Friday, November 7, 2014

Sugar's Faith - Book #4 in the Sugar series - by Katie Mettner

When Sugar's Dance released three years ago today it was a story about faith, hope and love. Three years and three books later I ask the question in Sugar's Faith, "Faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is....?". I used to think it was love, but after journeying with Sugar through these four books I know for sure the verse should read, "Hope, love and faith, but the greatest of these is hope and faith, for without them there can be no love." It doesn't have a great flow to it, so I'm pretty sure it won't catch on. You see, Sugar has taught me that without hope there is no love, and without faith there is neither hope nor love. After spending three years of my life with Sugar I can tell you without a doubt in my mind I wouldn't be the person I am today without her. Sugar will always be part of me and I hope after you've read her story, she will remain in your heart for years to come.   

Oh, look, an antique store.” She pointed and I held the door for her. We stepped inside and I waved at the clerk behind the old wooden counter.
“Donovan Walsh! Howya?” She called, coming around the counter.
I had to look twice, but then recognized her. “Hello, Aileen. It’s been a long, long time. Howya? Are you still with Darcy?” I asked, giving her a short hug.
She looked a bit sheepish, but nodded. “We’ve been married for almost fourteen years now and have two little ones.”
“I guess it was meant to be then. Aileen, this is my wife, Tula.” I introduced them and Tula shook her hand.
“It’s nice to meet one of Van’s friends from his childhood. You have a lovely shop here.” Tula said motioning around and Aileen glowed.
“Thank you. It’s my pride and joy. Take your time and look around. Let me know if you have any questions.” She said, heading back to the counter to answer the ringing phone.
Tula turned and raised a brow at me before pulling me behind a tall dresser. “I need a sweater.”
“Are you cold?” I asked surprised.
“Yeah, it got chilly in here when your eyes met hers. What’s the story?” She asked, hand on hip.
I kissed her, just a short peck, and then looked around the tall set of drawers before answering. “That’s the girl who decided to go to the beach with the captain of the football team, rather than my grandmother’s funeral.”
Her eyes got wide and she put her hand over her mouth. “Oh, I’m sorry. Let’s go.” She said taking my hand, but I kept my feet planted.
“No, we don’t have to leave. She has no consequence in my life, Tula. If anything, she did me a favor. If I had stayed with her, look what I would have missed out on.” I said, kissing her longer this time and convincing her tongue to play a little.
Finally she broke away and snickered a little. “If you’re sure, because I would love to look around. I want to bring some things back for everyone. Something that would mean something to them, you know what I mean?”
I nodded. “I understand. Lillie and I did the same thing when we came over, but we only picked up things for ourselves. We didn’t have anyone else to think about then. It’s probably a good thing we have our own plane this time.” I winked and she clapped her hands.
“Oh I forgot. That’s right, we can buy whatever we want. Come on.” She grabbed my hand and we searched through all the nooks and crannies in the store. Tula stopped in front of a small basket and picked up a handkerchief.
“What’s this, Van?” She asked, turning to me with it in her hand.
“Oh, darling, it would be you that would find these.” I took it from her hand and held it in my open palm. “These are Irish handkerchiefs. Watch.” I laid it down on the table and pulled the ribbon, tying it in a bow and then putting my fist inside, turning it so she understood.
“It’s a baby bonnet.” She sighed and I nodded, transforming it back to a handkerchief.
“It’s a tradition to give a new mother a handkerchief like this when she’s expecting. The hat is used for the baby’s christening and then saved as a family heirloom. It’s a great tradition, luck o’ the Irish and all that.”
She took the cloth from my hand and held it to her chest. “I think we need four.” She whispered, taking time to pick out more from the basket.
“Four?” I asked. “We only need two, you and Lillie.”
She turned and had a smile on her face and tears in her eyes. “One for Lillie and me, one for Julie because I know Brent will not be their only baby, and one for Ava. She could use a little luck o’ the Irish right now.” She said her chin quivering.
When our godson Matthew was born to our friends Ava and Justin a few weeks ago he was missing his left foot. Tula felt an instant connection to him and hasn’t stopped worrying about him since.
“He’s going to be okay, sweetheart. Ava and Justin are taking him to see the specialist, and you know they won’t do anything until they talk to you.”
“I keep telling myself that, but he has a very special place in my heart. I know what he’s going to go through. I don’t want him, or Ava and Justin, to have to go through it, but I know it’s for the best.” She said, holding the handkerchief to her chest.
I pulled her into a hug, certain that the pregnancy hormones were having a firm effect on her usual, we can overcome anything, kind of attitude. “He’s got two loving parents, and Trey and Grant who are wonderful caregivers. Best of all he has you, someone he can come to when he needs to talk to someone else who understands. If you ask me, he’s an incredibly lucky little boy.” I took the handkerchiefs from her and laid the one for Matthew on the top. “But, I think Ava would love to have this beautiful gift.”
“Me too.” She finally said and I rubbed her back as she got herself back under control. “What was her name?” She asked pointing to the front desk.
“Aileen.” I answered and she approached the desk, the handkerchiefs in her hands.
“You have a beautiful shop, Aileen. I was wondering, do you have any lace? I need some to make crib bedding with.” She explained and Aileen’s eyes grew in size while my wife rubbed her tummy. I fought to keep a straight face, which wasn’t easy.
“Congratulations.” She choked out, “But no, I don’t. Kyna might have some at her quilting shop, if you want to stop in.”
Tula smiled brightly and laid the handkerchiefs on the counter. “Thank you, we’ll head there next. I’ll take these for now.”
I stood there, rocking on my heels and grinning. God, don’t ever let her change. She is mine and she is wonderful, I prayed.
She took the bag off the counter and waved to Aileen, joining me where I stood holding the door open. I slipped my arm around her waist, “You’re naughty.” I whispered in her ear. “And I love it.”

