This week I’m reading No Safe Havenby Kimberley and Kayla R. Woodhouse. This mother and daughter team was featured on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” when their house was remade for the show and have an interesting personal connection to the story. Kayla has a nerve disorder which prevents her from feeling pain until it gets into the extreme ranges. One of the characters in their book suffers from such an ailment and since they are stranded on an Alaskan Mountain through a plane crash, this proves to be a problem. I enjoyed the Alaskan setting and all of the neat survival skills that the characters had to use to stay alive in the extreme cold. I found the info about the character’s nerve disorder fascinating. I loved learning some native Alaskan words and learning how to build a snow cave. I really wanted to fall in love with this book since it is written by the friend of a friend and was a gift. And it is true that I fell in love with the setting and situation. Very exciting. But the story does fall prey to a difficulty that I keep encountering in CBA fiction, not always, but often enough for me to note a trend. I couldn’t make myself believe the character development. The Mom and little girl fall in love with their handsome rescuer…but I’m not sure why. Why is the daughter feeling guilty for comparing this guy to her dad? I’ve not fallen in love with him, why has she? Why is the mom fighting her romantic attraction? I’m not attracted to him, why is she? And their faith development suffers in similar ways. What did I learn from my reading this week…someway, somehow, I’ve got to make the reader love and hate and like the proper people in my story. I’ve got to elicit powerful emotions from perfect strangers for people who don’t even exist. How…I don’t know, it is a lot harder than you think. Believe me, I’ve tried. But I will keep on trying and perhaps someday…success. And so will Kimberley and Kayla Woodhouse, their next book is about a dog sled race in Alaska. Sure to be a challenge for a girl with this particular nerve disorder.