Between Us Girls, Family of the Heart Series #1
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From bestselling Christian fiction author Sally John comes a brand-new series featuring broken lives, new beginnings...and unexpected romance.
Welcome to Casa de Vida--eleven quaint bungalows located three blocks from the Pacific Ocean in tiny Seaside Village, California. Owner Liv McAlister never advertises vacancies beyond a small hand-lettered sign out front, preferring to trust that God will send the right tenant at just the right time. And He always does.
Meet Jasmyn Albright--she's had more than her share of bad breaks lately, beginning with the tornado that demolished her farmhouse. Emotionally fragile and feeling utterly alone, Jasmyn heads west, hoping to outrun her heartbreak. And she doesn't stop until she notices a small sign that reads "Vacancy." Before she's quite aware of how it all happened, Jasmyn finds herself the newest tenant at Casa de Vida. She hardly dares to hope that her fortunes might be about to change...but of course when God is at work, anything can happen, and new beginnings are one of His specialties.
Sometimes among strangers, family happens. And sometimes, when we least expect it, romance is a welcome guest.
IolaNew ZealandAge: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Good points and not so goodNovember 5, 2014IolaNew ZealandAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Waitress Jasmyn Albright lives in the tiny town of Valley Oaks, Illinois, in the same house her mother and grandmother lived in. Shes stuck in a rut and knows it, until a catastrophe forces her to makes some life changesone of which is a vacation in sunny San Diego. But even that doesnt go according to plan, and she finds herself in the care of Liz, and a temporary resident of the Casa de Vida Cottages, just a few block from the beach.
There were parts of Between Us Girls. I liked, especially the slightly offbeat character of Liz, the intelligent yet shy engineer Samantha, the mysterious Keagan, and Beau, the gentle giant. I also liked the way both Jasmyn and Samantha were able to better come to terms with their family backgrounds, and to begin to develop relationships with God.
But there were things which detracted from my enjoyment, like the way the beginning was rally providing background rather than getting into the story, the way the story moved from Illinois to San Diego with no warning, and the list of residents at the Casa de Vida Cottagesthere were a lot of characters to keep straight, and I got lost more than once. I also wasnt especially keen on Jasmyn. I didnt know why shed stayed in Valley Oaks all those years when she said she never fitted in there. I understood why she left (and why she loved San Diegowho wouldnt), but if she was that unhappy, why hadnt she left years earlier?
Im in two minds about Between Us Girls. The writing was excellent, there was a solid underlying Christian message, and I loved the San Diego setting, but overall I felt it took too long to get going, it was too easy to put down, and the complexities of multiple character relationships made it hard to pick back up again. I can usually finish a novel in a day, or two at the most, but this took me a week.
Id be interested in knowing what happens next for Jasmyn, Sam and the other Casa de Vida residents, but next time Id like it to get straight into the story rather than having the first few chapters feel like an extended prologue.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Jen PenMidwest4 Stars Out Of 5Friendship from the heart...October 22, 2014Jen PenMidwestQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4SUMMARY:
All at different points in their lives while looking for happiness, several women join together to sort through life at Casa de Vida cottages. Through friendship, tears, troubles and humor, new relationships are formed and surprises found. Between Us Girls shares lifes moments with friends from the heart
A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
A new author for me, once I became accustomed to her writing style, I found myself truly enjoying the story. Such a girl story if you will, it definitely resonated with the closeness, calmness, excitement and necessity of God placing girlfriends in our lives for a reason. With subtle faith mixed throughout, Sally John shares the waves so often experienced in life. The characters were so real, the novel almost read like a journal. Even more so, this book would be ideal for a movie! As the first book in the Family Of The Heart Series, the saga continues in book 2, Take My Hand. After-all, dont we all need a little encouragement along lifes journey?
4 (out of 5) pennies
*I received a complimentary copy of Between Us Girls from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*
J KayAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5A reread!October 10, 2014J KayAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I really enjoyed this book. It is a definite reread! I am looking forward to the next book in this series.
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