Review: Sapphire Ice by Hallee Bridgeman
To Robin Bartlett, men were nothing more than violent users. After a hair-raising childhood, Robin and her two younger half sisters battled simply to survive. Determined to give her sisters a very different life from that of their mother; to never have to rely on a man for anything, she worked two jobs and put them both through college, while accepting help from no one. Her heart had turned to ice and she had no use for men or God.
Antonio “Tony” Viscolli had grown up on the streets, homeless. At seventeen, he entered a downtown church with the intent of casing it, but found himself on his knees at the alter. After being fostered by the youth minister, Tony followed God’s leading and eventually became a very successful and powerful businessman. In a fallen world, he was a gem.
When Tony bought the restaurant where Robin bartended, she immediately resented his intrusion into her well ordered, but exhausting, life. She suspected his offering her special attention and constant kindness was merely his way of expecting something from her in return, something she wasn’t willing to give.
Tony knew God had led him to Robin. Would she ever allow herself to trust him? Could she ever allow herself to trust God? Or would the winter of their tragic youth rise from the shadows of the past and freeze any chance at happiness?
There are very few major conflicts in Sapphire Ice. Most of the conflicts were intrapersonal. This book was a nice break from all the action-packed books I’ve been reading lately. It isn’t a cozy romance, but there isn’t much suspense or tension in the story. I didn’t mind that at all, especially when the storyline was enough to keep me intrigue.
Initially, I didn’t like Robin, but she grew on me after awhile. She has a very strong independent personality and has so many walls built around her heart. She is self-reliant and works hard to provide for her sisters. As a matter of fact, she has been taking care of her sisters ever since she was three or four years old. Being forced into a role of responsibility – mother and father to her sisters – she definitely isn’t your typical 26-year old waitress or barmaid.
“God’s design is so perfect. It humbles me when I come here. It’s a place for me to come when I start feeling a little too full of myself, a little too big man on the campus. I come here and I look at this expanse and the gloriousness of perfection and remember that it’s all about God, and it’s all about God.”
—Quote from Sapphire Ice
As for Tony, it is hard not to like him. He has a very charismatic, likeable, and godly personality. He plots his way to success and despite all his massive wealth, he puts God first in his life. He has his moment of weakness, as we see towards the end of the story, but he bounces back stronger than ever. He also comes from tough circumstances, but the trials he went through made him a stronger person.
It was interesting reading the step-by-step process of Robin’s walls being taken down by Tony. Despite the short time frame within the story, it wasn’t rushed and the process of Robin and Tony’s journey was at a “real” pace. The plot “twist” (if it could be called that) towards the end was definitely intriguing. It was unexpected. After all, the story has been going on with barely any hitches, and then the characters are suddenly thrown into a dilemma and test.
Conclusion: Although there are barely any complications Sapphire Ice, I had a fun time reading it. The clean romance was excellent and the struggles faced by the characters were touching.
Hallee Bridgeman lives with her husband and their three children in small town Kentucky. When she’s not writing Christian romance novels, she blogs about all things cooking and homemaking at Hallee the Homemaker. Hallee started writing when her oldest child and only daughter was a baby, but a busy professional career and being the wife of a deployed soldier had her shelve her books for another time. Two more children, a cross country move, and God’s perfect timing brought the books off of the shelf to be dusted off and published. Hallee loves coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. Above all else, she loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength; has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ; and relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit. Visit her website at www.bridemanfamily.com/hallee.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author through The Book Club Network review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”