Ty Porter and Celia Park connected in high school as friends, although Celia would have loved more. Given the chance to see Ty show his stuff as a champion bullrider in Las Vegas, Celia finds herself caught up in a whirlwind romance that she's always dreamed of, ending up at the cheesiest of Las Vegas wedding chapels. Those dreams are quickly dashed with Ty's first words the morning after, and Celia finds herself alone again, although, not exactly.
While there were aspects of this plot that were foreseeable, I appreciated that the author did stray away from the particular trap of having the girl catch the guy in a situation that looked worse than it was. I appreciated Celia's feistiness and reluctance to allow Ty back in wholeheartedly. Even her struggle with forgiveness felt authentic, and not trite. Forgiving what Ty had done should not have come easily, and it didn't. Uncle Danny, Addie, Ty's family, and other side characters helped round out the story. It looks like this a series, with the first book being about Ty's brother Bo and his wife Meg; I can hope that there will be another book about their brother Jake. This is a family I'd like to read more about!
I give this book 4 stars; I was invested in the characters and sucked into the story of their personal and interpersonal development and healing.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.
I was taking a step out of my literary comfort zone when I read Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade last year. Contemporary fiction isn't usually my cup of tea but I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was very excited to get my hands on Celia and Ty's story. I absolutely LOVED this book and was not disappointed in the least!
Celia Park has loved Ty Porter since high school and after a whirlwind Vegas romance ends in an impromptu marriage she thinks her life is set. When she awakes the next morning to find Ty has changed his mind she finds things are quickly spinning out of control. Years later, when Ty tracks Celia down and discovers they have a daughter he begins to realize what he thought he wanted all these years is not even close.
Ty and Celia's story is a heavy hitter in the emotional ring and I definitely had a few outbursts of blubbering. Although there are just as many happy moments to pick you back up again.
I've enjoyed relationships with some good verbal sparring ever since I met Beatrice and Benedick and Meant to Be Mine did not let me down. Celia and Ty can throw down with the best of them and they really had a great chemistry. I also liked the interesting/complicated family dynamic between them and their daughter.
I'm seriously looking forward to the third book in this series so I can get to know Jake Porter better. He is a guy with what appears to be a lot of issues to work though and I believe he will be a wonderful hero in his own right.
***I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. ***
Becky Wades novel, Meant to Be Mine, is an engaging read where country boy meets city girl.
In Beckys previous book, Undeniably Yours, we are introduced to Ty Porter (brother to the hero in that book) and now find him as the male protagonist in this one. Of all the Porter brothers, Ty is the most popular. According to the people in the small Texas town where he has lived all his life, Ty is handsome, charming, smooth-talking, witty, a dare-devil, and three-time champion, bull rider! Theres nothing this home boy, hero cant do! Hes perfect - or is he?
Five and a half years ago while in Las Vegas, Ty Porter ran into a female pal from high school. Flirting and having fun with this friend, Celia, leads him into an impromptu marriage at a cheesy, Las Vegas wedding chapel.
Celia Park, has had a crush on Ty Porter since high school and is surprised, but thrilled and flattered to marry him. All good times have to come to an end. In this case a screeching halt! The two part ways when reality hits. Unbeknownst to Ty, Celia has taken something precious home with her from that memorable night. A beautiful, baby girl shows up several months later. Addie, this now five-year old, is Celias life. Ty has been getting wealthier and more popular in his bull riding career. Neither of them has filed for divorce!
I loved the idea for this novel. Any story of a previously, married couple who meet again after sharing such an intimate history always makes an exciting plot. Meant to Be Mine is full of chemistry, banter, and romance from beginning to end.
The heroine, Celia, is pretty and petite . She has an extreme diet of healthy eating, but baking baked goods of all sorts is her weakness. I loved reading about Celias baking sprees and the different desserts she would turn out from her kitchen. I enjoy baking myself, so could really identify with Celia in this occupation. Celia is also a worrier to the point of overprotectiveness for her daughter. I understood some of it, but much of what the author called worry seemed more like possessiveness to me. Its not often I read about a heroine who is struggling financially, trying to make ends meet. That situation is so true to life and made for a refreshing plot point in this novel.
