Sometimes in Love 2. Contemporary romance. Review copy provided by publisher. Liza's review:. Melonie Johnson returns with the second book in her Sometimes in Love series of books with Smitten by the Brit. I won't lie, I wanted Bonnie and Theo to get together from the moment they met each other. I enjoyed Smitten by the Brit a great deal. I already liked the characters from meeting them in the first book. I have to say I did feel that Bonnie was a bit naive about many things, but overall it was an endearing quality rather than a negative.
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I have to say I wanted to throat punch her ex when I saw what he had been up to, and thought Bonnie handled the entire situation way better than most. Her dad offering to kill Gabe made me laugh out loud while I was reading at work. Honestly, I liked Bonnie when we first met her, but loved her after seeing her pick herself up and move on after her well-ordered world was destroyed. Theo Wharton is not only a super sexy Brit, but an actual Duke as well!
However being the Duke of Emberton comes with many responsibilities, and sadly he normally has to put his desires on the back burner to take care of his family and all the families that depend on their estate for their livelihoods.
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However, when Theo is with Bonnie, he can just be Theo and have some happiness. She doesn't care he is a Duke and honestly was attracted to him long before she knew anything about him. I enjoyed watching Theo and Bonnie fall for one another. I do wish the story had moved along a little bit faster, as it did seem to drag at times. It was as if religious societies had become wet blankets to suppress any approach to a hearty expression of religious faith. Nevertheless, by God's grace, it all worked in this case not to crush but to infuriate and stir the new-comer to action.
Preaching, under such circumstances, was a relief to such a soul, and necessarily became more and more desperate. One hearing of William Booth was enough for Mr. Rabbits, a practical, go-ahead man, who had raised up out of the old-fashioned little business of his forefathers one of the great "stores" of London, and who longed to see the same sort of development take place in connexion with the old-fashioned, perfectly correct, and yet all but lifeless institutions that professed to represent Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world. His sense of the contrast between this preacher and others whom he knew was proportionately rapid and acute.
The effects produced on hearers were the same at every turn. This living preaching was and is a perfect fit with all the rush of the world outside, and the helplessness of the poor souls around. William Booth was, as we have seen, only seventeen when he was fully recognised as a preacher of the Gospel according to the custom of the Methodist Churches, and at nineteen his minister urged him to give up his life to the ministry.
At that time, however, he felt himself too weak physically for a ministerial career, and in this view his doctor concurred. So determined was he to accomplish his purpose, however, that he begged the doctor not to express his opinion to the minister, but to allow the matter to stand over for a year.
Unless a man with a nervous system like his was "framed like a bullock," and had "a chest like a prize-fighter," he would break down, said the physician, and seeing that he was not so built, he would be "done for" in twelve months. The doctor went to the grave very soon afterwards, whereas The General continued preaching for over sixty years after that pronouncement. At this period, some of the Wesleyans who were discontented with their leaders in London broke into revolt, and there was so much bitter feeling on both sides, that the main object of John Wesley--the exaltation of Christ for the Salvation of men--was for the moment almost lost sight of.
Booth joined with the most earnest people he could find; but though they gave him opportunity to hold Meetings, he wrote to one of his old associates I wish I knew you were happy, living to God and working for Jesus. Notwithstanding this I had liberty in both prayer and preaching. I had not any one to say 'Amen' or 'Praise the Lord' during the whole of the service. I want some of you here with me in the Prayer Meetings, and then we should carry all before us. Thus we see emerging from the obscurity of a poor home a conqueror, fired with one ambition, out of harmony with every then existing Christian organisation, because of that strange old feeling, so often expressed in the Psalms of David, that the praises of God ought to be heard from all men's lips alike, and that everything else ought to give way to His will and His pleasure.
Rabbits said to me one day: 'You must leave business, and wholly devote yourself to preaching the Gospel. Nobody wants me. I knew I should have to provide my own quarters and to pay for my cooking; and as to the living itself, I did not understand in those days how this could be managed in as cheap a fashion as I do now. After a careful calculation, I told him that I did not see how I could get along with less than twelve shillings a week. And so I packed my portmanteau, and went out to begin a new life.
After a little time spent in the search, I found quarters in the Walworth district, where I expected to work, and took two rooms in the house of a widow at five shillings a week, with attendance. This I reckoned at the time was a pretty good bargain. I then went to a furniture shop, and bought some chairs and a bed, and a few other necessaries. I felt quite set up. It was my birthday, a Good Friday, and on the same day I fell in love with my future wife.
They 'did not want a parson. There was nothing for me to do but to sell my furniture and live on the proceeds, which did not supply me for a very long time. I declare to you that at that time I was so fixed as not to know which way to turn. But after long waiting, several examinations, trial sermons and the like, I was informed that on the completion of my training I should be expected to believe and preach what is known as Calvinism.
After reading a book which fully explained the doctrine, I threw it at the wall opposite me, and said I would sooner starve than preach such doctrine, one special feature of which was that only a select few could be saved. I remember that I gave the last sixpence I had in the world to a poor woman whose daughter lay dying; but within a week I received a letter inviting me to the charge of a Methodist Circuit in Lincolnshire, and from that moment my difficulties of that kind became much less serious.
