I can remember my first day of school. I can remember my first kiss, my first time having frozen yogurt, and the first movie my family went to a theater to watch together. It was E.T., by the way.
Some things stick with you through the years. Others leave you with only the impression they made. Over the next few weeks, I want to share some first books with you. These are books I clearly remember as being my firsts for various reasons. Most of them are older books, but you should still be able to find them. I’d encourage it, because they are well worth it.
I have a confession to make. I tend to steer clear of suspense. I get creeped out way too easily. But I think today’s author began writing romantic Christian suspense before it was a standard genre in the Christian fiction world. And while each of her books have a little mystery in them or a little danger, today’s series held more than I was used to from her. At least, it read as more suspenseful to me, a bit creepier. And so, I include it as my first Christian romantic suspense.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to find a copy of the Egypt trilogy by Linda Chaikin. The series’ World War I backdrop of battles and intrigue are enough to add action and suspense, but the author weaves a deadly who-done-it throughout the three stories. We’re left questioning the motives of characters we think are true. We fear for the safety of the characters we love.
Arabian Winds begins the series with Nurse Allison Wescott serving on a medical mission boat in Egypt. Her life is full of promise, as she’s engaged to a man who is working to serve as a chaplain in Oswald Chambers’s camp. When war breaks out during her holiday, Allison becomes part of a mystery surrounding two dead bodies and Brett Holden, a British officer determined to interrogate her. But there are also sparks, and Allison is faced with more choices for her life than she ever imagined.
Allison’s story continues in Lions of the Desert. World War I has begun, and Allison has moved from serving on the medical mission boat to tending wounded soldiers on the front lines. When Brett Holden reappears, Allison is unprepared for his return. However, the two find themselves in the middle of murder, and Allison has to figure out who she can trust before it’s too late.
The series ends with Valiant Hearts. With Brett in hot water with his superiors, Allison wants to trust him and his motives. But there are too many secrets and a treasure map that promises to bring its owner great riches. Before she can figure out whether Brett has “gone bad”, they’re thrown into danger from a deadly German spy who wants what everyone says Brett has. With Allison caught in the middle, her life is at risk if they can’t unmask the spy and find out the truth about Brett.
I’ve read this series many times since it came out in 1997. It gives me just enough mystery to make me want to read it with the lights one without making me want to sleep with them on too! And while there are clues throughout the stories, the author does a great job of keeping the reader off balance just enough to keep the ending a surprise.
I hope you enjoy this first as much as I have. Do you remember your first Christian romantic suspense? Have you read this series?