Beyond I Do    -     By: Jennifer Slattery
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Beyond I Do

New Hope Publishers / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Description

Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed, socialite psychiatrist. But as Ainsley's wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream, a hidden passion, one that threatens to change everything, including her fiance'. If she wants to embrace God's best and find lasting love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage is beyond "I do."

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: New Hope Publishers
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 X 0.80 (inches)
ISBN: 1596694173
ISBN-13: 9781596694170
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Marriage . . . it's more than a happily ever after. Eternally more. Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignites a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiance. To embrace God's best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

Product Reviews

4.8 Stars Out Of 5
4.8 out of 5
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4.7 out Of 5
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5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.7 out Of 5
(4.7 out of 5)
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  1. New Zealand
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Christian ficiton with a difference
    January 27, 2015
    Iola
    New Zealand
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Beyond I Do is more overtly Christian than most novels I read, even though most of them are marketed as Christian fiction! The characters quote Bible verses (well, some of them do), although it is a little strange seeing the references in brackets, and are actively pursuing their Christian walk. Well, most of them. But thats the basis of the story

    Ainsley Meadows has always dreamed of helping less fortunate womenwomen like her mother, perhapsbut instead she has settled for security: a secure job as a pharmaceutical sales representative, and a safe relationship with Dr Richard Hollis, a psychiatrist with plans to publish the next breakthrough bestseller in his field. But a few chance remarks from Richard and shes starting to wonder if shes made the right decision: is he really a Christian? Its a big question, and certainly one which has to be answered before any marriage can take place.

    Meanwhile, Ainsley has a new next-door neighbour, Chris, who has bought a local caf and wants to be able to share his faith with the customers. However, it seems the existing staff and customers arent so keen on the idea. Meanwhile hes getting pestered by his sister, who doesnt want to move their mother to a home which will offer better care, and hes attracted to his pretty neighbour. The one with the rich boyfriend

    Beyond I Do forces readers to ask some tough questions about our own faith and priorities. Sure, Ainsley doesnt always have a choice in her situations, but she shows us the importance of seeking God first, and being obedient to His will. A solid first novel.

    Thanks to Jennifer Slattery and New Hope Publishers for providing a free book for review.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent Book
    November 14, 2014
    Shannon Taylor Vannatter
    I loved this book. Jennifer is great at creating memorable characters. Even her insignificant side characters breathe. Her heroine was who I want to be when I grow up. I really loved her strength. No wishy washy or riding the fence. Once she made a decision, she stuck with it. Her determination to love her family member even though she seemed unlovable was touching. The hero was yummy and I fell in love with him right along with the heroine. And I thought the protagonist was just a jerk, but it turned out he had great motivation for being a jerk. Wonderful writing, wonderful characters, wonderful story.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Beyond I Do
    November 4, 2014
    SAken
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Beyond I Do - eBook.
    Beyond I Do is an engaging story that kept me turning the pages until the end. There are several story lines that are interesting and the author did a great job of weaving them together and resolving each one. It is easy to relate to the characters and their struggles from the desire to make the right decision about marriage to struggling with a parent who is ill to dealing with parents who still wound your heart. Ainsley is a Christian who is growing in her desire to serve God and learning about making the wise choice. It speaks to the idea of being more concerned about a wedding than a marriage and asks the question of what happens "beyond I do"? As a Christian, I enjoyed reading about someone who talks to God and reads the Bible as I do yet is also shown to be a real person who struggles like we all do with anger, unforgiveness and doubt. If you are engaged but having doubts about marriage, if you are planning a wedding, if you have a parent who has Alzheimer's, if you are struggling with a parent who has let you down or who tries to control you, I think you would relate to this story but then we all face moments of indecision, pain, unforgiveness and being let down so it is a great story for all.
  4. Plymouth MA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    What if "I Do" should be "I Don't?"
    October 26, 2014
    debhgrty
    Plymouth MA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    Deb's Dozen: 12-Word Summaries - Discovering dreams, fearsome fiance, finding forgiveness, helping the homeless, a God-given love.

    Ainsley Meadows is looking for love and stability. She believes she's found these things in Richard, her fiance. However, she is troubled as Richard seems to become more and more controlling - telling her what she will do instead of asking. In fact, Richard seems opposed to those things Ainsley holds dear. At the same time that she is questioning her relationship with Richard, she is having difficulty dealing with her mom, a dysfunctional parent who goes from one man to another with great abandon. Ainsley must discover who she is, what her dreams are, and that there is so much more to a marriage Beyond I Do.

    Ainsley struck a chord with me emotionally. She is very believable and wants very much to do the "right" things. Richard, on the other hand, is from the beginning a louse. I kept wondering why Ainsley couldn't see through him, but then acknowledged that I've been in relationships where I've not been able to see the forest for the trees, too. How Ainsley works through her relationship with Richard, with her mom, and with God is the stuff of real life. Will Ainsley follow her heart, her dreams, and her God, or will she choose security over love. You'll enjoy Ainsley's story - you'll want to shake her at times, and at others you'll find her journey all too familiar. Beyond I Do is a 4-Star book - you'll enjoy reading her story.

