A Love Like Ours
About This Book
Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.
When Lyndie James, Jake’s childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion’s reluctance to run.
Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake’s will, Lyndie’s sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he’d thought he’d lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?
I was fortunate to get an advance copy of A Love Like Ours a couple months ago—Valentine’s Day weekend, in fact—and loved this book instantly and insanely. I’ve read it twice more since then (which, considering the number of books waiting for me to read, is saying a lot), and it just gets better. Being a horse lover for as long as I can remember, I had high hopes for this book from the moment I heard its premise, and it delivered everything I wanted and then some. Hands down, this is my favorite Becky Wade novel yet!
Fans of Wade’s debut novel, My Stubborn Heart, will find many similarities in A Love Like Ours, in which a vivacious, eternally-optimistic heroine meets a wounded, withdrawn hero, and proves to be the one person who can coax him back to life (and, since this is Christian fiction, back to God). But Lyndie and Jake are their own unique characters, and had such amazing depths from the very first page that I fell instantly in love with them. By the end of the prologue, I felt like I was reading about my two best friends.
The characters are definitely the heart and soul of this book, and there were so many wonderful personalities, both old and new, that I could spend this entire review just talking about them! Jake is a veteran suffering from PTSD, and I love that Wade doesn’t just slap a band-aid on that, or try to cover it up with some “all you need is Jesus” cliché. Instead, she keeps her characters firmly grounded in the real world, and while she does set Jake on the right road eventually, nothing is tied up with a neat little bow. The reality of Jake’s condition was as refreshing as it was heartbreaking, and definitely made him a hero to love.
Lyndie is by far my favorite Becky Wade heroine yet. I mean, she’s a jockey! She’s living my dream life! (I can relate to Zoe, the stable hand, in this instance . . . but you have to read the book to find out how.) She’s strong, optimistic, artistic, unconventional, and entirely her own person, blooming brightly wherever God plants her, yet she has her moments of vulnerability, too. Her relationship with Jake is by far my favorite romance of the year. Tough and tender, with sparks and chemistry galore! They each have individual problems to overcome, as well as the externals goals and obstacles standing in their way, so that they definitely have to earn their happily-ever-after . . . and I was literally shouting and cheering when they did.
One of my favorite parts of this book was the story of Lyndie’s family, and how Wade used them to infuse powerful themes of hope and trust in the midst of terrific challenges. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil it, but suffice it to say, this family moved me to tears more than once as I read (and re-read) the book. Their unwavering faith was both a confirmation and a challenge to me personally.
Younger readers should be aware that there are some potentially frightening scenes in the story, including wartime flashbacks and nightmares, an accident at the race track, and a harrowing storm. Combined with the story of Lyndie’s younger sister, there is a lot of great discussion material here for parents to engage with their older teenage and young adult readers. Horse lovers in particular absolutely must read this book.
The only thing that could possibly improve this book would be another 400 pages and several thousand more romantic moments between Jake and Lyndie!
Gosh, I could keep gushing and gushing here—I haven’t even mentioned the whole wonderful subplot about Amber! (whom fans will remember from the first Porter Family novel, Undeniably Yours)—but suffice it to say, if you love clean, sizzling romance, if you love strong heroine and wounded heroes, if you love horses . . . or if you’re just on this earth to convert oxygen into carbon dioxide . . . you need to read this book. Now.
Available May 5, 2015 from Bethany House Publishers