My Review:

When Katie Mettner writes a series, each book is easily a stand alone as well. She never leaves anything untied or unfinished. However, Katie leaves a trail of bread crumbs that hint there may be more to come. When I found out she was writing a fourth book in the series, I wondered what she could possibly put Tula "Sugar" and Donovan "Van" Walsh through, that she hadn't already done. Trust me, she puts her characters through a ton of stuff.

I eagerly began to read Sugar's Faith and was drawn into the love and chaos that is unique to Sugar and Van.

There are so many things I want to say about what happens in this story, but I fear I'll give too much away. Katie puts Van through the ringer with the pains of his past. In doing so, Sugar goes through the ringer too. There were times when their world was crashing down around them and I wondered if their love would survive. I wanted to take Van and give him a good shake; to tell him he's messing things up. The author has a knack for drawing raw emotion from her characters, and from her readers. I was on the brink of tears a few times. Of course, there are some fun scenes to break up the angst.

Katie effectively breathed life into Sugar who is an amputee, because she's literally walked in Sugar's shoes as an amputee herself. The issues and struggles come through crystal clear and Katie courageously shared another reality, other than physical and mental, that amputees have to deal with: devotees. You will have to read the book to understand what and who they are. I was shocked, to say the least. 

Along with the chaos and trials of strength in this story, there is a lot of joy; especially when the story comes together completely at the end. I truly feel that Sugar's Faith is Katie Mettner's best book yet. 

About The Author:

Katie Mettner grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and moved to the Northwoods where she now resides with her husband and three children. Katie writes spicy Christian romance and is the author of The Sugar series and The Northern Lights series. Her stories are a reflection of her love for family, intricately woven with life experience. When the gales of November blow early you can find her at the computer with a cup of joe working on her next adventure.

Find all of Katie's books on Amazon!

Follow Katie:
Twitter: @KatieMettner
Google+: Google +

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for hosting Sugar today, Jan! i loved the review and I agree that this was probably the most hard fought book I ever published. I love how you love me, Sugar, and Van all the way to beginning of faith :)