THE SYCAMORE STANDOFF by Stacey Weeks
SERIES: Sycamore Hill #1
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Grace and Love Publishing
RELEASE DATE: June 21, 2022
She wants independence. He wants her affections. They’ll have to face her past for any chance of a future.
Escaping an abusive boyfriend, Meg Gilmore finds refuge in Sycamore Hill. She’s particularly drawn to a 250-year-old tree she names Alfred. Like her, Alfred is a survivor, and the shade beneath its protective branches is her go-to place for solace. When a construction firm slates the majestic tree for destruction, Meg resolves to save Alfred. But Meg underestimates an adversary who refuses to yield to her requests to work around the tree.
Eli Martin’s family money is as old as the tree Meg is desperate to save. Attracted to Meg from day one, he sees Meg’s campaign to save Alfred as his chance to seal her affections. The best way to fight big business is to attack them in the pocketbook, and he devises a plan that Meg’s adversary won’t be able to afford to fight.
When Meg’s ex arrives and complicates things, Eli once again rises to her aid. However, Meg insists he can’t simply throw money at problems to make them go away.
Together they face what truly terrifies Meg and find freedom and love in the most unlikely places.
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One of the things I enjoy about Stacey Weeks’ writing is her ability to present a powerful & touching gospel message organic to the story, without it feeling forced or preachy. Instead of stopping an entertaining story for a sermon (y’all know that’s a pet peeve of mine), Weeks uses the faith-centered elements to enhance the characters’ journeys on the page and point to the Source of peace, strength, and courage. And in The Sycamore Standoff, Meg needs a solid dose of all three.
Meg is making a new home for herself in Sycamore Hill, fleeing an abusive boyfriend and finding refuge & solace – and maybe a new love – in this quaint town. She is the kind of protagonist that we can all relate to – even if we haven’t lived her exact circumstances. Because we have experienced her emotions & insecurities, we’ll root for her to find her confidence, her faith, and a happily ever after. I loved getting to know the town and its residents, and I’m definitely looking forward to the other books in this series. In fact, I got so caught up reading the preview of His Sycamore Sweetheart that I forgot it was only a snippet and was disappointed when my Kindle would not advance further lol.
There are a lot of parallels in this story between ‘Alfred’ – the 250-year-old tree at the source of the titular standoff – and Meg’s own life. I won’t go into too many details because I don’t want to spoil it for other readers, but I loved how sweetly the author wrote this aspect of her story and how it can apply to our own lives as well. The way town gets involved will bring a smile to your face (and maybe even a cheer from your mouth), but it’s the spiritual application that will linger in your heart long after you’ve closed the book.
Bottom Line: The Sycamore Standoff is a sweet & swoony romance (I loved Eli, too, even though I haven’t talked about him in the review), but it’s so much more than that. It’s a story of survival, of leaning into Godly friends, of taking power back from the voices who hold you captive and putting it in the hands of the One who made you & loves you & is for you. I can’t wait for more visits to Sycamore Hill, to catch up with Meg & Eli and see where Weeks takes the other characters too.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
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Stacey writes faith-filled contemporary romance and romantic suspense with strong female leads and imperfect heroes.
She is a multi-award-winning author, conference speaker, and Bible study teacher. She loves to read and will try almost any creative pursuit at least once.
Stacey lives in Ontario with her husband of 25 years and three children. When she is not writing, she is probably jogging the trails in her neighbourhood, homeschooling her kids, or trying out a new recipe in the kitchen.
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