Jonathon Danforth has checked out of life. Stinging from an unimaginable loss, he has withdrawn from life, wanting only to live out his existence with as little interference as possible. However, when his sister talks him into auditing an English Literature class at the local community college, he reluctantly accepts the invitation to abandon his lonely apartment. Intent upon making an appearance for his sister’s sake and then disappearing for his own, Jonathon sulks into class. But when he meets Elizabeth Forester, the professor, Jonathon learns there is more to life and to love than he ever could have imagined.
“Staci Stallings’ books are Christian romance at its best!”
IF YOU BELIEVED IN LOVE is a fascinating mix of literature and faith. A Contemporary Christian romance, the novel explores life, love, death, and redemption. It will surely find its way into your romance novels and inspirational books collections.
*~* EXCERPT *~*
“Turn to Appearances, page 31.” Without more than a second’s time, she continued without reading her book. “And so you found that poor room dull,/Dark, hardly to your taste, my dear?/Its features seemed unbeautiful;/But this I know—‘twas there, not here,/You plighted troth to me, the word/Which—ask that poor room how it heard.
“And this rich room obtains your praise/Unqualified—so bright, so fair,/So all whereat perfection stays?/Aye, but remember—here, not there,/The other word was spoken!—Ask/This rich room how you dropped the mask!
“Browning uses the metaphor of a house again in this one, a structure of some kind with different rooms. And what’s the story with this house?”
“The guy likes one room but not the other.”
Quiet depth filled her eyes. “Why?” She turned, and her gaze caught a raised hand. “Mr. Hansen?”
“Because in one room he was trying to be something he wasn’t, and in the other, he dropped the mask.”
“And the first room, where he was wearing the mask was…?”
“Unbeautiful,” Susana said. “Dull and dark.”
Ms. Forester seemed lost in the thought. “And the second room? What was it like?”
“Unqualified,” someone down front said, “so bright, so fair.”
“He’s saying the same thing in both poems, is he not?” She turned on the toe of her boot and gazed at the whole of her students. “Be who you are. Drop the mask. Be brave enough to show the world, and far from losing yourself and being criticized like a finite clod, you may be immortalized like Shakespeare, or at the very least, the room you’re standing in might just seem a little brighter than the one where you were before.” Her attention jumped up to the clock. “Oh, look at the time. Be sure to read the last selections for Thursday’s class. See you then.”
It was like snapping awake from a dream and not being at all able to shake it. Jonathon stood as the others did as well. His mind spun trying to think of something, some reason that could keep him here with her for one more minute. He checked his things, gathering them slowly, watching her down front the whole time. One of the other students stepped up to her, and she bent to listen. What could he ask her? What question would be good enough to go to the front?