That's the only way I know how to sum up JoAnn Durgin's Awakening. Her witty sense of humor shines in the banter between Sam Lewis and Lexa Clarke, two characters I know you'll love getting to know. This book is a refreshing read that will have you believing TeamWork is a real organization . . . and you'll want to join their next mission!
Lexa Clarke may be running from her past, but it might just catch up to her while she's helping as a volunteer for a two-month summer mission with TeamWork. As she assists in rebuilding houses destroyed by flooding in San Antonio, trouble seems to follow her around in all shapes and sizes. Sam Lewis quickly realizes he's got to keep his eye on Miss Lexa Clarke if he's to keep trouble from interrupting his work as director of this TeamWork mission. Watching the petite woman with the long blonde braid proves to be a challenge worth accepting, even if it means facing his own haunting past. Will Sam and Lexa let the problems they've never dealt with drive a wedge between them as they discover a passion for serving the Lord in new ways? What will become of the TeamWork group when trouble turns combustible?
Sam tells Lexa in chapter two, "I'm saying He [God] allowed it to happen. He has His reasons. It's up to us to try and figure out what He's trying to tell us." It's neat to see how Sam's and Lexa's differing levels of faith play such huge roles in their lives during their work with TeamWork and in the other parts of their lives, as well. Each character has their own trials to face, and they depend on their faith in God in such unique ways that it really does inspire the reader to take a good look at their own faith life and reconsider where they are with God. Are we following His will for our lives? Are we making a positive difference in the world around us? Is there something more we can do to better serve the God who loves us so completely? Is there something from our past that we need to face in order to be a vessel God can use to spread His message?
Awakening is a book worth reading for its sense of adventure, plot twists, witty humor and a glimpse at what it means to live what you believe. It's the first in JoAnn Durgin's The Lewis Legacy Series. I'm eager to add to my collection, and I have a feeling you will be too, after reading this first adventure. JoAnn sure has a knack for storytelling, and her pacing is spot-on. Just when I thought everything was wrapped up, she brought back yet one more loose end . . . and another one . . . and left me wanting to read the second book in the series to find out what adventure the TeamWork crew will find themselves in on their next mission.
Thank you, JoAnn, for sending me a complimentary copy of Awakening for my honest review. I enjoyed it immensely and hope those reading this will also find a little adventure when they pick up their copy of Awakening.
Joann Durgin has written a wonderful contemporary Christian romance set in Texas. Sam Lewis is the director of TeamWork, a missions-based operation that is rebuilding some homes lost in a recent flood out in the middle of nowhere in Texas. His heart is to be in full-time missions work, but right now he still owns a financial consulting business in Houston that he works at full-time with time off for his mission work. He is close to his family, caring, smart, funny, handsome and completely dedicated to God. He isn't looking for a relationship, but soon discovers he can't stop thinking about Lexa. After getting to know her a little better, he realizes during one of their conversations that one thing he wants that will make him happy is to make her happy. What a guy!
Lexa Clarke also is in the financial industry, but takes 8 weeks off to work with Team Work at Sam's mission. She longs to be closer to God and thinks that by helping others she might be able to accomplish this. At first, she keeps to herself, but gradually allows herself to be drawn out of her protective shell. Her mother died when she was a young girl and her father was very distance. He, too, is now dead and Lexa is alone in the world. However, when she meets Sam, he brings out her sassiness, humor, dedication, and prods her newly awakened faith along the way. Lexa doesn't think a relationship could ever work between her and Sam as she isn't a good enough Christian. Sam lets her know she couldn't be more mistaken in how he views her. Their fledgling relationship certainly comes across several bumps in the road. Can it survive once the 8-week camp is over? Can a man this good be for real? Can a love that happens so quickly and completely be one that lasts?
I really liked the two main characters a lot. Their personalities and emotions were portrayed so the reader could really identify with what they were feeling. The interaction and chemistry between Sam and Lexa was palpable and the witty repartee made me smile and laugh out loud sometimes. The chapters are short, which keeps the story moving right along. Again, great dialogue and character development make this a story not to be missed. This is a good summer read for relaxing poolside!
If you like a book full of romance,adventure and suspense,than this a must read for you. My favorite parts were the romance between Sam and Lexa. It is a real page turner. It kept me up last into the night and early into the morning reading.
Absolutely - captivating, charming, realistic,funny, romantic and ... everything!!!
Honestly I liked it so much that I am at loss with words, I feel like retelling each episode and tell you how it affected me (like i did to my poor husband) but I don't want to spoil it for you.
Well here it is- the book is long (which you are NOT going to notice after you start reading) and it is so "sinfully" interesting and captivating and emotion involving that if you start reading it, it will take all your sleep away, so if you are planing on getting it to just read a few minutes before sleep - don't fool yourself, after the first chapter you won't be able to put it down much less sleep! So, just get some strong coffee and brace yourself for an adventure.
I really liked their banter on the lines and the advises in between the lines. Here is Lexa that hasn't trusted no one much less God since she was eight-years-old, but the is hungry to find a way to make a difference in peoples lives (which we should be for God to be able to use us in the best way possible)... and here is Sam who was christian all his life but because of it became too judgmental and almost interrupted God's plan to use Lexa in Howard's and Shelly's lives as well as in bringing healing to Sam himself. We, life-long believers sometimes try too hard to prove our hunger to save non-Christians that we push them the opposite way without realizing it. This book is not just a great love story but also an awesome example of how new believers can teach us more then we teach them.
I am going to say again that this book is awesome and totally hit my Fave-list. I recommend it to all - please read it, enjoy it, and believe it because it is based on a true love story..
*All smiles* What a book! Lexa's adventure with Sam starts in the first few chapters and DOES NOT let up until the last page!! Their car gets a flat tire right when they meet, Lexa has a couple coughing fits in the Texas heat/dust, she tosses a wrench to Sam while assisting him with the flat tire and the wrench accidentally slips and hits Sam in the leg, and Lexa is still in the car when she gets spit on by a goat! I simply loved it :) What do these characters think of one another at first? Lexa becomes Texas sized trouble in Sam's mind. Sam is an inquisitive but distractingly handsome giant in Lexa's mind.
I had to put the story away for a few days because I got busy with other things and it still managed to pull me in with nonstop enjoyment! There is nothing inappropriate about the book, the romance is pure and sweet throughout, and it was dynamite for me to read how Lexa transforms from cynical believer to full-fledged trusting in Christ. Some of the issues in this story are sex addiction, betrayal, true leadership, abuse, friendship, grieving for the death of a loved one, forgiveness, redemption and trust. These issues are illustrated with a variety of wonderful characters that I grew to love, there's nothing graphic in the story. There's lots of actions, unexpected twists (I was literally stunned more than once with revelations), and both Lexa and Sam are lovely characters who strive to honor God and support each other. There was only one scene where they get carried away with affection, but nothing happens and they prove that even heroes have flaws but that doesn't make them less heroic.
I believe that Durgin has brilliantly created a story that will romance her readers, make you laugh, touch your heart, and make clear that in all situations we must trust God. I was genuinely impressed how Durgin mixes romance and faith with authentic characters without sugarcoating anything. I praise God for feisty heroines like Lexa, it was a pleasure reading her journey.
This is Durgin's prayer stated before the first page: "The Lord is truly my Partner. He has paved the way and opened the doors of His choosing in this fascinating journey. It never ceases to amaze me the miraculous way in which He works in all things to accomplish His perfect will. May you each receive a unique blessing as you read this book. As Hebrews 12:1 tells us, we should run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes upon Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith." Your prayer came true, JoAnn, I received a unique blessing while reading this book. Thank you!