Don’t tell anyone… but Jake’s my favorite.
At least, he was until his brothers Bo or Ty shared the page with him. Then, it’s anybody’s guess. I suppose – like their lovable momma would insist – they’re each my favorite in their own way. Bo with his steady, faithful “true”-ness. Ty with his devil-may-care, flirty charm. Jake with his wounded, desperate-for-hope hero complex. (Ok. Confession? Don’t tell anyone, but Ty really is my favorite. I developed a book crush on each of the Porter brothers but I have just as little immunity against Ty’s charms as any other female in the world – no matter if her age is 1 or 100 or somewhere in between. Sad but true.)
In her trademark delightfully witty and sweet writing voice, Becky Wade takes us back to Holley, Texas and the Porter family and friends we’ve grown to love. A Love Like Ours zeroes in on Jake’s story and is, at its core, a story of hope – losing hope after tragedy and rediscovering that hope with the help of a childhood friend. It’s about not giving up on someone you love… because you know God hasn’t given up on them either. And it’s about trusting God with the good, the bad, and the ugly of life even when none of the above make sense.
Book 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: I’m a sucker for best-friends-fall-in-love plot lines. Perhaps because I lived one. Because of this, I was already set to love this book. And then I read it. Suddenly the best-friends-fall-in-love plot line (while still making me grin) mattered to me so much less than the other beautiful stories going on beneath Ms. Wade’s pen!
A Love Like Ours reunites inseparable childhood friends Jake Porter and Lyndie James as adults. One friend has been heart-wounded by the tragedies he’s lived through while the other friend has been strengthened by hers. Jake is content to stay dead inside, doing his penance this way for not protecting the other Marines in his command from the IED that exploded beneath their armored vehicle – for being the one who lived. Lyndie whirls into his life like a tornado and upends his carefully ordered shelter-in-place directive. She stills sees the little boy she adored all those years ago, and as determined as he is to keep her away she’s equally determined to get through to him.
As always, I adore Becky Wade’s writing style! It engages you right away and keeps your attention with witty dialogue, hilarious asides, and heart-clenching moments of sweetness. Oh… and THE KISSING! Whooee, as Nancy Porter would say. Becky Wade’s kissing scenes belong on a movie screen with crescendos of dramatic music playing in the background. As long as I have an alternate source of oxygen and a fan or six to insure I could survive such an experience.
Speaking of oxygen and fans and surviving, don’t you just love this description of Jake from Lyndie’s perspective? “His five o’clock shadow lent him an even more disreputable pirate air than usual. If you liked that sort of thing.” Ohhhhh I do. Like that sort of thing. In fact, if there’s anything that will send me into a swoon faster than a cowboy hero – it’s a pirate hero. Or a soldier hero. And what do we have in Jake? ALL THREE!!! Be still my book-crushing heart!
I also really enjoyed the other characters in the book – both familiar and new. Lyndie’s grandpa? Endearingly hysterical! Zoe? Sweet and quirky and bless her heart if I didn’t want to finish her sentences for her just like Lyndie did. Some of the guys we meet at the singles’ event? Hilarious! I loved loved LOVED that we were able to get reacquainted with Amber and Jayden 4 years down the road and see how they were doing, how they’ve healed, how they’ve both grown up. Amber plays a pretty important role in a subplot of the story and I think you will really enjoy it!
The characters are familiar, the writing is witty, the kisses are movie-worthy. But make no mistake – A Love Like Ours is not what I would call a lighthearted read. It deals with a soldier’s PTSD still firmly holding him hostage years after the explosion that forever marked his future. It spotlights a family whose world was changed in an instant when their daughter suffered a tragic injury at birth. It touches on the pain of infertility, single parenting, and loss of faith. Just one of these topics would be tough for an author to tackle, but Ms. Wade writes about each with a nice blend of grace and truth. Through it all, we as readers are reminded that God sees, that God knows, that God heals, and that God has a plan that may not make sense to us but makes perfect sense to the One who has loved us even before He created us.
I give A Love Like Ours 4 out of 5 stars!
Thank you to Netgalley in cooperation with Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Carol Award and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, Undeniably Yours, Meant to Be Mine, and A Love Like Ours.