Dayne and Katy grow closer as they plan for their wedding day, but can they realize their dream of a ceremony free from paparazzi? John Baxter is thrilled that his oldest son will be settling down a few miles away, but he isn't sure how any of his kids will handle a situation he can no longer run from-the feelings he is having for his friend Elaine. And the Flanigan family struggles as boarder Cody Coleman fights for his life after an overdose. Only God's grace and a miracle can bring him back from the brink of death-physically and spiritually.
Sunrise by Karen Kingsbury is the first book in the Baxter Family Drama Series. This series focuses on the continuing story of the Baxter family from the Redemption Series and the First Born Series. I have to admit that when I started Sunrise I didn't realize this was a continuation of another series. As a result, I felt a bit lost and overwhelmed when I began because the story immediately takes off and you are definitely expected to know the characters.
Sunrise continues the story of Dayne and Katy as they prepare for their upcoming wedding. Dayne is still wary of the paparazzi and wants to keep this ceremony secret at all possible cost. Will it be possible for Katy to have her fairy tale wedding, or will they be forced to elope for the sake of privacy? John Baxter, Dayne's father, struggles between grieving the loss of this wife and moving on. He is excited that his son is now living close and is glad to finally be a part of his life. Meanwhile, the Baxter family's dear friends, the Flanigan's, are dealing with a tragic accident with their "adopted son" Cody. Will his trauma change him and those around him or will he allow alcohol to consume his life?
One great feature that I want to point out in this Kingsbury novel is a charity project called Forever in Fiction. Kingsbury gives the winning bidder the opportunity to become involved in her stories. She uses the biography of the winning bidder's nominee to create a sub-character in her books. To date, this charity project has raised over $100,000 for charities across the country. In Sunrise, Kingsbury features two auction winners including their real identities and bios in the acknowledgments.
This book takes off from page one and doesn't slow down until the end. Each character has a long, rich history, and as a result I honestly do not recommend this as a stand-alone book. Instead, I recommend readers start with the first series and work their way through. While I feel Sunrise is an enjoyable book and once again proves why Kingsbury is an award winning Christian author, I didn't feel like it had a specific Christian theme like most of her books do. Despite this fact I feel this book is certainly worth the read because it is a wonderful story of several Christian families living out their lives in a godly manner. Not only is it heartwarming to see these families succeed in life, but it is also inspiring to see these same families overcome tragedy while keeping their eyes on the cross. Brandi Webster, Christian Book Previews.com
Welcome back to Bloomington, Ind., where some of Kingsbury's most popular Christian novels are set. Kingsbury's latest feel-good offering launches a new four-book series to follow the Baxter Family Dramas, which have nearly two million copies in print. She introduces a few new faces and follows familiar characters like the Baxters through their mostly sunny lives. Unfortunately, the plot is all but nonexistent. Hunky actor Dayne Matthews and the lovely Katy Hart are engaged to be married, but they face a dilemma: how to plan a private wedding that won't be overrun by reporters desperate for a shot of the Hollywood heartthrob tying the knot. Dayne hires a Tinseltown wedding planner who specializes in secret star nuptials, although Katy frets that keeping the wedding hush-hush may necessitate deceiving some close friends and relatives. Meanwhile, Jim Flanigan, football coach at Clear Creek High, suspects his players are drinking and tries to crack down. Inspirational platitudes litter the pages ("Jim already knew the possibilities. Now it was a matter of trusting God for the outcome"). Readers new to Kingsbury will have a little trouble keeping the characters straight and figuring out the backstory, but her many fans will relish this visit with old and new friends, despite the clichés.