For the most part, I enjoy almost everything I read. The majority I would put in the “like” category. It’s entertaining and I am interested in the story. But every once in a while comes along a book that is so engaging it’s hard to put down. A book where the characters become so real that I continue to think of them when I have to put the book down (say to get some sleep or go to work). A book that continues to stick with me long after the final page is turned. A Love like Ours (book number three in Wade’s Porter Family series) goes in a second category: the LOVED IT category.
Jake Porter is surviving. Training Thoroughbreds at his family’s ranch has become his existence. After a tragedy during the war, Jake does better with his horses than people—even his family struggles to get past the barriers Jake has built around himself. When his childhood best friend returns to town, he doesn’t want her around. Lyndie James is excited to be back in Holley, Texas, but nervous about seeing Jake again. Will their childhood friendship that ended twenty years previously be rekindled? When Jake’s brother suggests she apply for a job as an exercise rider for Jake’s horses, Lyndie sees her way in to Jake’s life. And if she stays, she’s determined to get past those walls he’s built around his heart.
There are so many wonderful things about this book it’s hard to know where to begin, so my thoughts may be a little scattered here. Bear with me. First, Lyndie is so likable. Her dual career, her relationship with animals and with her sister, and her belief in Jake and a horse made me root for all of her dreams to come true from the beginning. Jake’s a tough guy, hard to get to know, but as the story goes on and we get a glimpse into the things he’s seen, the horrors he’s dealt with, he too becomes likable. The side characters in this book (those we’ve met in other books—Bo, Meg, Ty, and Celia are just a few—as well as the new ones—Zoe is my favorite) add so much depth to this story. Lyndie’s neighbor makes her promise to go on three dates in three months and some of those scenes are laugh out loud funny. I mean, the dance and the lip gloss were great!! The way Zoe doesn’t finish a thought and Lyndie feels compelled to complete them always made me smile. But the heart of this story is in letting go of the past and trusting God with the future, not holding onto the things that have happened in our past with both hands or taking the blame and guilt for things that can’t be controlled. God’s grace is perfect in all situations and He is the ultimate healer.
****Bethany House provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.