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Mercy, Mercy Me    by Ronn Elmore order for
Mercy, Mercy Me
by Ronn Elmore
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

When the wife of celebrity psychologist Dr. Dwayne Grandison is killed, he sinks into a deep depression. Their marriage was shaky because he wanted to start a family and his wife wanted to pursue material wealth. Wondering if God really cares, Dwayne immerses himself in his counseling practice and continues to attend church where his brother Lafayette is the pastor.

Nina Jordan, a former child actress, has been through the nightmare of drug abuse. Because of her faith, she has come out stronger on the other side, and has started a women's mentoring and counseling program at the church. Dwayne has agreed to work with her to start up a similar program for men. Though sparks fly between the two right away, something keeps Nina from pursuing a relationship. Beverlyn Boudreaux is a world famous gospel singer, evangelist, and speaker. After a wild childhood, her uncle rescued her, helping to further her career. Beverlyn, launching the first African-American owned Christian television network, hires Dwayne to host a counseling show. She thinks that he might be the life partner she's been waiting for.

Mercy, Mercy Me takes an interesting look into the lives of three prominent people and the adventures that unfold when they interact and clash. Dwayne, obviously reeling from the loss of his wife, is still a good counselor. But it seems odd that he's not very smart about the ways of women and the world, since he deals with celebrities on a daily basis. I would expect Dwayne to be wiser about manipulation, but he lets Beverlyn plow right over him. And for all of his talk about wanting to please God rather than make money, he's easily seduced by the huge income he receives as a television personality. The prologue reveals a scandal that doesn't happen until almost the end of the book. Though it seems out of place, I might have given up without something to anticipate - reading about Dwayne overwhelmed by being caught between two women just isn't exciting.

Ronn Elmore (a therapist and minister) writes in a way that incorporates insight and intimate knowledge. Despite its flaws, Mercy, Mercy Me is a unique addition to Christian fiction, one that avoids being heavy handed in its spiritual message.

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