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The Hearts We Mend, a Banister Falls series, by Kathryn Springer.
Evie’s first meeting with Jack had not gone well. The second didn’t seem to be going much better. They were from two different worlds. But now…like it or not…they were sharing the same world. Was this church big enough for the two of them? Or was that close-knit space just what was needed for hearts to mend?
|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2016
Series: Banister Falls
Planning and Post-It notes are the epitome of Evies life. But when she meets Jack, her life gets more than a little complicated.
Thirteen years ago, Evie's firefighterhusband was killed in the line of duty, leaving her to raise their young son, Cody, alone. Now, Cody is marrying the love of his life, and as he packs up his belongings, the house feels as empty as Evie's heart. But for all her planning and mad organizational skills, Evie could never have anticipated the dramatic shift her life is about to make.
Tattooed, rough-around-the-edgesJack raises quite a few eyebrows in the tight-knit community of Banister Falls. Where Evie's life is stream-lined, Jack's approach to living is moment-by-moment. But as Evie gets drawn into Jack's worlda world that isn't as safe or predictable as the one she's worked so hard to createhe challenges her to open her eyes to the problems outside the walls of the church.
Jack doesn't make Evie feel comfortable, but he definitely makes her feel something. Something she hasn't felt since Max passed awayor, maybe ever. Because even though Jack isn't anything like her late husband, he just might be everything she needs.
Kathryn Springer is a USA Today bestselling author. She grew up in northern Wisconsin, where her parents published a weekly newspaper. As a child she spent many hours sitting at her mothers typewriter, plunking out stories, and credits her parents for instilling in her a love of bookswhich eventually turned into a desire to tell stories of her own. Kathryn has written 19 books with close to two million copies sold. She lives with her husband and three children in Marinette, Wisconsin. Visit her online at kathrynspringer.com Facebook: Kathrynspringerauthor
Melissa4 Stars Out Of 5Many layersMay 16, 2016MelissaQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4I kept hearing how good this book was so I had to read it for myself. I have to say I wasnt disappointed. This book is full of deep and meaningful layers.
Kathryn tackles some interesting subjects that challenges even the reader to take a look at the needs around our own communities.
My heart went out to Evie as her son leaves her home and she is left wondering what to do with herself. It doesnt take her long to fill her time with meaningful things.
Jack is a strong and rugged hero who the reader will easily come to adore.
I did have trouble keeping the many characters in this story straight and their relationship to each other but once I got a handle on them it was all good.
Overall a very good read that was different then when I expected in a very good way.
A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Rebecca ManeyGastonia, North CarolinaAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Lovely Blend of Inspiration and Romance!April 24, 2016Rebecca ManeyGastonia, North CarolinaAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"Every adventure begins with one step". Had she really said that?
Widowed at a young age and facing a premature empty nest, Evie Bennett's carefully constructed life revolves around precision planning and predictable outcomes. Naturally, when the handsome interim maintenance supervisor at her church seems to peer through Evie's immaculate facade, she is curiously annoyed. Jack Vale is quite an enigma.
"My life isn't on hold, I'm just living it here".
Choosing to uproot himself from a successful contracting business, Jake Vale has followed his brother's family to Bannister Falls, in hopes that Travis can make a new start. Living in a nearly abandoned building on the old side of town, Jack finds himself spontaneously ministering to the needs of those around him. Evie glimpses this side of Jack when she inadvertently becomes a surrogate member of his mismatched set of neighbors. Unfortunately, the roots of addiction grow very deep and threaten to strangle precious hearts that were just beginning to mend.
This is a charming book, lovely in its intensity and cadenced perfectly with a rhythmic blend of inspiration and romance.
IolaNew ZealandAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Recommended Second Chance RomanceApril 4, 2016IolaNew ZealandAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5One of the challenges of writing a series must be around how much of the early books you include in later books in the series. Ive read some truly awful examples, including one which shall not be named where the author spent the first half of the novel (yes, over 150 excruciatingly boring pages) rehashing the backstories of characters I already knew from the first 22 books in the series.
At the other end of the spectrum are novels where the author must assume readers will recall every minute detail of the earlier book/s, because nothing is explained. Its equally excruciating, because its like finding yourself at a party where no one introduces you to anyone because everyone assumes you know everyone else, except you know no one.
The Hearts We Mend initially felt like the party. Actually, it did begin at a party, but I didnt know anyone although it was obvious I was supposed to. Too many characters too quickly, and I couldnt work out who was who, and who was meant to be important. Yes, I had readand enjoyed, and recommendedThe Dandelion Field, the first of the Banister Falls series, but that was more than a year ago. Ive read a lot of books since . . . Yes, Chapter One of The Hearts We Mend was beyond awkward.
But it improved with Chapter Two, because we got to meet our hero, Jack Vale, and hes new in town so felt as lost as I did. And the book suddenly got a whole lot better. As time went on, I remembered Evie from the first novel: shes the widowed mother of Cody, who is getting married to his pregnant girlfriend despite them both being a mere eighteen (as Cody tells Evie, the age she was when she married).
A lot of romance readers are looking for novels about older couples. Im not convinced Evie and Jack count as oldertheyre both in their mid-thirties, scarcely older than the first-love couples in many novels (especially romantic suspense novels). But Evie is about to become a grandmother, which certainly places her ahead of me in terms of life experience category, if not years.
