This September, when I was at the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference in Dallas, Texas, I noticed a certain name popped up a few times. At the first dinner, the keynote speaker happened to sit at my table (in the seat next to me). Bill Myers asked those of us around the table what we were working on, then we got on the topic of editors. His endorsement was for Deborah Raney. The next day, I sat in an all-day class led by authors Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck. They mentioned a book by Deborah Raney. And, as it turns out, at the banquet and awards gala, Deborah Raney and her husband joined my table. At the time, I knew I had one of her books in my queue for review and after hearing her name so many times (as well as reading the previous book in this series), I looked forward to it.
Danae Brooks longs for nothing more than to be a mother, but such a simple thing for her sisters is turning out to be a heartbreaking challenge for the middle Whitman daughter. Her husband Dallas seems to become less and less interested in the fertility treatments and doctor’s visits, and Danae feels alone and miserable.
When she decides she’s had enough for a while, that it’s time to take a break and focus on something other than herself, she ends up volunteering at a women’s shelter. While there, she realizes what blessings she has in her life. Her husband loves her and she doesn’t fear him like the residents of the shelter do their exes, her supportive family surrounds her and lifts her up in prayer, and even though she hasn’t yet been given the deepest desires of her heart, she has a beautiful home and Dallas’s job gives her the freedom to not have to work.
One of the women from the shelter asks Danae to keep her young son over the Thanksgiving holiday. After discussing it with Dallas, she agrees. What they don’t expect is to keep the boy for longer. As the couple struggles with what God wants them to do—falling in love with Austin will make giving him back that much more painful—they grow closer to each other, their families, and the Lord.
While my preferred reading (and writing) is romance, it’s wonderful to see authors writing about life after the engagement and wedding. Everything doesn’t fall into place after a couple says their vows. There are challenges and choices to be made that can tear apart families or draw them closer together. And bringing the reader inside those critical moments is where Deborah Raney excels.
***Abingdon Press provided me with a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.