Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book Review: Together With You by Victoria Bylin

Book Details
Title: Together With You
Author: Victoria Bylin
2015, Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764211539
Genre: Christian Contemporary Fiction

Book Summary
Sometimes the most unexpected love can be exactly what a heart needs...
When a Lost Child warning blares over the mall's PA system, Carly Mason finds the little girl playing with a stuffed rabbit. Something about Penny Tremaine is different. An ex-social worker, Carly recognizes that the child suffers fetal alcohol effects, and a piece of Carly's past suddenly confronts her. Never again will she become personally involved with a client. The risks are far too great. But something about Penny--and Penny's handsome father--tugs at Carly's heart.

Dr. Ryan Tremaine is trying to put his life back together. With his ex-wife remarried and on a trip far away, his two teenage sons and Penny are living under his roof full time. Ryan has put his faith in his Sink-or-Swim list, a plan to reconnect with his children. The first step: recruit Carly Mason to be Penny's nanny.

Ryan never anticipated being so drawn to Carly, an attraction Carly seems to fight as much as he does. Could Carly be the missing piece that helps his family stay afloat, or will their blossoming romance only complicate things further?

Book Review
This is the first book I've read by this author and it was a very emotional, well-written book. Told from the perspective of Carly, Ryan and sometimes Penny, this book takes it's readers on a story of love, guilt, confusion, and ultimately redemption and forgiveness. 

Carly becomes the nanny for Penny, a 5-year-old girl who has recently lost her mother to an accident and is living with a father she has just met. Penny also suffers from Fetal Alcohol Effects. Ryan also has his two sons from his failed marriage living with him for the summer - boys he barely knows because he's been such a workaholic in the past. Ryan is hoping Carly can help him with his SOS list to connect with his children over the summer. Carly is a believer, but Ryan is not... and he has no interest in God.

This was a very good book. The characters were deep and their struggles were real. Ryan and Carly were both very broken people. Even Carly with her faith in God has a lot of very real struggles. My only real issue with the book was the love story between Ryan and Carly. On Carly's side, I was frustrated with how attached she allowed herself to become for a man who was not a believer. She just couldn't let it go no matter how wrong she knew it was and I just got really annoyed by it. 

Other than that, I enjoyed the way Ryan tried so hard to connect with his family and right his past wrongs the best he could, how Carly was so awesome with the kids and how Carly and Ryan conducted themselves with integrity throughout (even though I was annoyed with her far-gone interest in him, I could appreciate that she didn't ACT upon it.)

Definitely worth the read and gives the reader a lot of food for thought about FASD and God's grace.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review. No other compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.

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