Loved it! 😍

Beautiful love story of love and God's grace that will remind you of how God cares for His children.

Synopsis

Andrea Cabot’s life is going really well after the terrible accident in June that put her in rehab for months. Now it’s September, and she’s excited to get back to normal… well at least find out what normal is with her new daughter-in-law, who is also her partner in the catering business they run together. Life is pretty perfect until she’s invited to Noah’s 8th birthday party, her buddy who encouraged her through a painful rehab. Andrea arrives with everyone expecting another child, not a fifty-year-old woman. To make matters worse, Noah’s grandfather, Mark Hastings is her favorite author! Mark Lawson Hastings, a divorced, successful author, is now good friends with his ex-wife and family after being saved while recovering from alcoholism. Mark feels he doesn’t deserve love after the many mistakes he made before he was a Christian. The trouble is he can’t seem to write the new book series because he finds Andrea so distracting. Both unsure of their feelings, can Andrea and Mark find their way to understanding the truth of being Renewed by Grace?

First of all, this is a Christian book of fiction, and it is the fourth in a series. There is nothing inappropriate included within this book. The gospel message and Christian principles are stressed throughout. The transformative power of God and His grace and love have impacted each of the characters in different ways, and it is a treat to see that throughout. Additionally, it is important to note that if you have not read the other books in the series (something I have regrettably not done), it will probably be a struggle to read this book. I felt as though I was thrown into the middle of a story, and it took be about one third of the book to get my bearings. That is not a negative refection on the author. I merely state this as I do not believe it should be read as a stand-alone novel. In fact, I believe I would now like to race back and read the other three books that led up to this one.


At first, I felt that this book was unnaturally using God and Christian principles within the story, but as I went on, again, I realized that part of it was that I had not read the other three books, and I did not know the other characters as well as someone who had read the books leading up to this one. And to the author's credit, the weaving of the tenets of the Christian faith became much smoother as the story continued. By the end of the book, I was quite content with the achieved balance.


I also wasn't sure if I would be able to connect with the characters in this book. Again, it was a challenge in the beginning. However, the fact that the main couple in the book was significantly older and not everyone was twenty-something helped me connect so much more and even rejoice with the characters when things began to go their way. I appreciated the use of a prayer journal that gave us genuine insight into the character of Mark Hastings. I found this a delightful tool that I wish more authors would use.

In short, this is a very sweet, Christian romance I would highly recommend.


I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

Reviewed by

I do a lot of book reviews of family-friendly books especially, and my readers seem to engage with them fairly well. I am also an entertainment journalist.

Synopsis

Andrea Cabot’s life is going really well after the terrible accident in June that put her in rehab for months. Now it’s September, and she’s excited to get back to normal… well at least find out what normal is with her new daughter-in-law, who is also her partner in the catering business they run together. Life is pretty perfect until she’s invited to Noah’s 8th birthday party, her buddy who encouraged her through a painful rehab. Andrea arrives with everyone expecting another child, not a fifty-year-old woman. To make matters worse, Noah’s grandfather, Mark Hastings is her favorite author! Mark Lawson Hastings, a divorced, successful author, is now good friends with his ex-wife and family after being saved while recovering from alcoholism. Mark feels he doesn’t deserve love after the many mistakes he made before he was a Christian. The trouble is he can’t seem to write the new book series because he finds Andrea so distracting. Both unsure of their feelings, can Andrea and Mark find their way to understanding the truth of being Renewed by Grace?

Prologue

March 1990


“Mom, please read another chapter. Pleeease?”

Andrea looked into her son’s green eyes and could see they were still red from crying earlier in the evening after James fussed at him to quit practicing the trumpet. He had yelled the noise was giving him a raging headache and then stormed out of the living room.

“It’s late, Joshua. You have school tomorrow.”

Joshua leaned forward, his eyes shining. “I know, but Skip’s in danger of being captured!”

Tousling his hair, Andrea smiled to see her serious little man acting like the five-year-old he really was. “Okay, but only one more chapter… no matter what happens. Deal?” She gave him her mother stare as she said, “You’ve got that big sight word test tomorrow.”

“Deal!” Joshua laid back down, snuggling under the sheets covered in spaceships and planets. “I like numbers more, but I don’t really have to study.”

Rolling her eyes, Andrea picked up the book again. “Don’t tell me that!”

