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About the Book
A nanny with a past…
Becoming a nanny was the perfect solution when Teresa Cooper needed a place to hide ten years ago, but now that she’s no longer in danger, she’s ready to move on and make a new life for herself. When Ben asks her to take the children to an unknown relative in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, she finds herself in hiding again, this time with four children in tow.
As the children explore the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula, Teresa begins to wonder about God’s plan for her future. Who is this stranger Ben trusts with his children? Why here? Can a city-bred nanny find joy in this wild corner of God’s creation?
I don’t read a lot of Mysteries or Romantic Suspense, but I am trying to broaden my reading scope. So when Baggage Claim by Cathe Swanson became available, I thought I would give it a try.
And I enjoyed reading it, and am looking forward to trying more books by Ms. Swanson and more in this particular genre.
Ben Taylor is the main character, and I will admit it took me awhile to like him. He’s not evil, or a villain, just sheltered. He found himself in a hard place early in life and his parents helped him out of it, and have continued to help him. However, it has stunted his emotional growth and at twenty-five, he seemed much younger than a widowed single father of four children should have! I’m not saying he should’ve been completely mature (I certainly wasn’t at his age) but he was naïve and couldn’t even clean the house or do laundry! But as he gets embroiled in a potential fraud case and it becomes dangerous for him and his family, he grows as a character and the place he is in at the end of the book is satisfying.
Luckily, he has Teresa Cooper, who is a nanny for Ben’s children. She initially became a nanny to hide from an abusive ex-husband who had vowed to harm her after he was released from jail. Teresa is extremely competent and handles the four children, and Ben, with skill and dedication. She’s aware of Ben’s failings and is trying to gently steer him into being more involved as a father, but she’s also tired. She is pondering what she wants out of her life once she will no longer be needed as a full-time nanny and when she is forced to go into hiding, discovers what she really wants.
Jonah Campbell is the third main character, and he’s delightful. He is an important part of Ben’s story (though I don’t want to spoil who is actually is, though we find out fairly quickly into the story) and he’s a well-rounded, competent character who handles the changes that Teresa, Ben, and his family bring to his life with grace and humor.
The book itself is well-written, with good descriptions, especially of the scenery. The characters do a lot of introspection and also a lot of talking, which is refreshing! A lot of authors rely on the characters not communicating to cause conflict, but the three main characters in Baggage Claim communicate wonderfully.
Both Teresa and Jonah are believers, and they do attend church and talk about their relationship with God, but I did not feel the Christian message overshadowed the book itself. If you like your books with an extreme focus on religion you may not like this book as well as I did.
I recommend this book to those readers who enjoy Christian mystery/suspense novels and give this book 4/5 stars for the good characters, setting, and the subtle yet sincere Christian message flowing through it.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
Guest Post from Cathe Swanson
When I was in high school, I thought I might like to become an occupational therapist. Instead, I got married, had babies, raised the children and launched them into the world. I took a few years to regroup, and then I started thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
Shortly after that, my dad had a stroke, and when he came home from the hospital, I was fascinated by the work of the visiting therapists. I did some research and learned that physical and occupational therapy assistants make pretty good money and are able to do the best part of the job – the therapy. Therapists are often bogged down in paperwork and periodic assessments. The assistant has all the fun, and it’s just a 5-semester program.
So I trotted on down to the local community college and asked what I had to do to get signed up. The counsellor talked for a while about prerequisites, petitions, waiting lists, internships, and other such things. Eventually I realized she was trying to tell me that I was too old to embark on this career. Too taken-aback to be offended, I went home and wrote a book about it instead. After all, I’d invested a lot of time in research.
I’d been writing stories for years, and already had the bones of Baggage Claim. Once I gave my young hero a job as a physical therapy assistant, the story took on life. My mother’s interest in genealogy had sparked a question: What if a nice, normal person wanted to track down their biological family and it blew up in their face? So that’s where I sent my hero, and as one of my reviewers said, “It was not a Hallmark moment.”
I’m very happy as an author and have no real interest in becoming an occupational therapist. Indeed, that rejection was a turning point for me. I could have pushed forward and got that degree, but instead I went home and wrote. I have no regrets.
March 28: Books. Books. And More Books.
March 28: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
March 29: Chas Ray’ s Book Nerd Corner
March 29: A Greater Yes
March 30: Genesis 5020
March 31: Reading Is My SuperPower
April 1: Quiet Quilter
April 2: autism mom
April 2: Avid Reader Book Reviews
April 3: Moments Dipped in Ink
April 3: Faithfully Bookish
April 4: Inklings and notions
April 5: Blossoms and Blessings
April 6: Blogging With Carol
April 7: Carpe Diem
April 7: A Baker’s Perspective
April 8: Christian Bookaholic
April 8: Karen Sue Hadley
April 9: History, Mystery and Faith
April 9: Bigreadersite
April 10: His Grace is Sufficient
April 10: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
To celebrate her tour, Cathe is giving away Grand prize themed gift box that will include:
A decorative suitcase box
Earl Grey Tea
A handmade mug rug
A pretty mug
14 handmade all-occasion cards
And a paperback copy of Baggage Claim!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b2c8
Writer/Editor. Voracious Book Reader. World Traveler. Veteran.