A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade and Other Reads…

Ohio has been a wonderful place for reading.  The Upper Arlington Library System has every book I could possibly want to read.  Do you remember that old Arthur episode where the kids chant “having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card?”  There is so much fun to be had in Ohio.

I’ve delved deep into Young Adult reads the last month or two.  Each one of them deserves its own post and review… but then I wouldn’t have time to read the stack of books on my nightstand.  The Geography of You and Me, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, On the Fence, The Distance Between Us, and My Life Next Door are super cute romance reads.  Isla and the Happily Ever After, Along for the Ride, and the fantastic fantasy of Splintered are worth checking out.

I have to admit that I was a Fault-in-our-stars hater until I actually read the book.  I’ve repented of my ways and now believe that everyone in the galaxy should read Fault in our Stars at least once.  I worship the words John Green walks on.  The metaphors and writing will blow your socks off…

The kids and I have been enjoying the Life of Fred Series, Story of the World, Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher, Maniac Magee, The Overlander Series, The Magic Finger, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and on a serious note – Good Pictures Bad Pictures.  Every family should own a copy of this book and talk about it on a regular basis.

Adult reads: The Shadow of Your Smile was fun. You can never go wrong with a Susan May Warren book. The Dress Shop of Dreams was well written, but kind of depressing.  I loved the characters and the magic, but the idea of living your entire life without the true love of your life made me sad.  Mermaid Collector – I loved the back story of mermaids and the way they influenced the town and people in it.  I don’t particularly enjoy stories with infidelity, but this one has a happy ending.  The minimalist in me loved the theme of “letting go of things that hold you back.”   And of course, I’ve read Edenbrooke again and again – because can you ever get sick of an book like Edenbrooke?

The ultimate icing on the book cake was Becky Wade’s newest book A Love Like Ours.  Bethany House sent a copy straight to my mailbox and I couldn’t wait to dive right in.

lovelikeoursThe book is as cute as the cover.  And seriously, the cover is cute.  It makes me want to grow my hair out and buy light blue pants.  A Love Like Ours is the third book in the Porter Family Novels, Undeniably Yours and Meant to Be Mine lead the way.  You don’t have to read these two books prior to reading A Love Like Ours, but you will definitely be missing out if you don’t read them sometime in your life.

A Love Like Ours takes place in Texas with Former Marine Jake Porter and Lyndie James.  Once childhood friends, the two of them struggle to find their way together again after years of being apart.  PTSD from years of military service keep Jake distant, aloof, and rude while years of nurturing and loving animals motivates Lyndie to breach the barriers of Jake.  I love the overall theme of “letting go of fear to embrace love.”

The majority of people don’t struggle with PTSD like Jake does, but throughout every romance novel I have read this year there is a common thread of vulnerability when it comes to love.  When you really sit down and think about the fear we carry around with us, it is amazing that so many people take the leap for love each and every day.  Opening your heart to someone with the knowledge that they could hurt us – is a scary thing.  That fear can bring the best and the worst in us out.

I think this is why I love romance novels so much.  They remind me what a gift love is.  They remind me of the importance of keeping my heart open and available to my husband because “Happily Ever Afters” aren’t always easy.  They require that we continue to keep our hearts and minds open to our lovers with faith that they will do the same for us. There are times when relationships can be scary – married or not.  But the most important thing is that we don’t give up on the healthy, supportive love when it comes our way.

Like Jake, we can each overcome our fears and find the courage to let the right person into our hearts to stay.  And that is a beautiful thing.

What books have you been reading?

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Fictional Couples I’d Invite Over for Game Night

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My husband and I love a good game night with friends on a Friday night.  And because some fictional couples are just too much fun to leave on the page, here is my list of fictional characters I’d invite over for game night…

  • Jake and Maggie from HandyMan  – Jake is a handyman with specific instructions from a well-known psychologist for a building remodel.  When Maggie stumbles into the office, she mistakes Jake for the therapist.  With tears falling down her cheeks, Jake fails to “set the record straight.”  Is Jake the right “handyman” for Maggie’s heart? For Jake and Maggie, I’d pull out Settlers of Catan.
  • Matt and Kate from My Stubborn Heart  –  When Kate and her grandmother hire Matt for minor construction work, he falls fast for Kate. Will he have the courage to open his stubborn heart to love and life again?   Bubble Talk might be our choice.
  • Marianne and Phillip from Edenbrooke  – Can you say “hello” to the most wonderful book in the whole wide world?  Phillip has the “hots” for Marianne and he is discretely trying to tell her.  When Marianne’s sister comes to claim Phillip as her own, will Marianne have the strength to fight her sister for the man she loves?  This book is Jane Austen plus so much more.  We’d play the game Clue.
  • Anna and Rupert from A Countess Below the Stairs  –  Anna’s wealth and status have been destroyed by social unrest in Russia.  Rupert, on the other hand, is on the brink of establishing a marriage to save his wealth.  When Anna comes to serve in Rupert’s household, she fails to “blend in.”  Rupert can’t help but fall in love with the new servant in the house.  You should read this book. Chess would be the game of the night.
  • Molly and Baily from Love in the Balance  – “Molly and Baily sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g.”   Molly and Baily like each other.  A lot.  They want marriage and babies and a life together but their match is not approved by Molly’s parents.  When a strange man with unlimited financial funds comes to town, will Molly find love and a match worthy of her parents admiration?  Sorry!  all the way.
  • Annalisa and Carl from A Noble Groom –  Annalisa’s – newly pregnant with rent to pay on her land – is spontaneously widowed.  Out of pure survival, her father decides to send a letter to the Old Country requesting a new husband  for his daughter.  When Carl arrives, he is mistaken for the groom requested.  Will the two of them find love before the “requested husband” arrives?  I’m thinking Blokus or SkipBo.
  • Calla Lily and Tuck from The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder – Calla Lily and Tuck were forced apart by family members with “so-called” good intentions.  After spending a lifetime apart, fate brings them together again to find that the love they once felt is still strong.  After years spent apart, they get to try again.  Phase 10.

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