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Love Me If You Must by Nicole Young

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Review of Love Me If You Must

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Love Me If You Must
by Nicole Young

Reviewed by Darcie Gudger

"Nicole Young's plot grows twistier than gnarled pines atop a windy mountain ridges as the pages fly by ... On par with Collins, Kingsbury and Coble."

Patricia “Tish” Amble bought a fixer-upper Victorian in the small town of Rawlings Michigan with the hopes of launching her career as a real estate flipper. Despite the charming character of the home, it required significant upgrades and renovation. Ghosts from the past came with the house. Unfortunate for Tish, they weren’t mentioned on the closing papers.

Before she could crack open a can of flat latex, Tish found herself in the middle of the affections of her two handsome neighbors. David Ramsey, a suave British computer expert matched the prince charming of her dreams, while hunky Brad Walters had one not so minor disqualification: he was a police officer.

Lurking in the primitive basement is an old stone cistern. The cistern was used for catching rainwater in the days prior to indoor plumbing. With dreams of a modern, spacious TV room, Tish and her contractors try to figure out what to do about the unsightly cistern. Tish takes a closer look inside the big pile of rocks. Her flashlight beam bounces over the outline of what she believes to be a body encased in cement.

Nicole Young’s plot grows twistier than gnarled pines atop a windy mountain ridge as the pages fly by. Surprises hide in the shadows of every corner and skeletons abound in many closets. Some people will take any measure to make sure the dead remain undisturbed – including Tish!

I absolutely loved this book. The writing is so seamless, I felt as if I were part of the story. Young is such a master of 1st person point of view, I questioned my own identity! Was I Darcie or was I Tish? While my nose was buried in Love Me if You Must I believed I was Tish. All five senses were engaged, and the hairs on my neck tired from standing so tall for so long. Parallel story lines create near-perfect pacing. Hours sped by, chores went undone and I was in true reader’s bliss.

Nicole Young writes to a broad audience. Any mystery lover, secular or Christian would glue themselves to this book. Brad Walter’s faith is real, yet gentle. He acts upon what he believes rather than spending pages trying to convince Tish of her need for Jesus as some characters tend to do in other books. I appreciate the fact Tish doesn’t pray the sinner’s prayer at the end. Her spiritual journey is unresolved leaving her intriguing character open for subsequent installments.

Nicole Young is on par with Collins, Kingsbury and Coble. A house-flipping heroine is a fresh idea in this age of “Trading Spaces” and “Flip That House”.

Darcie Gudger is a freelance writer currently working on a young adult novel while trying to solve all the mysteries of motherhood with her adopted son, Kyle. In her spare time, she coaches the 2A Colorado State Champion Sheridan High School colorguard, judged equipment for the Rocky Mountain Colorguard Association and sings for the Bear Valley church choir and worship team. An adventure-seeker who lives and writes in the shadow of the Rocky mountains, Darcie loves hiking, camping, cycling, photography and keeping her husband guessing. Visit Darcie online at her blog, Joy in the Litterbox.