in this post: Come Back to Me
Happy February – official (according to me) KissingBooks month! And welcome to another Love Stories giveaway post! This LOVE STORIES giveaway series is thusly named for two reasons – first, because I love stories and second, because I love Love Stories.
Throughout the entire month of February, I’ll be spotlighting swoony Christian fiction & ‘clean read’ romances. Three cheers for KissingBooks!!! So… grab a fan or two, your trusty fainting couch, and maybe a freezer just to be safe and start making your KissingBooks tbr list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)
Today’s first book is Come Back to Me by Carolyn Astfalk – plus a great post from the author on why we love falling in love!
COME BACK TO ME
SERIES: Stay With Me #2
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction
PUBLISHER: Full Quiver Publishing
RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2020
Alan Reynolds slid into marriage. When his wife kicks him out, it looks as if he may slide out just as easily. Forced to bunk with his newlywed younger brother and his pregnant wife, Alan gets a firsthand look at a blissfully happy marriage while his wife rebuffs his attempts at a reunion.
Caught in the middle, Alan and his wife’s mutual friend Megan grows increasingly unhappy with her own empty relationships. If that weren’t enough, her newly sober brother has found happiness with Jesus, a goody-goody girlfriend, and a cockeyed cat.
When Alan and Megan hit rock bottom, will there be grace enough in their bankrupt lives to right their relationships and find purpose like their siblings have?
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Also available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited
Valentine’s Day often held disappointment for me. I longed to have the boy who occupied my daydreams suddenly reveal his affection for me, but, alas, each year the special day passed without me being the recipient of flowers, chocolates, or even a cute card.
I was in my twenties before I experienced a Valentine’s Day that held any romance. (Only he gave me a guinea pig, not flowers). I can still recall the rush of attraction and spine-tingling hope of something more–of love!
We’re hardwired to love. Sometimes, like Shakespeare’s Romeo, we fall in love with the mere idea of being in love! Why?
As I began reading and writing Christian romance, I gave more thought to this love of falling in love. Where does it come from? Why do we crave it?
I found one of the most satisfying answers in my daughter’s take-home folder of all places. My children would often bring home pages of their religion textbooks with messages related to the day’s lesson addressed to the parents.
Tom McGrath, author of Raising Faith-Filled Kids, wrote this:
“Think of all the books, movies, TV shows, songs, and soap operas that gain dramatic tension by observing two people on the verge of falling in love. They capture and convey a longing that seems universal, as if the whole world is holding its breath, waiting for love to erupt in their lives. This great longing is holy. It’s a manifestation of our desire to know and to experience God’s love for us. God placed this desire to know, love, and serve him deep in our hearts.”
Yes! This is a foretaste, pale and flimsy as it may be, of the all-consuming love of God, our Father in heaven. And that’s the sensation I want to re-create when my characters finally come together.
My latest novel, my fifth, was launched on Valentine’s Day. Up to this point, I’d written a caught-in-the-rain kiss (Stay With Me), a closet kiss (Ornamental Graces), a first kiss (Rightfully Ours), and, oops, another caught-in-the-rain kiss (All in Good Time). But I hadn’t written a married couple kiss. That’s what I got to do in Come Back to Me.
While those other novels are straight-up contemporary Christian romance, Come Back to Me is more general contemporary Christian fiction with a struggling marriage at its heart. This reunion kiss was no less satisfying to write than the others because, like them, it’s driven by the desire to love and be loved.
Here’s how it goes:
He moved closer to her, toe to toe. “I’m gonna get you one of those ‘Kiss the Cook’ aprons.”
Her eyes twinkled, and the corner of her lips turned up in a flirty smile. “I don’t need one of those to get a kiss, do I?”
She reached up and crossed her wrists behind his neck, her body bumping his. “If you’re waiting for an engraved invitation, I think I’ve got one of those.” She loosed a hand and waved it in front of him, wiggling her ring finger encircled by her white gold wedding band.
His pulse sped. Alan was different now, and this kiss should be different too. Not a cursory kiss given as one of them ran out the door. Not an obligatory part of foreplay. Not one of the many sloppy, drunken kisses they’d shared. Or the rote kisses that had become routine between them.
What he poured into this kiss needed to be just right—the perfect melding of passion and purpose. The kiss of a man who was ready, willing, and able—scratch that, eager—to be a husband and a father, with a clear understanding of the sacrifices those roles demanded.
Jamie must’ve sensed his earnestness because the smile fell from her face and the gaze of her blue eyes locked onto his. Her chin lifted on a breath, and he slid his hand along her jaw and cupped the back of her head. Her eyes closed, and her implicit trust spurred him on.
There are a few more paragraphs, but I don’t want to spoil the entire kiss for you. Suffice it to say Alan and Jamie are getting a wee taste of the joyful knowledge of loving and being loved.
Carolyn Astfalk is offering a print or ebook copy of Come Back To Me to one of my readers! (Print – US only. Ebook open internationally. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most about Come Back to Me and/or Carolyn Astfalk’s post?