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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Together With You

Victoria Bylin is a romance writer known for her realistic and engaging characters.  Her books have finaled in multiple contests, including the Carol Awards, he RITAs, and RT Magazine's Reviewers' Choice Award.  A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, KY, where their family and their crazy Jack Russell terrier keep them on the go.

Learn more at Victoria's website:

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 laying 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?

My Thoughts:
I need to get the negative out of the way first...I absolutely did not like this cover.  For me, it is too reminiscent of Harlequin Romance covers.  And quite frankly, I think it does the content of the book a huge disfavor.
While the plot is a little too predictable, Bylin weaves a story that shines a light on the transforming power of grace and educates readers about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and its effects.  There were points in the story that the plot progression felt a little too forced...the conversion of one of the main characters near the end is a case in point.
With those things said, overall Bylin tells a story that is engaging with characters that are realistic.  I gave several passages throughout the book a hearty "amen".  Passages like these two:
"Where was God in this big messy world?  Carly knew the theology, but her prayer life was nothing but static and garbled pleas for help..."
"All parents make mistakes.  What counts far more is what comes next, how a person makes a bad situation better.  That's what a child learns."
In the end, I found Together with You a delight to read and I think you will enjoy the story as well.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of giving my honest review.

Happy Reading Ya'll,