Monday, May 4, 2015

Porter Family #3

A Love Like Ours (Porter Family #3)
Published by Bethany House
5 Stars
Release Date: May 5, 2015

Brief Description:

  Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.

     When Lyndie James, Jake’s childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion’s reluctance to run.

     Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake’s will, Lyndie’s sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he’d thought he’d lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

My Review:
What a truly touching story about a crisis of faith, hope, forgiveness, but most of all an enduring love. 
This is the third book in the Porter Family series.  I absolutely loved this book. I was not only captivated by the cover, but also the story inside.  After reading about Jake in Becky Wade's previous novels, Undeniably Yours and Meant To Be Mine, I was anxious to read his story.  I was Not disappointed on any level.
Becky Wade brings us two very lovable characters who have both strengths and weaknesses.  Jake Porter has always known Lyndie James, or at least it seemed that way.  Their moms were best friends and Lyndie spent a lot of time at his house playing.  At the age of 12 he knew 2 things.  First he never felt 100% right unless Lyndie was with him, and second, that he had never seen anything else on earth like Lyndie when she rode a horse.  She was his favorite person.
Lyndie James has spent the first 10 years of her life living in Holley, Texas and with her best friend Jake Porter.  When her father's job transferred him to southern California and the family's move, Lyndie lost a part of her, Jake.  It's been 20 years and lots of changes, but she was finally back in Holley and looking for her old friend, Jake. 
I loved both characters.  I loved that Lyndie is an author and illustrator for children's novels.  She has a great faith in God and shows it everyday in her actions.  It seems to not matter what comes her way, big or small, she leans on the Lord for guidance.
The wonderful imagery will pull the reader into the story and makes them feel like they are a part of the story. 
I love how the author weaves her words to bring an inspirational message of hope throughout the book.  She addresses many issues in the book about PTSD and I think she did an excellent job addressing each. 
Needless to say I would recommend this inspiring story to anyone.  It is so well written.  I would recommend the reader having tissues because this story will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. 
I received this book from both the Publisher via Netgalley and the author for a honest review without bias as stated above.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Interview with Becky

What is the overarching theme of A Love Like Ours?

Finding hope.  The hero of the novel, Jake Porter, is a former Marine who now works as a Thoroughbred racehorse trainer.  It's been eight years since Jake returned home from his final tour in Iraq and he's still struggling with PTSD.  A Love Like Ours is about rediscovering hope that once was lost.

What motivated you to write about a hero who's a military veteran?
I'm extremely grateful to our veterans for their service.  I cast Jake as my hero because I was moved by news stories I've seen and read throughout the years about service men and women who were injured overseas and returned to the states with physical injuries and/or disorders like PTSD. 
I'm particularly excited about the release of A Love Like Ours because I'll be giving a portion of my earnings on the novel's first two weeks of sales to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a wonderful organization that provides therapy for both physical and mental health conditions.
It sounds like the book deals with some serious topics.  How would you describe its overall tone?
While A Love Like Ours does deal with some serious topics, I'd describe the story's tone as optimistic, heartwarming, humorous, modern, and romantic.  Jake's a brooding hero, so I made sure to match him with a spunky, upbeat heroine.
There’s a sub plot in A Love Like Ours about Thoroughbred horse racing.  What spurred your interest in racing?
I've loved horses since I was young.  I grew up in an historic neighborhood in Riverside California with no possibility of stabling a horse in my backyard.  That fact didn't stop me from asking for a horse each and every Christmas.
I never received a horse during my growing-up years.  But I had a wonderful time 'owning' a whole ranch full of them via the writing of A Love Like Ours.  The research I put into this book can hardly be counted as work because I enjoyed it so much.
The heroine of the novel, Lyndie, has a younger sister with severe cerebral palsy.  Can you tell us about the family you know personally that inspired Lyndie's family in A Love Like Ours?
A few years back, my daughter had a pre-school teacher named Kari.  Kari is the kindest, warmest, most fun and most tender-hearted woman I could have hoped for my daughter to have as her teacher.  In getting to know Kari, I got to know her family.  Kari has two daughters.  Her oldest is a completely healthy eighth grader.  Her youngest was born with cerebral palsy due in part to the fact that her skull was shattered in three places at birth.  Kari's younger daughter is blind, non-verbal, and requires round-the-clock care. 
In spite of their challenges, this family blew me away with their joy and energy and positivity.  I knew from the time that I met them that I wanted to base a fictional family on their real life example.
In what way do you hope A Love Like Ours encourages its readers?

I hope that the novel reminds readers that in God, there's always reason to hope!  He has the power to redeem all things in His time.

How would you describe your writing style?

Romantic, humorous, heartwarming.  I’m interested in writing about imperfect, flawed people who are nonetheless loved by a perfect God.  Thus, my books all have a strong faith storyline.  I strive to write authentically.  I like to laugh.  I delight in writing about modern-day people and places.  At least one of my two main characters is always ‘larger than life’ in some way.  And my books are very romance heavy.  My readers can count on a hunky hero who’s going to fall madly in love with the heroine.  

What aspect of your career do you find most challenging?

The writing of the rough draft, which is somewhat unfortunate, since I spend MOST of my year writing the rough draft.  The first one hundred pages are particularly difficult for me because I’m still sinking into the new characters.    

This is your first series of connected books.  What are your thoughts on writing a series?

I’m both thoroughly enjoying writing a series and thoroughly challenged by it.  Novel writing is difficult work!  Penning a whole series of novels is extra difficult because I have to weave together an ever-growing cast of characters.  That said, part of what I love about writing IS the challenge.  Also, there’s something so rich and charming about revisiting the same town and the same characters over the course of four novels and several years.  The Porter family begins to feel like your family and Holley, Texas begins to feel like your place.

Any advice for other writers?

I think it’s incredibly valuable to take time to learn the craft of writing via writer’s groups, non-fiction books on the topic, conferences.  While learning the craft, I recommend practice.  Write one manuscript through to the end.  Then another!  As you go, try out different sub-genres and cultivate your own unique voice.  In the end, it’s critically important that you take the knowledge you’ve gained, and write your book the way that you love it best.

Meet the Author:

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins.  These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending.  She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas.  It was during her years abroad that Becky's passion for reading turned into a passion for writing.  She published three historical romances for the general market, put her career on hold for many years to care for her kids, and eventually returned to writing sheerly for the love of it.  She’s delighted to be penning warm, wry, and heartwarming contemporary romances for the Christian market.  She's the Carol Award and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn HeartUndeniably YoursMeant to Be Mine, and A Love Like Ours.

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.

No comments:

Post a Comment