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Return of Cassandra Todd by Darrel Nelson

Friday, July 12, 2013

When the popular girl whose friends bullied him in high school suddenly reenters his life, little son in tow, Turner Caldwell must put the past behind him if they are to survive.  
Turner Caldwell works at a local motel as a handyman while attending college full-time. On his way to class one day, he is shocked to see Cassandra Todd and her young son in town. The sight of her brings back powerful memories of being bullied in high school—she was the popular head cheerleader and he the target of her friends’ mean-spirited pranks.   When Cassandra and her son check into the motel where he works and she asks for his help in eluding her abusive husband, he finds himself entangled in a dangerous drama that will require him to forgive and draw on every skill he has if they are to survive. 

Goodreads Blurb

At my church last year, a pastor visited and talked about a group forming
in our community for victims of abuse.  The man did probably talk too
long, but I think it was the subject matter that made so many people
uncomfortable.  Some families with young children got up and left.  I sat
and thought that his well-intended speech was probably only necessary for
one person, at most, in the church.  Maybe I was wrong.

Author Nelson deals with this horrible, behind-closed-doors crime in a
good way.  The victim of the abuse is a strong, smart, faith-filled woman
who is determined to protect herself and her child by leaving, working to
start a new life, and taking some of her abusive husband's documents as a
safeguard.  I was glad that Nelson created this strong character.  I think
that he did a fair job of portraying a woman's thoughts and feelings in
these circumstances too.

Turner Caldwell, in the early pages, seemed too detached from life to be
likeable or admirable.  That changes quickly as we readers find out how
quick-thinking and talented he is.  I've never read a book before that
describes the work of a motel handyman.  I really thought that including
those tasks from Turner's usual day was clever.  And maybe it's the
influence of friends who have "go" bags now...but I was so interested in
and impressed by the details of Turner's talent in the outdoors.  To stay
hydrated, find some Solomon's Seal, pry off a piece of bark, or dig a hole
near a cave entrance.  I hadn't heard of the Survival Rules of Three
before - interesting.  Leading his attackers away until they were
hopelessly lost while he was able to find his own subtle signs and return
to Cassandra and Justin...stinging nettles! - that was great!

Turner's friends are colorful.  There's cranky Harvey and generous Loretta
- "a woman of epic proportions, which conveniently provided room for the
saint within her to grow."  Other friends are just as fun.

As this scary, exciting well-written story unfolds, Cassandra's prayers
and faith are strong...and Turner's faith returns and grows.

Four Stars

*Reviewed by Colleen*

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. bn100 said...:

    The characters sound interesting

  1. Susan T. said...:

    I think it is an interesting twist that the target of bullying is the one who helps the bully later in life. Sounds like a sweet love story.

  1. Berenice said...:

    This cover looks so, so pretty. And although The Return of Cassandra Todd deals with strong issues, it seems like it was very well done. I'll definitely be adding this one to my 'to-read' list. Fantastic review. Thank you! =)