Ty, rich and handsome, applies his usual charm and southern politeness to this new, awkward situation in which he finds himself. I think that would be so difficult and heartbreaking for a man to meet up with his former wife only to find out he has a five-year old child of whom he never knew! I love the way Ty handled the situation by jumping in whole-heartedly. He immediately wanted to love that girl and provide for her. Father and daughter have a very sweet relationship eventually. I thought Celia was crazy for not wanting to accept money from him for their child. Here he was willing to pay child support and she keeps snubbing him. That didnt make sense to me at all.
Since this is a romance novel I had high expectations in that department. In Meant to Be Mine we get lots, and I do mean LOTS, of physical interaction between these two. The chemistry is flying! Its not only physical though. Becky Wade has done an excellent job in writing flirty, witty dialog for Celia and Ty. I loved all their bantering back and forth.
The biggest problem I have with this book is understanding what these characters think the sanctity of marriage is. On one hand, Ty state that he believes that marriage is for life. Remember this couple is not divorced. On the other hand, he says hes waiting for an ex-girlfriend to break up with a guy so he can possibly marry her instead of sticking with his wife! Even while he says this to Celias face, he keeps kissing and flirting with Celia. Meanwhile, Celia thinks that if Ty still loves this previous girlfriend then maybe God intended for those two to be together. It may be true that the hero married in haste and should have stuck with his old girlfriend, but he made his choice and has to stick with it for better or worse. Even if Ty and Celia havent been together for five years they are still married. It doesnt give either of them, as professing Christians, permission to look elsewhere or to keep a backup waiting in the wings.
Becky Wade included some good spiritual lessons for her characters to learn and I was happy that they eventually sought some sort of relationship with God. Forgiveness is the main spiritual theme running through this novel.
Some books go overboard on a supporting cast. Becky Wade did a good job creating interesting and sometimes quirky family members and friends. I wish they would have had more page time. I loved the description of Holley, Texas and would love to see a series by this author set in the middle of this town. I understand, though, that the nature of this series has farm and ranch settings.
Even though I dont always agree with the characters life choices in Becky Wades novels (Im a little more conservative), I do still enjoy reading them. Becky writes fast-paced, romantic, contemporary novels that one can always count on for good entertainment. Meant to Be Mine is no exception.
Becky Wade you have outdone yourself; this book was so satisfyingly sweet and funny I couldn't put it down. I love the chemistry between the two and how they irritate each other but yet love so fiercely. It's a refreshing story because it has some painful reality to it; how we want so badly to be forgiven for our mistakes but sometimes struggle giving that same forgiveness to others. I will cherish this set of characters as much as I did Bo and Megan, and I'm sure I will do the same for Jake's story. Love it and love the honesty of this author.
Have you ever wanted to read the story after the I do? Well this is the story for you, but instead of a happily ever after scenario you get broken vows, a secret baby, and two very hurting people. Meant to be Mine's story plot is not your typical texas romance, but holds its own on the unique department.
The things that I did not particularly enjoy were the fact that gambling and having a girl friend while being married to another woman was looked upon as ok for a Christian. For the sake of testimony the author should have just left out that they were believing christians but rather fallen christians. The godly influence Meg and Bo provided in the story was very uplifting.
The romance that was rekindled between Ty and Celia was sweet and progressive not at all rushed. The road to rebuilding each other's trust was a bumpy, spiritual, and funny one. The incessant petty arguments, though very witty at times, proved quite tiring after awhile.
Addie proved quite different from the usual 6 year old with her mature and sensitive nature. She is most memorable for her beloved pink cowgirl boots. The author seemed to forget about Addie towards the end, so I would have loved for her to reappear more often, since Ty and Celia wouldn't be trying to work anything out if it weren't for her. She had the cutest daddy and daughter relationship with Ty.
We all know the gist of what the outcome is going to be for most books, so I felt that after some time the book dragged on to a slow stream; however, the sweet and sacrificial ending definitely made up for it!
I give Meant to be Mine a 3.5 out of 5 (the lack of christian righteousness was a big draw back.)
I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House in exchange for this independent and unbiased review.