Shifting on the side of the bed, she opened the latest Kip novel to the next chapter and began to read out loud. “Kip struggled to unlock the bulkhead door, muttering under his breath Neptune should be here. ‘What’s the point of having a genius talking dog if he isn’t around to help you…’”

As Andrea continued the next chapter in the Skip Saturn series, she wondered if the baby she was carrying would be good for both Joshua and James. Rubbing her still flat stomach, she thought, it’ll be nice for Joshua to have a constant friend since we move around so much with James’ job in the military. I was going to tell James at dinner tonight, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.

After Kip had escaped once again, Andrea tucked her little man in for the night.

“Goodnight, son. Sleep well and say your prayers.”

“Night, Mom. You’ll read again to me tomorrow night, too, won’t you?” His eyes were shining in expectation of further adventures.

“Yes, my little astronaut.”

Turning off the light, she watched Joshua settle in and made sure the Superman nightlight was on, before making her way to her bedroom. Right before dinner, James had gotten a call that sent him rushing over to base headquarters for an emergency, and she didn’t expect to see him that night. She put her robe at the foot of the bed in case Joshua called out for her and climbed under the covers. Andrea reached into the drawer of her nightstand and grabbed a paperback novel she had shoved all the way to the back. She opened up to the last page she had read and muttered, “I have to be up early too and can only read one chapter myself. After I drop Joshua off at school, I’ve got that committee meeting to plan the annual Marine Corp gala. If I’d known I’d be pregnant during the event, I wouldn’t have volunteered to head up the entire thing.”

Two hours later, the novel almost finished having read five chapters, Andrea closed the book and put it in the back of her nightstand drawer. Oh, Lord, it’s after eleven. I can’t believe I stayed up so late reading Mark Lawson’s latest sci-fi novel!?! Who would’ve thought how much I’d enjoy the adult series of Kip Saturn. No one would believe I’ve loved reading science fiction since I was a teenager, but something about the man’s writing makes me think I’m watching a movie, not just reading a book. Taking a sip of water, she paused placing it on the nightstand. I’ve read two novels in this series, but something’s different about this one. I’m struggling to put it down.

Not surprised James wasn’t back, Andrea turned off the lights and snuggled under the covers. Lord, please let this baby be good for our family. James and I discussed not having another child right now, because he’s going on tour in a few weeks

Sighing, Andrea turned over to grab his pillow to smell his aftershave. Lord, I trust You have a plan for this unexpected blessing. Help me to follow the path You have for our family. Amen.

Feeling at peace, Andrea fell asleep with his aftershave filling her senses. When James got home right before dawn, he smiled to see his wife holding his pillow, and gently moved her closer to his side to wrap his arms around her. Falling asleep was always better with Andrea in his arms and with only a short time until he had to be back on base and then gone away on another tour, he wanted all the time with her he could get.


Mark’s Journal Entry - March 28, 1990


Lord,

I’m not the best at talking and I’m new to this praying thing, so I thought I’d write out my thoughts in this journal Maggie gave me for Christmas. Last week, she gave me a chance to have Christmas with Kip under her and Rick’s supervision, because she said she had seen a real change since January after I was saved. I truly believe it was a miracle after everything I’ve done. I know it’s only because of You my ex-wife is giving me a second chance with my son. Thank You for this unexpected second chance!

I’ll try to always be honest in these journal entries and consistent, too. If I can write on my novels most every day, then well, I can write to You as well.

My editor contacted me this afternoon and said my writing must have greatly improved because the publishing house is getting a lot of positive feedback from my novel that launched last week. David was astonished when I gave him the newest Kip novel months ahead of schedule. I don’t know what happened, but after I was saved in January, I had all this energy. I went to my room and wrote everything out. It’s never come so easily before, and I know it was because of You, too.

Please help me to be not just a better writer, but a Christian author who needs to be held to a higher standard. People reading my books should be led to You, not away from You. Help me to be the man of God You want me to be.

I want my son to be proud of his father, and I know it means I’ve got to keep walking the walk of faith. Please help me not to disappoint my family.

About the author

Anna Christine Boulier has been a writer/storyteller since she begged to learn to read before first grade. She grew up in Cartersville and except for living in Atlanta for college, she’s been there ever since. Writing is my testimony- Grace my story! It isn’t just a tagline, but a way of life. view profile

Published on April 30, 2019

Published by

60000 words

Genre: Christian fiction

Reviewed by

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