    Beyond I Do is Jennifer Slattery's debut novel written to encourage people to go beyond their comfort zones to help the impoverished, addicted, at-risk, and broken. While these themes are prevalent in the book, the characters carry the novel. Jennifer has a fulfilling career ahead as a novelist as well as her ministry efforts in her local community. Anyone who "enjoys, long, leisurely strolls with her husband, mall-dates with her daughter, and chatting with her girlfriends over hot, flavored milk with a hint of coffee" is someone I look forward to hearing from again. Jennifer definitely lives her life "out loud."

    I was given a complimentary copy of Beyond I Do by New Hope Publishing for my unbiased review.
  5. Newport VA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    a must read for anyone thinking about getting married or already married!
    September 7, 2014
    mustlovetoread
    Newport VA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Beyond I Do - eBook.
    Beyond I Do

    By: Jennifer Slattery

    The message in this book makes it a must read. Whether youre already married or hope to be, do not miss this. Ainsley Meadows is ready to marry the man of her dreams. But is he really? Its a predictable, safe relationship, but will that be enough for the years after she says I do?

    Ainsley strives to do what God wants her to do. She goes to church, visits the sick and shut-ins, volunteers at a womens shelter, but her fianc Richard Hollis, a psychiatrist, is more interested in marketing his new book. He figures he will keep her busy enough after marriage with social functions to cut down on her time to associate with such people.

    Her neighbor, Chris Langley, just moved in. His mother is in an assisted living home. She has Alzheimers. He sold his lawyer practice and bought a coffee shop in order to be closer to his mother. God has given him a vision for the coffee shop. Will it come to pass? Or will it go under first?

    Ainsley is terrified of ending up like her mother, jumping from relationship to relationship, job to job. Who does God want her to marry? I loved how this theme was handled in this book. As opposed to just jumping into a marriage without thinking about the repercussions, Ainsley is feeling unsettled and wondering where these feelings are coming from. She wants to pray about Gods will and know who He has picked out for her. Being a Christian and your fianc not, brings discord into their marriage from the beginning. He does not understand her desire to help others, go to church, volunteer her time. And when she voices these concerns, his response is to blame her childhood and the games her mother played for her indecisiveness about their upcoming marriage. When she questions his faith, he promises to go to church more. She is not convinced of his faith and salvation, however.

    Beyond I Do is a great book for young adults on the verge of marriage. It lays out questions you should ask, concerns you should talk about, and getting the discussion of salvation and faith out in the open to be sure both parties are on the same page. A relationship with Jesus is a personal one. It is a real relationship. Are you hearing from Him? What is He telling you? Before making that big time commitment, make sure it is the one He wants for you. Blessings from God do not bring added trouble.

    This line stayed with me after reading this book: Christianity isnt about doing anything. Its about accepting what Jesus Christ has already done. We cant earn His grace; it is freely given. Pick up this book today for a great read. I cant wait to read more by this author.

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Author/Artist Review

Author: Jennifer Slattery
Submitted: August 12, 2014

    Tell us a little about yourself.  I love to read almost as much as I love to write and always have a book lying on my bedstand and another ten or so waiting on my Kindle. I write what I like to call "missional romance" because I'm passionate about outreach, living out my calling, and encouraging others to do the same. I also write for Crosswalk.com and write and edit for an international ministry called Christ to the World Ministries that shares the gospel, via radio waves, with 32 countries. When I'm not writing or reading, you'll probably find me hanging out my husband of 19 years or perusing the mall with our teenaged daughter

    What was your motivation behind this project?  The theme for the novel--serving the local homeless--arose from my time as a homeless teenager, and the romance angle came from over a decade of serving beside my hubby. I love serving with him and find we complement each other perfectly! His strengths make up for my weaknesses and vice versa, plus, sharing a mission at home, in our community, and in our church gives us a great deal to talk--and pray!--about.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  I hope people will prayerfully seek after and embrace their eternal purpose, because it is immensely fulfilling to do that which God created you to do.

    How were you personally impacted by working on this project?  A driving theme in the novel is surrender. To discover God's best, Ainsley will have to surrender completely to Him. Though she longs to do this, the thought terrifies her because surrender means relinquishing control. As I wrote, I realized my actions can often be motivated by this same fear, but I also saw, through Ainsley's experiences, how wonderful it can be to just let go.

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  Francine Rivers has always been one of my favorite authors. I especially loved her Mark of the Lion series. Janet Oke was also a favorite. Now I'm a big Mary Conneally and Jenny B. Jones fan. Those girls are funny! And yet, they also write about some tough subjects like orphans, foster kids, and domestic violence.

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  Sure! I have another novel following this one, released by the same publisher. It's called "When Dawn Breaks" and is about a menopausal realtor displaced by a hurricane who encounters three children abandoned by their mother.

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