TOGETHER WITH YOU by Victoria Bylin
GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: March 31, 2015
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?
Known for her realistic and engaging characters, Victoria Bylin delivers an emotion-packed story reminiscent of The Sound of Music, one that reminds us all to believe in the power of faith and love.
Carly Mason, a Kentucky girl escaping her mistakes by doing her graduate work in California, hears a “missing child” announcement over the PA system in the mall where she works and when she finds Penny she finds a family that needs her. Penny’s dad Ryan is struggling to help his children adjust to their new situation as a divorced family – and Penny is the reason for that divorce. Or, rather, the affair Ryan had with Penny’s mom who recently passed away. He has his sons for the summer, and Penny full-time (despite the best efforts of Penny’s aunt who wants Penny for herself) … and very little left of his sanity.
To complicate matters even further, Penny suffers from a mild form of FASD – fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. While in this story, Penny’s character does not show signs of the most severe form of FASD, her behavioral issues pose great challenges for her father and the nannies he tries to employ. Fortunately for Ryan Tremaine, God ushered in Carly Mason at just the right time – whether or not either of them acknowledged His assistance!
The first book I read of Ms. Bylin’s – Until I Found You – had me swooning from the romance. I even developed a book-boyfriend crush on Nick Sheridan, the hero in that book. I mean, seriously, this line: “Nick Sheridan had the posture of a soldier, the ease of a cowboy, and the daring of a pirate.” Can you blame me??? In Together With You, the love story was more subtle, sorta crept up on me a little more slowly. Both books, however, feature honest, realistic looks at Christians (“veteran” and “newbie”) just trying to figure out how to live this whole Jesus life while dodging the speed bumps of life. No sugar coating, no “too good to be true” here. I felt right at home with these characters because I could see myself in them – making mistakes, losing my temper, wanting to just throw in the towel and give up. What keeps Ms. Bylin’s characters going is the same Strength that keeps me going – the redeeming grace of Jesus, the mercies that are new every morning, the faithfulness that is indeed great.
Bottom Line: I loved Together With You by Victoria Bylin! Great story, characters I instantly fell in love with, and a plot rich with themes of real-life struggles, God’s redemption of messy situations (even the ones we’ve caused for ourselves) and accepting God’s forgiveness. Plus it features my beloved Lexington, Kentucky & the hymn I walked down the aisle to at my wedding (Be Thou My Vision) plays an important role in a wedding in the book too!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3+ / will forget to breathe on occasion
Victoria Bylin writes contemporary and historical romances known for their realistic, relatable characters. Her work has finaled in contests such as the Carol Awards, the RITAs, and the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky. Visit her website at victoriabylin.com to find out more.
What about you? What makes you want to read Together With You by Victoria Bylin?