First Chapter Review: The Way of Grace by Cathy Bryant
The first chapter of The Way of Grace, a contemporary Christian romantic suspense novel with a touch of mystery, was submitted by author Cathy Bryant. This appears to be the third book in her Miller's Creek series, but they are stand-alone novels featuring different characters, though some seem to be recurring.
BLURB: In pursuit of justice, in need of grace . . . A justice-seeking perfectionist pursues her dream of a perfect life in her hometown of Miller's Creek, Texas. Sidetracked by her desire to be a prosecuting attorney, Grace Soldano launches into uncharted waters, making herself over to please her boss and mentor. Then a disheveled free spirit turns her perfectly ordered world upside down, challenging the concept of personal goodness. A fall from perfection leaves her teetering between vengeance and grace, caught in a deadly crossfire that leaves her dreams in a heap of ashes. Can she learn to joyfully accept the life God has given her--far from perfect--but one completely immersed in His grace?
COVER: Soft. comforting, beautiful. I love this cover. It's not necessarily the picture I made in my mind of Miller's Creek based upon the first chapter's setting, but the soothing color scheme and the lovely woman definitely catch your attention.
FIRST CHAPTER: Grace awakens to a nightmare that has plagued her since her mother's death. Perhaps it has something to do with being back in Miller's Creek. Now a full-fledged attorney, she is eager, yet anxious, about her first day at Tyler, Dent, and Snodgrass.
Papa isn't afraid to express his displeasure of her career choice, but Grace is determined to stick to her life plan. She unexpectedly runs into a man from her past, a man who knows her so well it bothers her. But Matt is not part of her life plan, so he's off-limits.
KEEP READING: Definitely. There is a lot of conflict moving this story forward in the first chapter. Grace's recurring nightmare, Papa's disapproval of her becoming an attorney, and her mysterious past with Matt, all blend together to ramp up the tension. You're eager to see how all this conflict unfolds.
What Bryant also did well is to place her novel squarely in its genre: Christian fiction. Without being preachy, you quickly learn that Grace's faith is an important part of her life.
I mentioned the setting in the cover section, but I also want to make note of it here. The reader's first glimpse of Miller's Creek in this novel is filled with restored century old buildings and a historical town square decorated for the holidays. Part of me wishes that was on the cover of this book, but I am a sucker for holiday novels (bought one today just because I liked the cover art), so I'm reserving final judgement to see how the image on the cover plays into the plot of the novel.
If the rest of the book is as strong as the first chapter, I'm sure I'll enjoy it.