They wanted me to marry right away, offered to furnish me a house, provide me with a horse to enable me more readily to get about the country, and proposed other things that they thought would please me. Of course my horizon was much more limited in those days than it is now, and consequently required less to fill it.
In the morning I had very little liberty; but good was done, as I afterwards learned. In the afternoon we had a Prayer, or After-Meeting, at which one young woman wept bitterly. I urged her to come to the communion rail at night. She did so, and the Lord saved her. She afterwards sent me a letter thanking me for urging her to come out. In the evening I had great liberty, and fourteen men and women came to the communion rail; many, if not all, finding the Saviour. Four came forward, three of whom professed to find Salvation.
I exerted myself very much, felt very deeply, and prayed very earnestly over an old man who had been a backslider for seven years. He wept bitterly, and prayed to the Lord to save him, if He could wash a heart as black as Hell. By exerting myself so much I made myself very ill, and was confined to the house during the rest of the week.
My host and hostess were very kind to me. I had to go to Donnington, some miles away, in the morning and evening, and to Swineshead Bridge in the afternoon.
It was, indeed, a melting, moving time. Her son came to hear you at Spalding, and was induced to seek the Saviour, and now she has come to hear you, and she wants Salvation, too.
Many things seemed to be against the project; but the Lord was for us. Two people came out on the Monday evening, and God saved them both. This raised our faith and cheered our spirits, especially as we knew that several more souls were in distress.
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The news had spread that the Lord was saving, and that seldom fails to bring a crowd wherever it may be. That evening the word was with power, and six souls cried for mercy. At the earnest solicitations of the people, I decided to stay the remainder of the week, and urged them to pray earnestly, with the result that many more sought and found Salvation, and the little Society was nearly doubled. My wife before her conversion was a cruel persecutor, and a sharp thorn in my side.
She would go home from the Prayer Meeting before me, and as full of the Devil as possible; she would oppose and revile me; but now, sir, she is just the contrary, and my house, instead of being a little Hell has become a little Paradise. I dwell upon it as, perhaps, the week which most effectually settled my conviction for ever that it was God's purpose by my using the simplest means to bring souls into liberty, and to break into the cold and formal state of things to which His people only too readily settle down.
For the sake of readers who have never seen Meetings such as The General for so many years conducted, it seems at once necessary to explain what is meant by the terms "seeking mercy" or "Salvation," the "cries for mercy," and, above all, the "Mercy-Seat," or "Penitent-Form," which appear so constantly in all reports of his work.
From the first beginnings of his Cottage Meetings as a lad in Nottingham, he always aimed at leading every sinner to repentance, and he always required that repentance should be openly manifested by the Penitent coming out in the presence of others, to kneel before God, to confess to Him, and to seek His pardon. This is merely in accordance with the ancient customs practised by the Jews in their Temple, to which practice Jesus Christ so strikingly calls attention in His Parable of the Publican, who cried, "God be merciful to me a sinner.
The General was never blind to the fact that open acts of contrition like this may be feigned, or produced by a mere passing excitement; but having seen so much of the indifference with which men generally continue in sin, even when they admit their consciousness of guilt and danger, he always thought the risk of undue excitement, or too hasty action, comparatively small. The "Penitent-Form" of The Salvation Army is simply a form or a row of seats, immediately in front of the platform, at which all who wish to seek Salvation are invited to kneel, as a public demonstration of their resolution to abandon their sins, and to live henceforth to please God.
Those who kneel there are urged to pray for God's forgiveness, and when they believe that He does forgive them to thank Him for doing so. Whilst kneeling there they are spoken to by persons who, having passed through the same experience, can point out to them the evils and dangers they must henceforth avoid, and the first duties which a true repentance must demand of them.
There are many cases, for example, in which the Penitent is urged to give up at once some worldly habit or companionship, or to make confession of, and restitution for, some wrong done to others. An Officer or Soldier accompanies the Penitent to his home or to his employer, should such a course appear likely to help him to effect any reconciliation, or take any other step to which his conscience calls him. The names and addresses of all Penitents are recorded, so that they may be afterwards visited and helped to carry out the promises they have made to God.
For convenience' sake, in very large Meetings, such as those The General himself held, where hundreds at a time come to the Penitent-Form, a room called the Registration Room is used for the making of the necessary inquiries and records. In this room those who decide to join The Army have a small piece of ribbon of The Army's colours at once attached to their coats. But this Registration Room must in no way be confused with an "Inquiry Room," where seeking souls can go aside unseen.
The General was always extremely opposed to the use of any plan other than that of the Penitent-Form, lest there should be any distinction made between one class and another, or an easier path contrived for those who wish to avoid a bold avowal of Christ. And he always refused to allow any such use of the Bible in connexion with Penitents as has been usual in Inquiry Rooms, where the people have been taught that if they only believed the words of some text, all would be well with them.