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