The question for Kyle Mango in Ray Blackston’s Last Mango in Texas, is, does God have plans for our vocation and for our love life, and, if so, what happens when they seem to conflict? Kyle meets and falls for Gretchen Trammel when she helps him escape, in the middle of the night, from a fraternity party where he is a pledge. Kyle thinks they are destined to be together but it seems as though life conspires to keep them apart. Gretchen, a nature-loving activist, has just left to spend the summer cleaning seabirds after an Alaskan oil spill. What will she think when Kyle finally finds the nerve to tell her he recently inherited four oil wells from his uncle? Would God really call an oil man and a wildlife protester into a life together?
Blackston creates funny, quirky, heart-warming characters and puts them in interesting settings. The interplay between characters will have readers laughing all through the book. Family dynamics are true-to-life, respectful and healthy. The romantic relationship between Kyle and Gretchen is so sweet and chaste, it’s almost platonic. Self-sacrifice and generosity are major elements for most of the characters.
The first two-thirds of the book have very few references to God, prayer, Bible-reading or church attendance. When God is mentioned, it is evident that the characters don’t have a vibrant relationship with Him. However, God doesn’t leave anyone, even the characters in this book, stagnant in a relationship with Him. God can use many things to get people’s attention and often uses those very things to woo his children. As it says in Jeremiah 31:3: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” A change in several characters in the last few chapters makes for a faith-filled ending.
This book had an entertaining, easy plot that leaves readers hopeful and thankful for the work God can do in a life open to His leading. This would be a good book for anyone looking for a light-hearted journey into the search for true love and purpose. – Nikki Studebaker Barcus, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Texas Tech student Kyle Mango is attending a fraternity party when he meets Gretchen, an artsy animal lover whose independent spirit immediately sparks his attention. But after a month of bliss, they suddenly find themselves in rough waters. When Kyle inherits four oil wells from his uncle, he sees his affluence as an opportunity to impress Gretchen. But just before he makes his move, Gretchen hears news of an oil tanker spilling its load near the coast of Alaska. Leaving Kyle behind in Texas, she joins a group of campus activists in Alaska for the summer to clean oil from suffering birds.
Kyle is torn between managing his business--and being left lonely in the Lone Star state--and risking everything to fly to Alaska to pursue Gretchen. The young oil man soon discovers that oil slicks are nothing compared to relational slicks. The early bird may get the worm, but the oily bird can ruin romance! Through it all, Kyle explores faith in God and His power to change lives.