Sunday, 31 July 2016

Someone Like You by Victoria Bylin

Back Cover: Single mom Julia Dare has a lot on her plate. A brand new Christian, she's busy trying to run her own business, spend time with her widowed mother, and raise her young son, Max, despite his father's less-than-idea influence on him. When a big account from her event-planning business ends her to the Caliente Springs resort, she's shocked to come face-to-face with Zeke Monroe, the resort's general manager and her college sweetheart.

With his faith in tatters, Zeke Monroe is determined to keep the historic Caliente Springs resort running despite financial difficulties. But when Julia walks back into his life, he can't ignore the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client's dream wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. When Zeke and Julia are pushed to their limits  both personally and professionally, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together.

Review: I really liked this book, and am looking forward to reading more from Victoria Bylin. What really stood out to me about this story was the real-life factor. Julia and Zeke's story could have been anyone's tale. Their struggles are raw, unpleasant, and some cases, even shameful. They wrestle with the consequences of their choices and no magical answers miraculously rescue them from those consequences. They question God and their faith, and they ask "Why?" when things go terribly wrong.

In short, their story could be any of ours. Their reactions could be anyone's, and yet, throughout this book and throughout their struggles, the grace of God is apparent. Even when Zeke turns his back on his Lord and fights to do life on his own, God is still there. It was very beautiful to read a story that gives you a snapshot on someone's life - a snapshot that is far enough back that you can see the struggles, the doubt, and then how God worked through it all. Even though it is fictional, I found this story very encouraging and uplifting. It didn't hurt that it was also a nicely entertaining story too.

Thank-you to Graf Martin Communications and Baker Publishing House for a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion.

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