Tuesday, June 27, 2017

My Unexpected Hope by Tammy L. Gray

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Waterfall Press
Released: June 27, 2017
332 pages

About the Book:
After a year of grieving her divorce and living a life permanently stuck on pause, Laila Richardson is finally ready to have her own happy ending. Then a listing for a quaint cottage in another town answers her prayers for a fresh beginning—one that will bring her closer to her new boyfriend, Ben. Unfortunately, in her small town of Fairfield, Georgia, letting go of the past is virtually impossible. No one wants to see her move on, including the man who destroyed her heart to begin with.
Chad Richardson has spent years in misery but finally has his life on somewhat stable ground. When he learns his ex-wife is dating, he knows it’s time to go back and fight for the life he abandoned. Bolstered by his newfound sobriety, Chad has every intention of winning back the woman he loves, even if that means facing old demons that are waiting for him to fail.
Passions run deep as two souls searching for a second chance find the courage to let go of old patterns. Can they recognize that their dreams are still possible, even when forged from a broken past?
 My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟  (4 stars)
“I am not going to question whom God uses, and you shouldn’t either.”

Wow! I felt for these characters so much, much more than I expected to. There were quite a few difficult situations addressed throughout - the constant fight of trying to overcome an addiction, friends and family who are addicted, and the heartache these things bring. Laila thinks she is ready to move on from her past and start over, but is she really? I felt so much for Laila (and cried with Chad at one point). I did not want to like Chad but I just couldn’t help myself, after getting to know him more I was cheering for him to be happy. I was pleased that he appeared to be getting on the right track and when he struggled I cried with him or yelled at him to be strong. His struggles were dealt with honest and openly and felt real. Nothing was sugar-coated. I could feel how much he loved Laila and his struggle between wanting her and wanting the best for her. The secondary characters helped (and forced) Laila and Chad to deal with their emotions, actions, thoughts and faith. Cooper might have had his own issues but he was a true friend to Chad and his support might just end up costing him everything. God can and will use us in ways that we cannot picture, this was shown in many different aspects throughout, such as the way he used Laila in a little girl’s life, the way he used Katie helping Chad, and the way he used Ben in Laila’s life. I especially enjoyed the flashbacks to the teenage years. I do wish there had been more focus given to the times that the characters turned to God for help. Chad and Laila’s story is wonderful example of Christ’s love and His healing power. I was very pleased with the ending.

“She’d been fighting all this time to stay in control. But maybe that was the problem. Maybe it was time to give all of herself to a God who had never rejected or abandoned her.”

(I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley; opinions expressed
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

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