…

Nuggets of faith can be passed down as family heirlooms from parent to child, sibling to sibling, spouse to spouse.

Family Heirloom, Book Three – Healing

A year after he lost his beloved wife, Peter Samuels still struggles with overwhelming grief. As the sole caretaker of growing children, the first anniversary of her death hits especially hard as he faces the world without a partner.

There is only one man for Kimberly Wolfe. Her boss, Peter. But he’s taken. First, by a marriage she envied from afar. Now by his grief. However, she’s used to the idea that happily-ever-after may never happen, not with a childhood haunted by a domineering father who used the Bible to justify his God-given place as the head of their household. A father who still refuses to repent for the wrong he’s done. Kim has tried, but forgiveness comes hard when trust is in short supply.

An innocent kiss on New Year’s leads to a growing awareness—of each other, and of the gaping holes in their lives that only love can fill. But before they can take the first steps on the road to healing, first they have to build a bridge…

Wiesner introduces ‘Foolish Games’ through Peter’s certainly melancholy eyes. Still, the setting she creates of a picturesque Wisconsin winter is near-poetic. The scenery is a wonderfully evocative parallel to our main character’s emotions. His heart is largely dwelling in the past.

Kimberly, his dear friend, is just that – a friend first and foremost. They do mean something special to one another, and in many ways, it is lovely that their relationship and future decisions, are based on their value of that friendship.

Wiesner introduces both characters, and the challenges before them, in a clear and straightforward manner. Her refreshing approach carries throughout the work. There are no contrived intrigues or insinuated disloyal acts, no trumped up troubles. This tale is the story of two people who share already, a wonderful level of friendship and understanding. They have doubts to deal with, past hurts, and obvious other issues to cope with. Neither have spent their lives in a bubble-wrap: each have certain haunting issues to overcome, and more. Their faith and concepts of what is both right and good, for each of them, also present them with challenges throughout the work.

Wiesner delicately explores some of the physical levels of emotion as well. The impact of a hug is never so well presented as here:

“Embrace. Peter’s memory of holding Kimberly—wrapped in his suit jacket—on his parents’ porch collided with his dream, bringing him back to abrupt consciousness. Darkness, quiet…emptiness greeted him. He closed his eyes tight again, memories of the dream he’d been so recently immersed in…”

We are made to feel the touch itself, as well as the tangle of emotion that accompanies it. This thorough exploration of the senses brings us closely into the work.

The clarity of being able to see the concerns of each, directly, makes the work all that much more evocative. Multiple points of view here are never confusing, but at times our insight seems a tad inconsistent. However, the writing style always is warm and clear. This book is both plausible and unpredictable, pleasant and affirming. Fans of the inspirational romance should put this on their must-read list.