There were so many things to like about this book. I loved the characters, the details of their lives, their pasts and their struggles, and the way that Karen brought them together to weave an entirely different, multilayered story. I loved reading about Kyla's struggle to find meaning in a job in which she'd already found success. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her vacillate between the responsible, controlling businesswoman and sister and the vulnerable young woman wanting to be taken care of. I was moved by Rafe's experience and his pain, as well as by the commitment he and his men would share to one another for the rest of their lives. Through them, I got a glimpse into the honor and pain of serving in the military. I appreciated the struggle of two brothers who had come from a childhood doomed for violence and lawlessness, and the way that Karen showed that God is bigger than our circumstances, yet allows us the freedom and dignity to make our own choices. I loved Karen's intro, telling me that her inspiration was from the book of Nehemiah, where she had read many years ago the story about the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem. How wonderfully she showed me what it must have been like for those men and women so long ago to struggle as they tried to rebuild the city. She made the pages of Scripture live for me, and helped me to appreciate the passion, commitment and real struggle that God's people must have gone through as they followed God. But my absolute favorite part of this book was the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Some of them were absolutely profound. I have been reading Karen Ball's books for years, but the last two that I have read, this one and "Kaleidoscope Eyes" have been at a whole new level. Not only are they well-written, they have something to say. Can't wait til your next book, Karen.
I couldn't wait to read this one and was not disappointed; it's a great wrap-up to a great series. I can't identify with Kyla as much as I could with Annie, but since we are both perfectionists, I appreciated getting to know her through that lens. Also, Rafe is an absolute sweetheart, and the development of his relationship with Kyla was wonderful, as was most of the plot. I did have some issues with some of the plot elements--the way in which Tarik came to be living with Rafe was never fully explained, and the story of Kyla's mistake could have used more development. I also didn't find it believable that, if Rafe and Kyla had known each other since they were kids, I had never seen him or heard of him before. Other than that, though, Karen has done a terrific job in bringing this family full circle. This one is well worth the read.
Karen Ball has done it again!Kyla is a perfect example of being successful from the world's viewpoint,but being empty & without a purpose.This is a story of a long lost love that was never known then & trust now.It's a story of how everyone has value,even those we avoid & fear.Maybe the ones to fear are the ones we least suspect.Kyla faces her past with a wonderful man who helps her to accept and forgive herself.I'm looking forward to another one of Karen's books.
Karen richly develops each character and I connected with them right away. The author is gut honest as Rafe and Kyla share what is in their hearts and on their mindsThe story starts off with a bang as Rafe Murphy in the middle of trying to save his men from impending death as the enemy is ready to pounce on them.When he comes home he gets involved in a war that is much more personal; something he never expected to be involved with fighting a gang in his very own neighborhood. Rafe comes to grips with the fact that those involved in combating gangs and those resisting them need prayer 24/7. This is a new type of combat for him. The world of gangs is a dark, pervasive place, where humanity gives way to violence and mercy to degradation. Once in a gang the only way out is death. There is only one source of light in such darkness and that is Jesus Christ. Rafe and Kyla learn that there is nothing good that lives in their hearts but Jesus.God knows all hearts and He sees you. He keeps watch over your soul Proverbs 24:12The impact of this book is deep. It continues to work on my heart and my mind as the Lord keeps replaying segments of this book in my mind; through my day. It makes me realize yet again that God knows what is in the depths of my soul and still loves me. He will use me if Im willing to be willing to let Him do the impossible deep inside my heart, mind and soul. This book is a keeper. Youll want to re-read this story and discover treasure you might have missed the first time.
Kyla Justice is a typical firstborn - driven and successful with an overdeveloped sense of responsibility for her younger siblings, Avidan and Annot, yet has an iron fisted control over her emotions, ever since she took on the role of parent as well as sister.While her construction company is gathering accolades and the ever considerate and comfortable Mason Rawlins wants to marry her, she feels unfulfilled and lost.Former Force Recon Marine and now coffee barrista, Rafe Murphy is drawn to Kyla Justice, like no other woman but his past and the secret he guards may find him losing the battle for her heart before it even begins.Forced together to complete a hopeless task of building a youth centre from a run down church amidst violent opposition by an emergent street gang, Kyla and Rafe face a physical and spiritual war that requires both of them to look beyond their self reliance to each other and a God for whom nothing is impossible.Karen Ball's stories aim straight for the heart and What Lies Within hit the bulls eye! With exceptional character development and masterful suspense, Karen takes you on a journey of heartache and despair to a joyful yet credible conclusion. Kyla's strength and vulnerability creates great pathos and Rafe's charismatic appeal, tempered by the nightmares of his armed combat give him an authenticity I loved. The attraction between Rafe and Kyla is electric and Rafe's longstanding love for Kyla despite their age difference and her failure to recognise him sets this story apart. Yet Karen's talents don't end with engaging characters and perfectly timed suspense. What Lies Within packs a spiritual punch worth pondering ~ there are no easy answers in this world but God's faithfulness never wavers and faith, hope and love can and will change lives.