Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book Review & Giveaway: Thunder & Rain by Charles Martin #thunder&rain

Thunder and Rain by Charles Martin
Publisher: Center Street
Publish Date: April 3, 2012
Hardcover, 368 pages
Fiction, General Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Christian
 ISBN: 9781455503988

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
My Review:
I just finished Thunder and Rain and I just don't see where you can ask any more from a book than what this one gives you. Thunder and Rain is amazing, it has great characters, an interesting plot and a heart that makes the reader very involved in the novel.  Once I really got into the book (which was about 30 pages in) I found it very hard to put down.  In fact I think I only put it down to hear my 6-year-old read his homework to me and when I finally conked myself in the head with my Kindle because I fell asleep (again I take a sleeping pill so the book did not put me to sleep).

So what impressed me the most?  I would have to go with the characters.  Tyler Steele is everything I want in a man yet he is flawed, mainly in the way he sees himself.  I must admit here I am lucky, I have my own Tyler Steele (no he's not a rancher, cowboy or Texas Ranger, but he is chivalrous and wonderful).  I love how Mr. Martin develops Tyler a little at a time before our eyes as we read.   The book is mainly from Tyler's point-of-view, but through flashbacks and memories we find out what has happened in the past to make him into the man he is today.  The other point-of-view in the story is Hope's journal which she writes to God.  This is the only Christian element in the book and since it's written by a child it's brutally honest.  She questions God when things are bad and then apologizes, then questions again.  I love her for this.  I think we are all afraid of doing this but truthfully God doesn't mind.  Hope's journal is a wonderful addition to the book.  Seeing everything from the eyes of a 10-year-old who's a little old for her years, but still has a certain innocence about her lends a very interesting perspective to the book.  Then there is Brodie, Tyler's son.  He's everything a tween dealing with divorce and loss should be yet more mature too.  As I mentioned I loved him.  He has a lot of his Dad in him and it shows in the story.  Finally as far as main characters go, there is Sam.  I wasn't sure what to think of Sam at first, but I grew to love her as well.  She is very well-written and becomes a great character and just what Tyler needs.  It's very interesting to watch the two of them together.  Tight, buttoned-up Tyler with easy-going, slightly skittish Sam.  Sparks are sure to fly, but will they know what to do with them?

Plot is equally important and while the characters are the main thing that move this novel along, there are several plot lines that also move the story along.  I found them to be interesting and while they would fade in and out while the characters took center stage, they were always there and you as the reader knew something would happen with them.  Those plot lines gave the novel the air of suspense and kept you guessing through the book.  I found the book to be well-paced and as I mentioned before, it was very hard to put down.

I don't know whether to call this general fiction, romance, suspense or just a mixture of all of the above, but whatever you want to call it, it's a wonderful book.  Mr. Martin put a lot of heart and soul into this book to make believable and likable characters that truly come alive before your eyes.  I felt I was right alongside all of them in west Texas.  Felt I knew what it was like to live with a Texas Ranger.  I also remembered what it felt like to be a 10-year-old girl.  Thunder and Rain is well-worth your reading time.  It's heartfelt, it will get your heart-thumping at times and just plain amazing to read.  I almost wish I could go back again and read it for the first time.  But for now I will be happy remembering Tyler, Sam, Brodie and Hope over the coming months and I am sure when I think of them I will smile.

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

About the Book:
Third generation Texas Ranger Tyler Steele is the last of a dying breed-- a modern day cowboy hero living in a world that doesn't quite understand his powerful sense of right and wrong and instinct to defend those who can't defend themselves. Despite his strong moral compass, Ty has trouble seeing his greatest weakness. His hard outer shell, the one essential to his work, made him incapable of forging the emotional connection his wife Andie so desperately needed.

Now retired, rasing their son Brodie on his own, and at risk of losing his ranch, Ty does not know how to rebuild from the rubble of his life. The answer comes in the form of Samantha and her daughter Hope, on the run from a seemingly inescapable situation. They are in danger, desperate, and alone. Though they are strangers, Ty knows he can help-- protecting the innocent is what he does best. As his relationship with Sam and Hope unfolds, Ty realizes he must confront his true weaknesses if he wants to become the man he needs to be

About the Author (from Goodreads.com): 
I grew up in Jacksonville, FL, on the St. John’s river. Somewhat of a Huck Finn childhood. Most afternoons were spent mullet fishing, canoeing, pegging cars with overripe tangerines—it really got fun when the red tail lights lit and the reverse gears ground metal on metal, or the backyard Superbowl which we replayed most everyday. Through high school, football was my life. School was the avenue that allowed me to play. I walked on at Georgia Tech in 1999 and played one year under Bobby Ross—until I got hurt, cracking a vertebrae in my back and they carried me off. Transferred to Florida State and tried to become a student. Eventually landed in the English department after escaping Accounting with a “D.” I was delighted. After graduation, I moved to Atlanta and started waiting tables at Houston’s Restaurant so I could save up money to buy a ring. Christy and I married in 1993, we drove to Virginia Beach, where she put me through Grad school. When I wasn’t in class, I worked the morning preload for Ma Brown (UPS). Went to work at 2 or 3 am, and clocked out about 9 am. Didn’t get much sleep for almost 3 years. In 1997 we got pregnant with Charlie and returned to Jacksonville—so our kids could grow up around our families. When not a single educational institution in Jacksonville would hire me (including my alma mater, Bolles High School), my brother-in-law had mercy on me and gave me a job selling insurance. Two years passed and to make a real long story short, a Fortune 500 company offered me a V.P.’s position with a six figure salary, six figure signing bonus, etc. I turned them down, resigned from the insurance agency, began pressure washing, building docks etc., and began trying to sell my novel—what is now The Dead Don’t Dance. That was eight years ago.




The publisher, Center Street, is giving away one copy of Thunder and Rain to one winner in the US/Canada, no PO boxes.  They will be mailing straight to the winner.  Enter using the Rafflecopter below.  Nothing is required of you except hitting the enter button on the free entry.  Thank you to Sarah Reck for allowing me to host this great giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FTC Information: I received this book from the the publisher, Center Street for an honest review.  I do make money from purchases made at The Book Depository and B&N.com, but all money is used to fund giveaways and shipping for giveaways from the blog.


Carl said...

I think it's the multiple plot lines that interest me. I get bored when books only have one main storyline. Thanks!

misskallie2000 said...

I love stories about Texas Rangers and this one sounds like a great suspense/romantic book. I also like second chances and Tyler is given his.

The links to FB on entry form are not working.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Shannon said...

First of all, great review! Wow.

Secondly, I am intrigued by this book because of the second chance of a person who has it all together but is still missing something. I kind of hope one day that might sink in for me ;-)

James Victoria said...

Beautiful story.
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Helen said...

the characters

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