THE TWO OF US
After two broken engagements, Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she's focusing on God and her goal to join an international and organization as a nurse practitioner. But when her 18 year-old-sister, Lucy, calls with an invitation to her Vegas wedding, it throws a wrench into Mia's plans.
Jake Tanner has recovered from the injuries he sustained as a police officer -- on the outside. Inside, he's yet to heal from losing his partner in the tragedy, but finds some solace in keeping an eye on her young adult son, Sam, who's asked him to be best man at his wedding.
Mia expects a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn't expecting Jake, who views the marriage a little differently. As Jake's and Mia's lives slowly become more intertwined, could his courage and her caring heart be enough to bring them a lifetime of healing?
The kind of book your mourn the loss of when you finally reach the end. Because the characters seem so real and their problems are so relatable and you feel like you've stretched and grown right along with them. I even had my very own 'aha' moment in the middle of their story! So even though I'm still feeling emotionally pummeled and a little dazed after finishing The Two of Us, I'm consoling myself by savoring all the memorable bits. Which pretty much means every single word. Because Victoria Bylin knows how to wield her pen (er, keyboard) in order to create vivid descriptions.
Like this first encounter between Mia and Jake: "Their gazes danced the way of curious strangers, a man and a woman who noticed each other and felt the mysterious searching of a human heart. Dishes clattered. A child laughed. Another one cried. Life exploded all around them..." (p 10) I love the sharp contrast between that significant moment and the ordinariness all around them. It promises a rich read and Bylin doesn't disappoint.
Jake is the stuff toe-curling heroes are made of and Mia is by no means immune. But she's conflicted. Mired in muddy mess of possibilities just when she thought she knew God's plan for her life. And she might be just a tad unbending. Rule regulating. Pragmatic. But she's compassionate too and fiercely protective of those she loves. She just needs to figure out how to include Jake in that category.
Jake has learned to accept -- even embrace -- the raw reality that life has dealt him. It's not that he isn't haunted by his past -- it's the drive behind his one all-consuming goal. In that he can be as inflexible as Mia. And here's the crux of the conflict -- both hero and heroine are working for good, being the hands and feet of Christ in their chosen vocations. They are doing the right thing...but what if it's not the right thing for them?
A supporting cast of true-to-life secondary characters with their own day to day struggles add even more depth to this already rich read. We even get a secondary love story with it's own unique challenges. And the dog lover in me would be remiss if I neglected to give Pirate -- service dog extraordinaire -- an honorable mention.
A story to love and cherish and revel in long after you've filed it away on your Keeper Shelf.
Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.
If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Two of Us, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email in your comment remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday August 5 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!