Saturday, February 17, 2024

The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin (Review)

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Released: August 8, 2017
320 pages
About the Book:
After two broken engagements, nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she only trusts herself and God, and she's focused on her eighteen-year-old sister, Lucy, and caring for patients. Just as she applies to work for an international aid organization, a phone call from Lucy, who's pregnant and running off to marry her twenty-one-year-old boyfriend, throws a wrench into all of Mia's plans.
Jake Tanner may have recovered from the physical injuries he sustained on the job as a police officer, but his heart has yet to heal from losing his former partner in the tragedy. He's poured himself into starting a camp for the sons of fallen officers and mentoring Sam, the adult son of his deceased partner, who's asked him to be his best man at his wedding.
Mia is expecting a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn't expecting Jake. And Jake, who can't help envying Sam and Lucy, doubts he'll ever experience their happiness for himself. But maybe Jake's courage and Mia's caring spirit are just what they need to bring them a lifetime of healing and a forever kind of love. . . .

My Rating & Thoughts:    

I recently reread this book for the second time after purchasing a physical copy of the book and loved it just as much as I remember originally loving it. I made notes of quotes while reading and didn't look at my original review until I finished the book. When I did go back and look I discovered that I marked a couple of the same quotes I did back in 2017. That was cool to see. 
Mia and Jake meet randomly in a restaurant but what they don’t know is how life is going to bring them together. I really enjoyed following their story and getting to know them and the other characters. There was a lot addressed throughout the course of the book, finding oneself, learning to trust others and God, dealing with family health issues, and so much more. Both Jake & Mia have to decide if the dreams they are each pursuing is worth the cost or could God be leading them towards something better. I absolutely loved Jake, who can pass up a strong male who has overcome challenges and is willing to put his feelings aside for others. He was wonderful with Mia and I felt they fit well together, but will things work out for them to be together, or will their lives take them in separate directions?
Mia is used to being a responsible one, looking after her younger spontaneous sister and always has every step planned, but after two failed engagements she has a hard time trusting others and is determined to trust only God’s leading. She dedicates her life to her work and following God’s lead, but in the process she feels lead in two directions and struggles with the decision of what to do. Can she learn open her heart to others and follow God`s lead even if it might not be taking her in the direction she has planned?
Each character was dealing with their own struggles that tested their faith. The main focus might be on Mia and Jake but the side characters were also crucial to the story, without them the story would have lost some of the realness. Throughout the hard moments there were many wonderful moments that put a smile on my face while reading. There was so much love for others shown - romantic, family and friendship, that I finished the book feeling wonderful. I feel like I experienced all emotions possible; frustration, sadness, laughter, and happiness, over the course of this story. I absolutely loved this book; the characters were loveable and felt real, I couldn’t help but want them to find happiness. The epilogue at the end just made the story that much better for me. I highly recommend picking this book up.

Favourite Quote: 
“We can adapt and move on, or live in the past.”
“Love is a choice. It's keeping promises when they're tough to keep. It's staying when you want to leave. And it's seeing the other person through the same forgiving lens through which God sees us all.”
(I purchased my copy of this book; opinions expressed 
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

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