Friday, April 20, 2018

Her One and Only by Becky Wade

What impact do you have on those around you?

I find that a lot of the time, I forget that my life - how I act, what I do, and what I don't do - affects other people. I get into my routine: church, family time, dinner, bed, physical/occupational/speech therapy appointments, school, homework, cleaning, bed. Rinse. Repeat. What I never think of is how my going into my reading bubble while Addie's in therapy or how I drive my car can actually interfere with being a messenger of the gospel.

Not only am I distracted by my to-do list, but the way that I go about that to-do list can be an example of how Christ is working in my life - or exactly the opposite. I am outspoken about my faith, but am I out-acting that faith? The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22) and those attributes should be obvious in my life if I am submitting to God and living as he would have me. It's been my experience that most people are turned off from Christianity not because the concepts are inconceivable, but because they had a bad experience with someone who called themselves a Christian and didn't get it right.

None of us are perfect - we wouldn't need a savior if we were - but we are called to be examples of Christ. He was never outraged over a personal offense. As a matter of fact, he died for the people who were criticizing, cursing, and beat him. He never backed down from what he taught to make people more comfortable, but he invested time and energy in getting to know them and loving them, changing hearts through relationship.

So, give up those Facebook tirades and Twitter attacks on those who disagree with you and take the time to make sure you're having a positive impact on your true sphere of influence - family, friends, coworkers, and others you see on a daily basis. Show people through the way you live what Christ is capable when he gets a hold of a willing heart.

The most obvious sign of another believer to me, especially nowadays when anger, malice, and sadness seem to rule, is usually the joy that we have through the hope of Jesus Christ.
You will show me the way of life, 
granting me the joy of your presence 
and the pleasures of living with you forever. 
Psalm 16:11
Praying that you get to experience this amazing joy and that it has a radical effect on those you encounter.


Her One and Only (Porter Family, #4)Her One and Only by Becky Wade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What happens when a super manly sports star's life is in jeopardy? Naturally you hire a slender, model-looking female security agent to guard him. The premise for this book is outlandish and laughable, but if you can get around that (which, let's face it, as romantic fiction readers we are probably accustomed to doing so) you will get so much enjoyment out of this story.

I love the battle of the wills between Dru and Gray. I'm pretty sure that Dru is my spirit animal, starting with her superhuman stubbor--ahem determination, right down to the affinity for Cool Ranch Doritos, Coke, and bad-for-you breakfast foods. Gray can definitely hold his own, and I love that he is very kind and caring in his own way, while still being able to stand toe to toe with the Revengeress -- btw the best nickname ever.

Dru's inner monologues are some of THE most hilarious sentiments I've ever read. "Some people received actual, useful benefits at their jobs - like dental coverage. She'd have preferred dental coverage." LOL and the chemistry on that first kiss... Whew.

On a spiritual level, I LOVE Love love Dru's testimony and that she still faces the reality of temptation, while still calling Gray on his lifestyle and that he actually has the conviction to let God work on the way he's living his life.

Finally, I loved that we got to see Meg and Bo and what they have been through over the last ten years. Wow. Just wow. The reality and transparency in their struggle with infertility and trusting God through it was very impacting.

Oh wow... All the feels. The last Porter family book most certainly is the end of an era and I'm not ashamed to say I am teary-eyed at the thought of it's closing, but what a great adventure it's been.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Proposal by Becky Wade


It's an easy go to for a lot of us, whether it's self-condemnation over mistakes we've made in the past or condemning others because of their actions and it really can be a useful tool that brings us into an understanding of why Christ died for us.

The problem with condemnation is that it quickly becomes a way for the devil to wreak havoc because we can't accept forgiveness or give forgiveness to others. There is one pivotal moment in our lives when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior and confess our sins that turns the tables so that we are free from guild and shame that we have to accept as truth. Sometimes we may not "feel" forgiven, but that's when we have to remind ourselves of that truth. When we really own the gospel, it frees us to forgive ourselves and others and allows us to live like no one else.

I hope you have experienced this forgiveness and freedom, and that it has opened your eyes to the amazing blessings that God pours out on his children.

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit" Romans 8:1


Amber is a great example of forgiveness and redemption. Check out her story in this VERY short Christmas story, and companion to the Porter family series, The Proposal.

The Proposal (Porter Family #3.5)The Proposal by Becky Wade
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Very cute. Felt a little rushed, but it was a great quirky little snippet. It's so nice to see Amber finally get the good guy.

