Earlier this year, I read my first-ever MaryLu Tyndall book when she released the first book in her new series, Forsaken Dreams. I loved it so much, I could hardly wait for the second book, which released this month.
And Elusive Hope doesn’t disappoint. (I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for my review.)
In it, Tyndall continues the story of the post-Civil War Southerners who are looking to start a new colony in Brazil. Forsaken Dreams told the story of their sea voyage and the relationship between the ship’s captain, Blake, and Southern widow Eliza. Book 2 turns the lens toward Hayden, a con man looking for the father who abandoned his family, and Magnolia, the spoiled daughter of a wealthy couple who is miserable and wants to go home.
The book started a bit slow for me and I wondered if Elusive Hope would be conform to the pattern I’ve often seen in a trilogy where the second book is weak and just a placeholder of sorts between the beginning and the end.
I’m happy to say that Elusive Hope does much better than that. I don’t know how the author does it, but she blends romance, adventure, and spiritual truth in a way that is challenging, interesting and entertaining.
When I read Forsaken Dreams, I compared it to Gone with the Wind, only with the setting on a ship. That was meant to be a compliment. Elusive Hope reminded me of some of my favorite scenes from that ’80s movie Romancing the Stone with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. I loved that movie, and when Hayden and Magnolia are navigating the jungles of Brazil, I pictured scenes from the movie.
I like that Tyndall’s books remind me of other works I like without feeling like they are carbon copies of those works with a slightly Christian perspective. Tyndall’s characters undergo significant trials and overcome major obstacles on their way to faith. She pulls no punches in her belief that there is a battle of good and evil taking place here and now. Both books so far in the Escape to Paradise series have had elements of spiritual warfare. Elusive Hope’s plot builds on that theme, and without giving anything away, leaves us with a lot of questions yet to be answered in book three.
I, for one, can’t wait to see how this ends.
Tyndall doesn’t write your “typical” Christian fiction, and I don’t mean to knock anyone’s favorite author, but her books are worth the read because they are different in a good way.
You can learn more about MaryLu Tyndall here, and you can find her books at major online retailers.
And check out this hauntingly beautiful book trailer. If I hadn’t already wanted to read the book, the trailer would have sold me on it.