“What I’ve learned is that the past might be challenging and the future might be unsure. And that’s okay. The present is all we’re given, anyway. When we get to the future, God will be there. He’ll supply whatever we need for each day.”
Series: A Bradford Sister’s Romance (Book #1)
Genre: Christian Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Number of pages: 367
From the Publisher:
“After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.
Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he’s diagnosed with an inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.
The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John’s already dating someone and Nora’s not sure she’s ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they’re seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.”
Honestly, I’ve been staring at this screen for quite some time trying to conjure up a string of words to describe how this book affected me. I don’t know where to start or really, what to say.
I will confidently state that this is the best book I’ve read this year and is easily on my top-five list of favorite books.
Recently, I was hanging out with one of my friends and we were talking about books we have been reading (a topic that must always be covered between bookish friends, of course!) and we had both conveyed that it has been a long time since we found a book that blew us out of the water. You know, the type of book that you read through the night and cannot put down. The type of book that you carry with you everywhere and read it during meals. The type of book that shakes you to the core and you dread finishing because it’s just that good.
For me, this was that book.
I can’t emphasize enough how phenomenally written this book was, y’all! If it’s on your TBR pile, I’m recommending you move it to the top and if you haven’t heard about it until now, please add it to your TBR pile! Here’s why:
First off, the writing is excellent! Comparing this book to all of Becky’s previous books (which are amazing, by the way!), I noticed an improvement in her plotting, character development, and writing style. After the first few chapters, I was impressed to see how she has developed since her last book was released—they weren’t poorly written in the least, she’s just maturing in her craft and I really enjoyed seeing that. At the end of each chapter, there’s some sort of correspondence between a variety of characters: email, text, written letters, etc. At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the idea but later on, I looked forward to seeing what conversation I got to eavesdrop on.
Also, the characters are wonderful! I especially loved seeing the relationship between the Bradford sisters—having three sisters of my own, I could relate to most situations. Like I said, the character development is so well-done; watching them change and noticing their quirks was one of my favorite parts about reading this. Plus, Nora Bradford is my spirit animal! Her bookishness, obsession with fictional characters, and simply the way she handles situations was so relatable for me! The fact that she uses words like “indubitable” and “innocuous” made her all the more likeable, too!
As for the plot, that was the heaviest but definitely the best part about this book. Starting out, everything was light-hearted and ebullient as it focused on the familial relationships, the genealogy research, and the village/townspeople. However, come the middle to end of the book, it gets really deep. After finishing certain chapters, I had to close the book and give myself time to digest what had just occurred. Just as a warning: Becky Wade wrestles with topics of rape (it doesn’t get into detail) and depression. To be brutally honest, I applaud her for taking these things on. I find that I appreciate authors who talk about the gritty bits of life and have their characters really battle their pasts before they reach the point of redemption. For me, it seems more realistic and true-to-life when characters fight with God and themselves because that’s exactly how life goes. There were times when it was hard to read because I empathized with the characters but I would much rather read something that moves me as much as this book did than read a book that didn’t affect me.
If that doesn’t say enough, I’ll relay one more bit of information about my reading experience with this book. There were times when characters were facing struggles or praying about either their troubles or someone else’s that I related with myself or someone I knew; during those moments, I laid the book in my lap and prayed out loud because I was so moved by what I was reading.
I sincerely hope this review brings you to read this book because I highly recommend it and would love to hear what you think of it (or thought of it, if you’ve already read it)!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Five stars does not do this book justice! Like I said, it’s on my top-five list of favorite books!
If you like books that are light-hearted and fun, yet deal with deep and gritty topics, this book is for you! Or if you just like brooding Navy SEALs, that works too. 😉
Note: This book does contain topics of rape (not detailed).
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Connect with Becky Wade:
Other books by Becky Wade:
Undeniably Yours (#1)
Meant to be Mine (#2)
A Love Like Ours (#3)
The Proposal (#3.5)
Her One and Only (#4)
Then Came You (#0.5)
*I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.*
*True to You cover borrowed from Bethany House Publishers*