The camp had come alive. The fire burned brightly, casting an eerie red glow into the sky… Andi ducked back into the shadows. A heartbeat later, powerful arms encircled Andi from behind. “Chica, you will live to regret this.” *
Courageous Love is a heart-thumping tale of escapades and adventures in San Joaquin Valley, California, 1885. Written by Susan K. Marlow and published in 2017 by Kregel Publications, this historical fiction story-fourth in the Andrea Carter Milestones series- will not disappoint long-time fans, and is an excellent introduction to the adventures of the Circle C ranch and its high-spirited family.
Andrea Carter-know by most as “Andi”-is a lively, 16-year-old ranch girl. She helps her older brothers run the Circle C ranch, and when she isn’t roping cattle or training horses, she learns trick riding with the help of young horse wrangler Riley Prescott. One day, when coming back from a training session, Andi and Riley come across a cut in the wire fence surrounding heathy black Angus cattle. When nothing seems to be wrong with the cattle, Riley and Andi mend the fence and leave; not knowing that someone had poisoned the cattle’s drinking water. Later, when they find a note- that was wrapped around a brick responsible for breaking a window during a party-telling them about the poison, they realize that cattle may be the least of their problems. Someone is out for revenge against the Carter family; someone who will do anything to ensure pain and sorrow in their midst.
Added to all these larger problems is Andi’s own personal one; her feelings for Riley. He has grown from merely being her friend to something else-something she is not sure she wants him to be. When her world changes dramatically overnight, she must reconcile herself and trust that God has a plan for her-with or without Riley.
Susan K. Marlow is an excellent author; she uses a medium amount of details and description and her dialogue is very good. The story flowed fairly quickly; there was an occasional slow spot at the beginning, but it quickened near the middle and kept it up until its conclusion. Courageous Love is an easy to medium read.
I would definitely recommend this book for girls-and even boys- ages 13+. There is some romance, as well as a few mature themes, but it has Godly morals and is written very well. 4 out of 5 stars.
God forgive me. I did what I had to do, but I hope I never have to do it again. *
*Excerpt taken from Chapter 24 pg. 175 of Courageous Love, written by Susan K. Marlow and published by Kregel Publications, 2017
**Excerpt taken from Chapter 25 pg. 126 of Courageous Love, written by Susan K. Marlow and published by Kregel Publications, 2017