Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Review & Giveaway: The Hearts We Mend by Kathryn Springer

Heidi Reads... The Hearts We Mend by Kathryn Springer

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Planning and Post-It notes are the epitome of Evie’s life. But when she meets Jack, her life gets more than a little complicated.

Thirteen years ago, Evie's firefighter husband was killed in the line of duty, leaving her to raise their young son, Cody, alone. Now, Cody is marrying the love of his life, and as he packs up his belongings, the house feels as empty as Evie's heart. But for all her planning and mad organizational skills, Evie could never have anticipated the dramatic shift her life is about to make.

Tattooed, rough-around-the-edges Jack raises quite a few eyebrows in the tight-knit community of Banister Falls. Where Evie's life is stream-lined, Jack's approach to living is moment-by-moment. But as Evie gets drawn into Jack's world—a world that isn't as safe or predictable as the one she's worked so hard to create—he challenges her to open her eyes to the problems outside the walls of the church.

Jack doesn't make Evie feel comfortable, but he definitely makes her feel something. Something she hasn't felt since Max passed away—or, maybe ever. Because even though Jack isn't anything like her late husband, he just might be everything she needs.

My Review

I started this book not realizing it was the second in a series. It took me a few chapters to get a feel for all the characters and their relationships since the story pretty much dives right in to Evie's life, and I think it would have been a smoother start for me if I had already read the first book, The Dandelion Field. Evie is angsting over her empty nest now that her only son is married, but once she and Jack become unlikely friends, the story focuses on her eye-opening experiences in the seedy part of town and the love and kindness needed by the people there. Evie has a true heart for service and I admired that she made friends in Jack's neighborhood quickly and without judgement. Her compassion is a blessing to Jack's family and although he doesn't feel worthy of her, he falls for Evie and they begin a sweet romance (amazing first kiss, by the way!) I felt for Jack as he repeatedly tries to be the rescuer and fix-it man for his splintered family, only to realize that he has to let God take care of things out of his control. I loved his character trait of being handy at renovating and improving buildings, it reminded me of my uncles and their skills :) The theme of letting go of fear to embrace the blessings God has in store for us is one that was successfully represented throughout the course of the book. Now I'm going to go read The Dandelion Field!

(Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Zondervan Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

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Don't miss the first book in the Banister Falls series, The Dandelion Field

This handsome firefighter makes a living coming to the rescue, but Gin doesn't need a man to fight her battles.

After Raine's dad walked out, Ginevieve Lightly never lived in one place too long, a rambling lifestyle that defined her daughter's youth. When their car dies in Banister Falls, Wisconsin, Gin promises Raine they can stay until she finishes her senior year of high school. Gin will do anything to make sure her daughter has a bright future . . . a future that's compromised when Raine reveals she's pregnant.

Dan Moretti has only ever called Banister Falls home. After losing his best friend in a tragic accident, Dan devoted himself to responding to fires, rescuing the helpless, and guiding Cody Bennett, his best friend's son, through life. With Cody being the epitome of the good kid, it was an easy job. Until he says four little words: The baby is mine.

Knowing gossip of Raine's pregnancy will erupt sooner or later in the small town, Gin's reflex is to grab the suitcase and escape to a new city, a new life. But with each passing day, Gin's feet stay rooted in Banister Falls, and she falls a little more for this local firefighter who shows her not all men abandon women at the first sign of smoke.

As Gin and Dan do the best they can to guide the two teenagers through their early entry into adulthood, they discover together that romance can bloom in the rockiest of situations. And God can turn the pieces of a broken past into a beautiful new beginning.

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