Review (and a Giveaway!): Always With You by Elaine Stock

April 12, 2016 Christian, contemporary, Elaine Stock, giveaway 2

 

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always with youCan she move forward without knowing her past?

Will he enjoy his present if he can’t free himself from what he left behind?

In the heart of the Adirondacks, Isabelle lives in the shadow of a dark family secret whose silent burden strips her family of emotional warmth and faith in God. Tyler belongs to the religious sect called The Faithful, which Isabelle’s father dislikes immensely. Yet, because Tyler belongs to this group, Isabelle sees only a man devoted to his family and faith.

She wants it; she gets it; they marry.

And when the truth comes out, Isabelle faces two choices:

Staying could endanger her child. Leaving could cost her life.

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance/Suspense, Christian
PUBLISHER: Elk Lake Publishing
RELEASE DATE: January 16, 2016
PAGES: 386

my thoughts

“All I long for is to be loved without stipulations.”

Elaine Stock’s debut novel Always With You grips readers’ attention from the first chapter and holds them captive until the last word.  Isabelle is one of those characters who immediately engages your heart, and you will be emotionally invested in her story as it plays out from page to page. Naive, craving love, needing to be “adult” yet lacking the maturity for the decision she’s about to make. And Tyler – charming, kind, rescuing hero Tyler – steps in at just the “right” moment to offer her that love she’s seeking.

Always With You isn’t suspense per se… at least not in the sense of an action-packed, hit-em-again, solve-the-crime type of suspense.  It IS an intriguing, haunting, sobering psychological thriller woven together with a story of young love in all its angsty glory and a couple on a search for Truth. The deeper you get into the story, the more layers are peeled away and the more startling the revelations.

Which brings me to this point – The aspect of Always With You that I perhaps found most captivating is the implication of how easily Truth can become warped and how innocuous Evil can appear. When Isabelle is first introduced to The Faithful, they seem almost like an offshoot of the Amish.  But with each new scene, each new encounter, each new “meeting”, that gap decidedly widens until they resemble followers of Hitler more closely than followers of God. At least, they’re certainly not following the God I know.  Elaine Stock has done a masterful job of revealing these layers bit by bit – highlighting, as I said, the ease with which twisted truth can become permanently damaging. This is why you won’t be able to put down the story.  This is also why it’s such an important read!

Bottom Line: Always With You uses the medium of story to paint a sobering picture of the destructive power of hate and secrets. The love story between the two young adults pales – even in its unique sweetness – in comparison to the greater Love Story going on deep in the background.  Despite the warped truth of The Faithful, Isabelle’s path crosses with Patrice who introduces her to the God whose thoughts are always on her, day and night… even when Isabelle didn’t know she should have been thinking about Him. He had always been with her. He IS always with her. And He can redeem the warped and the twisted and the wasted years… It’s kinda His specialty 🙂

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Captivating!

KissingBook Level: 3 / May steal your breath on occasion

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win always with you

Check out my interview with Elaine Stock for a chance to win a copy!

about the author

ElaineStock2

A former Brooklyn gal, Elaine Stock lives in the Northeast with her husband where she enjoys spring, summer, autumn, and puts up with the winter. A member of ACFW and WFWA (Women’s Fiction Writers Association), she also is a contributing author to the international “Happy Sis Magazine.” Prior to her release of her debut novelAlways With You, her short story “In His Own Time” won the 2014 Short Story Contest’s People’s Choice Award and was included in FamilyFiction’s The Story anthology. Also, her short story “The Forever Christmas Gift” is in the Amazon Best Seller anthology Christmas Treasures. In addition to Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads, she hangs out on her active blog, Everyone’s Story, dedicated to uplifting and encouraging readers and writers through the power of story and hope.

Carrie

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