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

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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.

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  1. Phoenix, AZ
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    'Beyond I Do' is an excellent
    November 8, 2016
    Jeanie
    Phoenix, AZ
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Christian novel! Once I began reading this authors debut novel, I didnt want to put it down. It is a great novel for any gal thinking about getting married, as the big day is not a destination, but the beginning of the rest of her life with her husband. The author is wise, and very gifted to walk in the shoes of three primary characters sharing very real feelings. Conflicts seem to be between people but are really between temptation from the evil one and the leading of the Lord; who will each follow?

    Ainsley is a sales rep and fianc of Richard. He is an uptight psychiatrist trying to market his first book. He is from a high-society family with a father who is a respected psychiatrist. Both have long-term conflicts with at least one parent that demand resolution. Ainsley has life-changing situations, starting when delivering goods to an elderly woman from her church and while there, she hears a woman being beaten up. When she leaves, a boy watches from their window as if imploring her to help; Ainsley has found her calling. That day when she arrives home, Chris, a cheerful, friendly man is moving in next door.

    Chris moved to Kansas City, MO from California. When his father died, Chris realized he had been so wrapped up in his law practice that he hadnt visited his parents for too long. A huge regret was never saying goodbye to his father. He came home to attend to the needs of and regularly visit his mom who has dementia. She lives in a special facility but they are not taking good care of her. He wants to move her, but his sister refuses and wants to become their mothers guardian. He purchases a coffee shop after a dream of owning one and employing homeless people.

    Ainsley opens her Bible one day and is confronted with II Corinthians 6 and not marrying an unbeliever. She thought Richard to be a Christian, but he doesnt live like one. Ainsley battles with the desire for a secure marriage and obeying the scripture she meditates on. She wants to avoid the pitfalls of her mother who changes jobs and men frequently. When Ainsley breaks up with Richard then is fired from her job, she can either trust God or herself for her future.

    Ainsley is a young woman of strong convictions, yet finds it hard to trust in the Lord for everything. She is my favorite I wish I had had her wisdom at her age! with Chris as a close second. Gina, Ainsleys close Christian friend, is a delightfully vivacious extrovert. She and Ainsley balance each other out and help each other spiritually and share over chocolate. Richard is controlling, and just not a likable man as he tries to hold onto Ainsley and sell his newly-published book.

    I appreciate the authors use of scripture. It is enlightening to see Ainsleys and Chris prayers and how they interact together as Christians. There are wonderful spiritual lessons in this novel. There are also struggles with the desire to repair decades-old challenges with family members and be Jesus to them. Many of us have faced similar challenges to these two! I highly recommend this novel to older teens and women of any age. It engages the reader with a sound scriptural foundation demonstrated through everyday people in real-life situations.

    From a grateful heart: I was given the book by Book Fun (The Book Club Network) and here is my honest review.
  2. New Zealand
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Christian ficiton with a difference
    January 27, 2015
    Iola
    New Zealand
    Age: 45-54
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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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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