Book Review—The Chapel Car Bride, by: Judith Miller****

ISBN 9780764219054

Ms. Miller’s Christian romance begins slowly due to back story and a late introduction of the hero, but reading about Hope, the chapel car minister’s daughter and Luke, a miner who is training to become a minister was an entertaining treat. Their pre-ordained commitment to each other is complicated by the son, Kirby, of the owner of the mine where Luke works. Kirby has been relegated to the West Virginia hills by his mine owner father as punishment for his distasteful habits. Unfortunately, those habits accompany Kirby when he takes over supervision of the mine. As delightful as this love story is to read, I must admit I loved the author’s villain. Kirby, a master at manipulation, avoidance, a polished liar, total narcissist and cruel when he doesn’t get his way pulls the reader into the story better than any magnet. You find yourself reading almost more so to see Kirby get his lumps than the lovers finally uniting. It’s a romance. We’re guaranteed a happy ending for the hero and heroine. But I really wanted something truly vile to fall out of the sky and crush Kirby. Through all the diabolical roadblocks the villain threw at them Luke and Hope put their trust in God and never lost their faith. A good example for all of us who read this charming story about love, not only falling in love but also loving thy neighbor. One other odd story structure element I noticed, an important character to the outcome of the story, Luke’s dog Blue, isn’t introduced into the story until page 219. Even though the character is a dog, with such an important role in the outcome of the story, his existence should have been foreshadowed earlier in the book. Ms. Miller’s bio indicates she lives in Topeka, KS, but she describes West Virginia like she summers there every year. If she’s never laid eyes on West Virginia I must praise her power of description.