About the Book
Author: Kathleen J. Robison
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense
Release date: June 15, 2021
When they told her about Southern hospitality, no one mentioned human trafficking.
The move to Bay Town, Mississippi was supposed to be a fresh start for single-mom Melanie and her daughter, Lacy. The quiet Southern town offers a nice relief after the frenetic-paced life of Los Angeles, but something sinister lurks beneath the surface.
Her bridal business struggles to take off, and instead of turning to the Lord, Melanie makes a desperate plea for help–from her ex-husband. Lacey is attacked, and while she is hospitalized, her friend goes missing—a victim of human trafficking out of New Orleans.
With her ex-husband showing true signs of repentance, the pastor she’d begun to fall for is taking a step back, and her daughter’s friend lost to the animals who stole her, Melanie goes on a desperate, dangerous mission to rescue the girl and get their lives back.
And she’ll do it with or without the Lord’s help.
How can Melanie find the girls and rescue them without getting caught herself? Why can’t she trust the Lord to keep them all safe, and which man in her life is the right one–if either?
Read this heart-gripping, pulse-racing novel and see how the Lord’s hand is on us, even when He seems so very far away.
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This is a good novel exploring the paralyzing nature of guilt. It is not until we understand and accept God's forgiveness and the guilt is shattered that we can truly live the life God has for us. Robison shows that well in the person of Melanie. She was caught up in guilt from past actions but finally found freedom, though her journey was slow and bumpy.
The plot revolves around the evil of human trafficking. Robison has done a good job of showing us how dangerous it can be to attempt a rescue of those caught in the horrible web. It's a hard subject to write about. Robison has provided us with main characters struggling in their brokenness, even as they try to help those in need. We also see how, with the encouragement of others and the work of God, that brokenness can be healed.
I thought Melanie's change in financial situation a bit unrealistic and too easy. Also, I didn't like it when Melanie went against the Chief of Police's order to stay in town and, of course, suspense followed. Other than those issues, this is a good novel highlighting the effects of guilt and the serious nature of human trafficking.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author
Tackling difficult life’s trials with God’s strength are the central theme of Kathleen’s stories. She hopes to inspire her readers to trust God and with His strength, weather through and rise above trials and tragedies. If you like suspenseful stories with a thread of romance, you will enjoy Kathleen’s Bay Town Series!
More from Kathleen
Guilt comes from within. Shame comes from without ~ Voddie Bouchman
I homeschooled my eight children, and they all attended a conservative Christian university. My husband is a pastor. So, when I started writing Shattered Guilt, the running joke in the family was, “Mom wrote a book, and it has no bad language, no sex, and no graphic violence, but it’s about human trafficking.” And they were right, but God gave me the words to depict a passionate stance against sin, a pure romance, and horrific tragedy…hopefully, all without offending my readers.
The story begins with Melanie. A delightful single mom and her teenage daughter living in a charming little town on the gulf coast of Mississippi. I love their relationship and their faith, but Melanie’s past mistakes linger in the back of her mind, and she somehow thinks herself not worthy. The theme of guilt runs throughout this book in both the lives of those trafficked and those not. When young girls are targeted for human trafficking, Melanie lays aside the self-imposed shame of her past and fights to save those who will suffer far worse feelings of guilt and shame, for which they had no control.
My heart breaks for those whose lives are paralyzed by their pasts. While writing Shattered Guilt, I didn’t realize the connection between Melanie’s shame and the victims of trafficking. The latter suffer guilt and shame through no fault of their own. Yet, all of us carry baggage; if it’s something that needs forgiveness and confession, and we’ve done that, it’s a done deal. We shouldn’t let the past paralyze us from living a life of fullness in Christ. Melanie and even Pastor Desmond come to realize this in their lives. We need to be the best that God desires for us to be, and to be effective in His work, we must experience his love and forgiveness.
Years ago, when I was first writing the rough draft of this novel, human trafficking was finally getting recognition in the world, and the horrors of who was being trafficked were shocking. That’s what gripped my heart, and I was embarrassed that I didn’t have a clue about the scope of this morally reprehensible practice. Enslavement of human beings by another has been on this earth forever, and that’s why awareness and action are so important today. In addition, there are so many facets as to how one becomes a victim in this tragedy. I now try never to assume how someone’s life takes the path it does, but I only care that they find a way to hear God’s voice calling them. Every Christian story is about God’s love.
Although I love writing a suspense story, I love creating my characters too. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know the people of Bay Town as much as I enjoyed writing about them. I look forward to sharing more about these endearing characters and the trials they face. Please come back and visit the charming community of Bay Town in the continuing series.
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I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)