In the third Porter Family novel, Beck Wade focuses on Jake, the young marine suffering from PTSD and a loss of hope.When his childhood friend Lyndey returns to Texas looking for a job exercising his Thoroughbreds, Jake wants to refuse--exercising race horses is a dangerous job--but he can't deny her qualifications. Lyndey sees it as a God-given opportunity to pursue her passion and possibly--hopefully--help heal Jake in the process. But can Jake handle the possibility of letting someone else he loves get hurt?
Once again, Becky Wade writes a story with strong, likeable characters. Jake might be serious and intense (and yes, a little cranky), but his protective nature, his wounded heart, and his willingness to sacrifice his happiness far outweigh his flaws. I love the various facets to Lyndey: the bold, active jockey, the whimsical, fairy-loving artist, and the compassionate aide to her special-needs sister. People are rarely all artsy or all jock or all computer nerd, so it stands to reason that she would have interests and abilities that don't fit a stereotype. It makes her real.
PTSD is, of course, a major aspect of the book, and the author portrays it really well. Jake's symptoms, while not exactly the same, have much in common with those of a friend who also hit a roadside bomb in Iraq. Thus when reading this story, I could make many connections between Jake and our marine friend. A big thing that stuck out to me was that there is no earthly cure for PTSD--the trauma can't be un-expereinced, it can't be un-seen. The affects of PTSD are not gone, but for Jake and our friend, a deepening relationship with Jesus has made all the difference between despair and hope. And interestingly enough, our friend has even found helpful therapy at a horse farm. So I guess the author made a good pairing there!
Holding onto hope is another strong theme of this story--not just in Jake's
situation, but also the situation with Lyndey's sister, who has cerebral
palsy. The reintroduction of Amber and Jayden from Undeniably Yours added some lightness and humor to the tale--a necessary relief from the darkness and intensity swirling around Jake--as well as providing a heart-warming continuation of Amber's story. Another strong, healing romance to make one both cry and laugh!
Thank you Bethany House for providing a free book for review; I was not required to make it positive, and all opinions are my own.
Porter Family Novels
1. Undeniably Yours
2. Meant to Be Mine
3. A Love Like Ours
4. Her One and Only