Last week, I read a great new LDS fiction novel called Sadie by Rebecca Belliston. I wasn't the first in my household to read it,though - my daughter snagged it off my nightstand and had it entirely read before I even realized it was gone. She really loved it, and she has pretty good taste in books, so I figured I'd enjoy it as well. I was right. (But I usually am right. Just so you know.)
Sadie works at a ski resort and is being courted by the owner - a handsome, enigmatic man named Guillermo who has given her things she could only have imagined: fabulous parties, expensive jewelry, introductions to some of the most exclusive celebrities and other powerful people. She's living a Cinderella life, and best of all, she's found someone who really loves her. He is everything she's ever wanted - but he happens to be wanted as well. By the FBI.
When agents contact Sadie and ask her if she'll spy for them, she refuses. She can't believe Guillermo would be involved in anything illegal. But when he finds out the FBI has spoken to her, his anger gets out of control. He strikes her, and she must get away from his rage. Racing out into the snow, she has no idea where to go. She stumbles across a pick-up truck and climbs inside, trying to get warm after running so long in thin shoes and with no coat.
Four young men are in the mountains for a ski holiday, and they discover a very ill girl in their truck. They take her inside and bundle her up, wondering who she is and how she came to be on their land. When she wakes up, they are disturbed to hear her story, and encourage her to call the police. But Sadie hasn't decided yet whose side she's on, and as her friendship with these four men grows, she becomes even more confused.
My thoughts: I really enjoyed the story. The personalities of the four friends are fresh and alive, and it's fun to watch them banter with each other. They form a protective shield for Sadie without even knowing who she is, and this shows them to be the good guys they are, even though a little rough around the edges. There is some romance thrown into the mix as well - only one of the guys is married, and the other three take turns flirting with Sadie. Only one of them catches her eye as well, and I have to say, he was my favorite character. He was stalwart, strong, and a real gentleman, and it was easy to root for him throughout the book.
One thing I especially liked - this wasn't a conversion story. Sadie isn't LDS, and the love interest (yes, I'm keeping his name a secret, so you'll have to find out who it is as you read the book) is LDS. He worries that he'll be turning his back on his religion if he falls in love with Sadie, but his mother points out that he hasn't given her a chance to decide if she's interested in the Church - he's just assuming she won't be. The question isn't resolved by the end of the book, but is left open for the reader to decide. It was nice to read a story where the nonmember is given the chance to come to the gospel on their own terms, rather than a story where the character has to be baptized before a romance is possible. Life has so many variables, and it was nice to see the story handled in this way.
If you would like to purchase Sadie, you can click here, or to learn more about Rebecca Belliston, click here.
FTC: I received this book in exchange for my review, and was not compensated in any other way. Nor was I chased out into the snow until I promised to review it.