Sunday, January 1, 2012

Review of Love Lifted Me by Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck

Rating: 4.5 Stars
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Synopsis from Thomas Nelson: A fresh start is a gift. So is having a hand to hold.
Jade and Max share a deep love, though revelations from his past have recently shaken their marriage. And Jade is completely smitten with Max’s little son, Asa, whom she is now raising as her own. Their blended family brings her a joy she’s never known. But there is one more secret to be uncovered. One that will impact them all.
Max is doing his best to “man-up” and prove himself worthy of Jade’s devotion. As well as that of his young son. It seems like life in Whisper Hollow, Tennessee, will pick up where it left off until Max is faced with an unusual opportunity—leave his family’s law firm to coach high-school football in Texas.
Realizing a fresh start will bring healing to their marriage, Jade takes the leap of faith and moves with him and baby Asa, bidding good-bye to her beloved Blue Umbrella shop.
The new beginning in quaint Colby, Texas, is soon sullied when Max discovers the high-school program isn’t all it seemed. While Max struggles to rebuild a once glorious football team, Jade wrestles with news that could break Max’s heart . . . and change their lives forever.

Review: I have followed the winding road of Jade's story since The Sweet By and By.  Each novel in Sara Evans' and Rachel Hauck's Songbird series has been as touching and melodic as a country song.  A chorus of love, pain, healing, and faith flows through the series and into the third novel, Love Lifted Me. The conclusion of Softly and Tenderly left me with a lingering anticipation of what the plot of Love Lifted Me would hold for Jade and Max.

Throughout the course of three novels, Jade and Max have been through a multitude of hardships.  They have led imperfect lives, which makes them realistic individuals, not just characters in a book.  In the previous two stories, Max's personality annoyed me.  Love Lifted Me redeems his character and introduces a stronger and less self-centered side of Max Benson. True to the trend if the Songbird series, secrets threaten the tenuous relationship between Jade and Max.

The change in setting from Whisper Hollow, Tennessee to Colby, Texas introduces new characters and new challenges that keep the plot fresh and interesting.  There is a focus on football, which I found less engaging.  As a reader who knows very little about the game, the football scenes were ones that I skimmed. Since my first introduction to Jade, I have hoped for a happy ending to her story. Love Lifted Me is a heart-warming conclusion that flows with a steady tempo.

I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from NetGalley, courtesy of Thomas Nelson.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above 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.”

Read an Excerpt:

1 comment:

  1. This story was romantic and sweet, but quite predictable. I did enjoy the loving characters. Most were willing to ask forgiveness after a wrong-doing; I liked that although challenges and problems arose in the story, the authors quickly moved along, not dwelling too much on a negative subject. I also liked that Jade loved vintage clothes. I felt the love that flowed through the story, and the authors definitely pointed to Christ, which is always great.

    Although I was eager to read this book, since Sara Evans was one of the authors, it, unfortunately, seemed just like every other Christian romance I've ever read; it gave me little that I didn't see coming. The book lightly entertained me in a very easy-reading sort of way, but it confirmed for me that I dislike this genre for a reason. It leaves much, nearly everything, to be desired from it.



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