Two teenagers’ love blossoms despite their different beliefs in this Christian romance novel.
Watson (Trevor’s Treasures, 2010) returns with another tale of young love. Teens Zach and Ruth meet while Zach volunteers at an archaeological dig in Israel; Ruth is there with her parents, who are leading the dig. They begin their relationship as friends, but after Zach saves Ruth from a potential rape, they form an undeniable connection. Zach returns to the States, but keeps in touch with Ruth by phone, and they eventually decide to marry. There’s one major problem, however: Ruth is a devout Christian and Zach is a committed atheist. The disparity eventually proves to be too much for Ruth to bear, and she breaks off the engagement. Zach and Ruth drift separately and despondently for a while, but when he goes back to Israel to attend school, fate thrusts them back together. Watson writes perceptively about these characters, and their conflict feels genuine. Fans of the genre will find a lot to like here; as in the best romances, the two main characters seem absolutely meant to be together, and they manage to find each other despite the things that separate them. However, when the story strays from its core romance, it loses some of its charm; for example, an overlong description of a family vacation in the middle of the novel feels more like the author’s personal indulgence than an integral part of the story. But the novel eventually rights its course and features a dramatic climax that ultimately seals Zach and Ruth’s love for each other. Christian-romance aficionados will root for these characters and find the ending, although predictable, deeply satisfying.
An engaging story of love and faith.