This is definitely not something you could just pick up and read by itself, but a great add-on to the Porter Family books. I really like Will, and I think he and Amber could have easily kept my attention for a full-sized novel.

The great part about this only being a short, however, is that it's less than $1 on Amazon or free for the Kindle Unlimited subscribers, so there's no excuse to miss out on Amber's happily ever after.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade

The term "bleeding heart". It's a phrase I feel gets a bad rep because our society has become so focused on taking care of yourself. They say a bleeding heart does nothing but get everyone messy and leave you lifeless, but I think that is such a sad view to have. I am an emotional person, as you may have guessed by now, but I'd probably go as far as defining myself as hyper-sympathetic. It's not only my own victories and trials that I feel, but those of people around me. I like to think that I was made that way for a purpose.

The "bleeding hearts" of society tend to be the people that will bring light to issues that others didn't even recognize as a problem and take action to make a change. They see how their neighbor, city, state, nation, or world hurts and feel that pain as keenly as if it were their own. As you can imagine, with so much pain and suffering in the world, it can be draining to take on the problems of other people when it all feels so insurmountable. A bleeding heart will exhaust itself and become completely impotent if it is not transfused with an additional supply. That's where I recognize that impact is impossible without a supply source.

As Christians, we have the secret to that source. We can hurt and care and love outrageously because we have a Creator who can fill us back up. Not only can we do this, but our very purpose is to be this example to people. We don't have to try to convince them that our beliefs are "right" or that they are heathen sinners in need of redemption. We have a stronger weapon - the love of Christ. And that love has the power to change (and not just others, mind you, but ourselves as well). I encourage all one or two of you reading this to love extravagantly and let God fill you up when you're depleted. It's a challenge that I'm working on in my own life too, so don't feel like you're in it alone.

Praying for you today.


P.S. See what healing love can bring in Lindie and Jake's story, the third in the Porter family series and today's book.

A Love Like Ours (Porter Family, #3)A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lindie James, born free-spirited with a heart made to nurture, lost the best friend she ever had when her family moved away from Holley, TX before her high school graduation and now that they're finally back, nothing is the same. Especially the friendship she had with Jake Porter.

Jake has seen the worst of the worst, somehow surviving when no one else did. Now his only peace can be found in training Thoroughbred Race Horses. That, and maybe an occasional flashback to his childhood, but his whole world is turned upside down when Lindie steps back into his life and into his worse fears.

If you've read any of the previous books in the series, you probably have a special place in your heart for Jake - Mr. Tall, Dark, and Brooding. My heart continued to ache for him as you see his story unfold throughout this book. I'm a sucker for childhood friendships that eventually evolve, and this on hit me right in the feels. Lindie is a beautiful character with a strong current of compassion that runs soul-deep, and the perfect match for Jake's, well, broken persona.

The writing is perfect - well paced, and keeps you locked in to the story. The believable characters play wonderfully off of one another, and show development from beginning to end. Jake, especially. He truly felt like a man suffering with PTSD and his reactions to situations were plausible and realistic. Another job well done by Becky Wade.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Meant to be Mine by Becky Wade

Sometimes, things don't go the way we plan. I know this is a shocking revelation for a lot of you, but hold on here with me. My biggest life-changing moment happened when I was 19 years old. No, it wasn't when I started college, or moved out of my parent's house. It was when I found out I was pregnant with a guy I'd only been dating for two months.

I grew up in a Christian home and truly gave my life to Christ when I was only four, but after graduating high school and moving out of my house, I took my life back into my own hands. I knew that the way I was living was wrong - I felt dirty and worthless - which lead deeper into promiscuity as I searched for my value. When I found out I was pregnant, it was a huge slap in the face. It honestly felt as close to being jolted by a defibrillator as I can imagine, and had about the same effect. I got a second chance to live life right. Really, it was a choice I had all along - a simple step back under the care of an Abba Father who loves me more than any earthly father ever could. I got to run back to a father whose love is perfectly unconditional.

The best thing about a God who loves us like this is that when we submit our lives to him, he will take our mistakes and turn them in to something beautiful. A year after my Zoe Elizabeth (meaning "life consecrated to God") was welcomed into this world, her dad and I got married. When she was three, she helped us welcome her little sister into the family. Now, our little family of four is doing our utmost to glorify God in all we do and tell others about his amazing, wonderful, unending, redeeming love.

