Book 310: A PRAYER HEEDED Review

A Prayer Heeded (A Prayer Series 2) by Samreen Ahsan
ISBN: 9781491727164 (hardcover – iUniverse)
ISBN: 9781491727140 (paperback – iUniverse)
ISBN: 9781311356963 (ebook – Smashwords)
ISBN: 9781491727157 (ebook – iUniverse)
ASIN: B00IDVBPAM (Kindle edition)
Publication date: February 1, 2014

Adam Gibson is a multimillionaire who is not searching for God–or demons–when he finds love with a beautiful woman. Unfortunately, Rania, the one who has captured his heart, has a tormented past. Adam is unaware of his powers, how God makes sure his each prayer is heeded due to his virtue of charity. Adam knows Rania is still the answer to all his silent prayers. But now only time will tell if her soul is destined to be his once again.

Rania Ahmed is dead inside. Adam, the man she mistakenly considered to be her soul mate, has crushed her soul into millions of pieces. Due to her broken past, she still believes her curse will keep her from loving ever again. What she does not know is that Adam has made a promise to himself to never give up on her–no matter what. But Adam does not know what he is getting himself into.

In this spiritual romance, an atheist embarks on a path of enlightenment with a tormented soul who may just have the power to change everything he has ever believed to be true.

The first volume in The Prayer SeriesA Silent Prayer ends with Adam Gilbert demonstrating an extreme act of jealousy that embarrasses and wounds Rania Ahmed, so she leaves him. The only problem is her apartment has been destroyed in a fire, she has no relatives in Toronto, and has left her wallet at Adam’s home. Rania finds herself emotionally battered and bruised as well as homeless. She turns to a shelter that has been built and supported by Adam’s generosity. Is it possible for these two seemingly star-crossed lovers to find a way back to one another? Rania is a devout Muslimah (female Muslim) and she tries hard to hold fast to her faith and beliefs, despite her attraction to Adam Gibson. There are many secrets in Rania’s past and uncovering these secrets is the key to unlocking her heart. But how can Adam find the key if he doesn’t know where she is. Adam realizes he’s made a big mistake and is willing to do whatever it takes to gain Rania’s forgiveness; he just hopes it isn’t too late. 

A Prayer Heeded is much more than a romance; it is a blend of magical realism, paranormal-fantasy, and religious myth blended in with a romance. Rania and Adam know that they love one another, but they also know that they come from different cultural backgrounds, different ethnic backgrounds and vastly different religious backgrounds. The first two are relatively easy to work around, but having a devout believer in a relationship with an atheist is beyond hard work. Although both Rania and Adam are willing to work to overcome this difficulty, there are those deep secrets in Rania’s background that must be dealt with in order for their relationship to move forward. Regrettably Adam fails Rania again when she finally divulges all of her deepest secrets: a previous marriage, marital rape, beatings, infidelity on the part of her husband, and an ongoing issue with a lovelorn jinn named Khaldun. Adam is willing to deal with almost everything except the notion of the jinn. It’s easier to accept the idea that Rania is possibly schizophrenic rather than something supernatural. After much trial and error, including Rania’s departure from Canada and an arranged marriage in Dubai, Rania and Adam are able to accept each other’s love and move forward in marriage. One would think that is the end of their problems but it just signals the beginning of new problems for their love.

I found A Prayer Heeded to be just as fast-paced a read as A Silent Prayer. The idea of a lovelorn jinn stalking women for four thousand years was intriguing, to say the least. I did have problems with the profanity used.  There’s a lot of the f-word used in this story. Once my inner-prude was able to overcome that issue, I was able to enjoy the story. Yes there are a lot of elements to this story: supernatural-paranormal-fantasy, religion, marital rape, and more. Ms. Ahsan does an admirable job in combining all of these into a cohesive story with interesting and fully developed characters and plausible action. It was nice to gain more insight into who Rania is and why she behaves the way she does. It was also nice to finally get to see her interact with her father and learn more about that relationship. As a Muslim I did have some issues with the notion that Adam converts to Islam but continues to drink and never seems to pray the obligatory daily prayers, but I also recognize that there are Muslims that give lip-service to Islam and never actually fulfill their religious obligations. Other than that minor issue, I found A Prayer Heeded to be an enjoyable read. If you’re interested in reading a story that features an East-meets-West angle, has a supernatural-paranormal component, and blends in romance with religious awareness, then you’ll definitely want to read A Silent Prayer and A Prayer Heeded.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the author. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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