Anyway, Jack is new in town, here to look out for his deadbeat brother and his family. Hes got a temporary job at the church where Evie is director of womens ministries, which brings the two of them together a lot. Theyre opposites in many ways: hes never married and never had children, shes widowed and about to become a grandmother. Hes from a rough upbringing and his family have had more than a few brushes with the law. Shes not had an easy life, but none of it involved excess alcohol or drugs, and her relationship with the law is as friends, not foe.
But they find they have things in common: their faith, their concern for Lily, Jacks niece, and their attraction for each other. Evies faithful friends arent going to make it easy for Jack, and nor is he.
I thought The Hearts we Mend was excellent, a great sequel to the challenging and recommended The Dandelion Field. I loved all the characters, especially Lily, and Jacks unorthodox neighbours. And Jack was the perfect hero, the way he brought Evie out of the shell no one even realised she was in. I especially liked the way the Christian themes were shown in the way Jack reached out to his neighbours. Recommended.
Thanks to Zondervan and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
VicsMediaRoomIrvine, CAAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5A Second Chance Love StoryMarch 30, 2016VicsMediaRoomIrvine, CAAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Kathryn Springer in her new book, The Hearts We Mend Book Two in the Banister Falls series published by Zondervan introduces us to Evie and Jack.
From the back cover: Planning and Post-It notes are the epitome of Evies life. But when she meets Jack, her life gets more than a little complicated.
Thirteen years ago, Evies firefighterhusband was killed in the line of duty, leaving her to raise their young son, Cody, alone. Now, Cody is marrying the love of his life, and as he packs up his belongings, the house feels as empty as Evies heart. But for all her planning and mad organizational skills, Evie could never have anticipated the dramatic shift her life is about to make.
Tattooed, rough-around-the-edges Jack raises quite a few eyebrows in the tight-knit community of Banister Falls. Where Evies life is stream-lined, Jacks approach to living is moment-by-moment. But as Evie gets drawn into Jacks worlda world that isnt as safe or predictable as the one shes worked so hard to createhe challenges her to open her eyes to the problems outside the walls of the church.
Jack doesnt make Evie feel comfortable, but he definitely makes her feel something. Something she hasnt felt since Max passed awayor, maybe ever. Because even though Jack isnt anything like her late husband, he just might be everything she needs.
It is my experience that when someone says series that generally means that there are three members of a team and each book will focus on one of those three members. Not so with Ms. Springer, she is actually giving us a story that takes place after the events of book one, The Dandelion Field. If you didnt read book one dont panic Ms. Springer has set it up so that you can read this book by itself, thats how good she is. Cody, Evies son, is going to get married. Evie is actually growing as a person and is still getting over the death of her husband thirteen years ago. Jack is one of the more interesting characters that I have read about in quite a long time. Jack isnt pristine, he has rough edges. When Evie and Jack get together the sparks really start to fly. I think Ms. Springer has given us first-class characters that we can identify with and relate to and, certainly, want to read about. I think you will enjoy reading this book and not want to put it down unless you finished. I recommend this book highly and am really looking forward to the next book in the series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
tickmenotKansas CityGender: female5 Stars Out Of 5If You Like-a-Me and I Like-a-You....March 30, 2016tickmenotKansas CityGender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5A widow since she was twenty-five, Evie is still wearing her wedding ring thirteen years later. Her husband, Max, a firefighter, died a hero's death in the line of duty. Now her only child, Cody is getting married, and she finds herself truly alone.
Jack is everything Evie's late husband wasn't. Max had long-range plans for life, his family, and a good home in a nice neighborhood. Jack has no long-range plans, and takes things as they come. He also takes care of everyone, including his alcoholic brother, Travis and sister-in-law, Cheryl. Additionally, he picks up a big portion of the parenting duties of their daughter, his niece, Lily. In fact, Jack left a good job and home, to help his brother and family start a new life in Banister Falls.
Over and over, Evie finds herself thrown together with Jack. From projects at church, to helping with Lily, Evie finds herself quite often being in the run-down apartment building, located in the worst section of town, that Jack calls home. She doesn't know what to make of the rag-tag group of people that congregate in Jack's apartment every night. A variety of ages, from teens to senior citizens, show up to eat, or for assistance and advice. Without batting an eye, Jack attempts to help them. Evie is finding herself more and more often rolling up her own shirt sleeves to lend him a hand.
In the midst of all these new friendships and relationships, Evie's friends worry about her. Even though she has been a widow for a long time, in all these years, she has never been involved in a relationship. Their concern reaches new heights when the legal and alcohol problems surrounding Travis and Cheryl result in both of them being put in jail. Evie's friends wonder if Jack may have hidden skeleton's of his own, and she would be better off without him.
This story has a lot of interesting, likable characters, and realistic story-lines. New romantic relationships can be difficult for adults, especially when trying to juggle complicated responsibilities, pasts, and dysfunctional family members. Evie and Jack face those issues, along with their determination to stick with their strong Christian beliefs and morals. This story-line will keep you turning the pages wondering how, or if, things will work out. The Hearts We Mend is part of a series, but this story stands on its own. This 5-star book is recommended to anyone who enjoys well-written fiction, with a dash of romance.
The publisher has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of The Hearts We Mend, through Zondervan Publishing for the purpose of review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.