Stealing the First Mate, Elnora Island, by author Tabitha Bouldin is a delightful contemporary Christian book and part of the Independence Island series. From page one I was captivated with it. I found it to be one of those unexpected blessings of a book that was much better than I had anticipated. In fact, I am hoping for a Hallmark moving for this gem.
This is the story of best buddies Darcy and Nigel. Darcy is a fabulous character. She is spunky, has a back-up plan for escaping a bad date, loves working with a dog groom, and is a dancing pirate on a pirate tourist ship. Her friend Nigel also works on the pirate ship. He is great with kids, loves his dog, and has loved Darcy for years. The two have However, he has a secret that her father knows so he is unable to pursue her.
This beautiful story has so much in it to love. The characters are realistic and well rounded. They have faults and redeeming qualities. It was easy to become invested in their lives and story. The storyline is one that I have never read before and that was refreshing. I loved the abundance of Christian and inspirational messages the author wove throughout the entire book. If I am reading a Christian novel, I want there to be a good message in it.
I love the writing style of author Bouldin. It is easy to understand and flows at an even pace. She throws a bit of humor, mystery, romance, and some surprises to keep the book captivating. Her conversations are realistic and some of my favorite parts of the book. The dialogues that characters have with God are so touching. My heart warmed when one character said “… and now I surrender it all to You.” There are other beautiful places to show understanding, hope, redemption, love, guidance, forgiveness, and patience. If you have read any other books in the series, you might recognize a few characters. It is always nice to say hello to old friends while making new ones.
I highly recommend this inspirational, sweet read. It has so many timeless lessons and presents them in a lovely fashion. A church reading group would love this. There is so much to discussion. If you are a fan of beaches, islands, Christian pirates that dance, horses, dolphins, kids, friendship, and love….then you will absolutely love Stealing the First Mate. This gets a 5 star rating from me. A copy was provided by the publisher, but these are my own, honest thoughts.