Speaking of redemption stories, check out today's book: number two in the Porter Family series by Becky Wade (one of my very favorite authors)

Be encouraged and know you're loved :)


Romans 5:8

Meant to be Mine (Porter Family, #2)Meant to be Mine by Becky Wade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, that started out with a bang.

What a perfect book to draw you in to a story that will have you obsessing over a former romance and wishing that characters could get past circumstances and just see that they are obviously perfect for each other. Ty is the boy-man you hate to love, but you simply can't help yourself when confronted with his fantastic cowboy charm and killer smile, not to mention his well-concealed noble and tender heart. Normally sane and grounded Celia has always had a weekness for the handsome troublemaker, making her horribly vulnerable to his crazy whims. The combination makes for a starting intro and a wonderfully complex plot.

I love that even though Ty is a complete rapscallion, he always takes responsibility for his actions. He has a truly generous heart, always doting on his loved ones. Celia lives sacrifice, but I like that she has to grow as a character and understand that her sacrifices have to do more with her stubborn self-reliance than a humble submission.

Their fantastic, steamy, rocky relationship will have you reaching for some ice water more than once, and the last chapter plays out like a movie scene I would watch over and over and over again.

Meant to be Mine is the perfect combination of hard reality, sensational romance, and the truth of God's grace in the midst of our failures. You'll definitely want to have your own copy on the shelf to read again and again.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade

Ever feel emotionally overwhelmed? Yeah, me too. It's funny how when I'm going through it, I often feel alone in my depression and suffering, but almost as soon as I'm out the other side, I remember that pretty much every woman ever has experienced an emotional overload. My favorite example is from the movie Mom's Night Out where the main character is "stress paralyzed", but I even found a kindred spirit in the main character of today's review.

In my case, when I get knocked down emotionally or psychologically, I tend to drop everything good and productive that I'm doing because I seem to think these activities are responsible for the drain, which in turn leaves me feeling unproductive (who woulda thunk?) and completely depletes my self-worth - and explains my month-long absence from the blog world. My "triggers" for this awesome behavior range wide and vary greatly, but most recently the straw that broke the camels proverbial back was a disappointing read that had me swearing off fiction for good (thank goodness that didn't take).

The problem with all of that nonsense is that whenever I get that emotionally attached to a book (or person, idea, feeling, etc.) is that I forget where my value and satisfaction is really found. I'm still trying to recover from my most recent descent into the dark side, but I'm making myself start my day with a small quiet time, work on scripture memorization, and am limiting my audio input to worship-only music. Since I already struggle with self-discipline, you can just imagine how great I'm doing at all of this, but even when I fail, I'm working on recovering my focus as quickly as possible.

I hope you'll be encouraged today to keep your chin up and remember where your worth and fulfillment come from.

All my love.


Undeniably Yours (Porter Family, #1)Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The thing I hate about authors who are fairly new to the scene? I scarf down all their material entirely too fast. The good news is that I love reading their wonderful stories just as much the second and third times as I do the first. Becky Wade has created a masterpiece with the Porter family that I can't help coming back to. She does a great job of really drawing you into the story, even giving you a soundtrack to the characters' thoughts and feelings.

Meg, an heiress feeling overwhelmed with the enormity of what she's facing in the wake of her father's death, is forced to make some hard decisions on how to run his empire. Unfortunately, that puts the delectably endearing Bo Porter in her cross-hairs. The result is magical.

I love Meg! She's so fragile and spunky at the same time. Her thought processes will have you control-breathing through her anxiety and laughing out loud at her sublime quirkiness, especially when she translates her unspoken conversations with Bo and Silver Leaf.

Bo is honorable and respectful, but also determined. I love the masculinity if his character and his need to be the protector, making him tender toward Meg, rather than just being a hyper sensitive male.

Even the supporting characters are incredibly well done, giving a well-rounded cast that you want to get to know better. Amber is a perfect compliment to Meg, and their relationship brings added depth to both, uncovering strengths and struggle that make them more dynamic. I adore Brimm in all of his quirky un-Texan-ness. He's a character I'd love to read more about.

Finally, I'm predisposed to dislike any book where a divorce plays into the plot in a positive it supportive manor (hence the loss of a star) but Becky handles the situation well, making it something that the character had virtually no say in, and is ultimately used for a great story of redemption.