Customer Reviews for

Softly and Tenderly

Average Rating 4.5
( 39 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2014

    Love it!!! I can not put it down when I start. Lovely story line

    Love it!!! I can not put it down when I start. Lovely story line that everybody can follow. Wish she would write more books. I love the Iowa connection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    I read and reviewed the third book just this month, and was plea

    I read and reviewed the third book just this month, and was pleased with it that I went out and searched for the rest of the books in the Songbird Series. I am very grateful to Booksneeze for having the second one in their list of books to review, and immediately grabbed the chance to read and review it.

    Softly, Tenderly is about the struggles that Jade had to go through prior to being the woman she was when I met her in Love Lifted Me. Her in-laws are having marital problems, and her mother is sick with cancer and longs to go back to her hometown to rest. On top of all these, she still could not conceive a child with her husband, Max. And as if all of these are not enough to tear a woman apart, a woman from her husband’s past dies and leaves a motherless child on her door—her husband’s illegitimate child, nonetheless. How does Jade cope with all of these challenges hanging over her head? She runs away, with her mother and mother-in-law. But this action proves to be for the best since it gives her time to think and sort things through.

    This is an easy enough book to read, but the emotions in it really tugs at the heart. Jade’s struggles mirror what women today go through—some of them, if not all—and this book thus serves as a relatable guide to forgiveness and faith in both love and the divine powers that be. It’s not all smooth-sailing for Jade for the most part of the book, but I think that what makes the book compelling since it feels real—both heartbreakingly and heartwarmingly. Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck make a good team when it comes to writing this series. I hope to read the first book really soon. ¿

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012

    Would Recommend

    I like the writting style very much. It is what I would consider a cozy read. If you like a good clean book that relates to everyday issues, this is a good one. I will continue to read books by Sara Evans. I think she keeps things real and keeps me wanting more.

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  • Posted January 9, 2012

    Softly & Tenderly Book Review

    What a phenomenal book! I finished this one in a single day. I read the first one in the series over 2 years ago and was anxiously awaiting the next book.

    We pick up the story 2 years into Jade and Max's marriage. They are trying to conceive and Jade has had a few miscarriages. Jade's mother, Beryl, is living with them while she's in the last months of her battle with leukemia. Jade's life immediately makes a few sharp turns when she finds out some information about her family members that she never expected. She learns how to deal with her 'new' life and how God fits into the picture through all of it.

    This is definitely a page-turner. I couldn't put it down and was riveted until the very last page. The story definitely makes a lot of sense after the first book, but if you haven't read the first one, you'll still be able to understand the story and read this one. Definitely worth your time to pick up this book, SO good and I highly recommend it!

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  • Posted January 7, 2012

    Great family drama!

    This is probably one of the most emotionally charged books that I've read in a very long time. If you were to lump it into a genre, it is Christian Chicklit. It is very heavy on "Faith" but never comes across as preachy, which I liked.

    This is the second book in the Songbird series. (Oh do I wish I had read the first one..but I'll go back and get that one later). It reads like a soap opera. Jade has her issues, she thinks she's barren, her mother is terminally ill. Her husband Max is addicted to painkillers and has kept a child he had with his ex-fiancee from her. Then there's Max's parents...more secrets and infidelities there.

    It really is hard to believe that this is Christian fiction, well, except that they seem to try to work things out, though at the end of the book the two marriages in jeopardy haven't been superglued back together.

    The most likable character in the book is actually Jade's mom, Beryl. She's everything you'd expect an aging hippie to be; feisty and lovable, and repentant of some of her wild ways but with no regrets. She's not the mother you want to have, but she's the mother you want one of your friends to have. I found myself wishing she'd hang on, but it was obvious she wasn't going to make it. Her death was truly the climax of this story.

    I could understand Jade and June and the way they dealt with things, but at times, Jade came across as a little to sanctimonious. There was a little "do as I say and not as I do" thing going on with her. But then again..she found her father-in-law with another woman and then learned her own husband had a fling with his ex, at his bachelor weekend that resulted in a pregnancy.

    Yeah...can you say drama and angst?

    I can really picture Jade, June and Beryl making the trip in the pink Caddy to Iowa..that is until Jade breaks the top! This book really showed how these women started to make peace with themselves and God...and all their past choices.

    I really enjoyed Softly & Tenderly...I'm going to pick up the first book, so I can be totally up to speed with the final book in the trilogy comes out this year.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2011

    A Sweet Read

    (I received this as a free e-book from Booksneeze, and was not required to write a positive review). There is a prequel to the book which I haven¿t read, but I was able to read this book without being confused. It is about a woman named Jade who learns a shocking secret about her husband that causes her to doubt where their relationship is headed. Her husband¿s parents are going through similar relationship issues, and Jade and her mother-in-law, June, connect over it. I wasn¿t sure what to expect in the book, but overall I would give it a 6 out of 10 stars. It had a good but not overly exciting plot, but sometimes the writing seemed to jump all over the place. The characters weren¿t super developed and sometimes their interchanges seemed strange and unlike them. However, it was an entertaining novel and it would probably be more interesting if I had read the first book. So if you¿re looking for an easy read with some twists and romance, this may be for you!

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  • Posted November 24, 2011

    Kritters Ramblings

    A wonderful sequel that lives up to the first book and even more! After reading the first book, I was hestitant because I loved it in so many ways - can the second live up to how much I loved the first. It did and even more, it made me excited that there are rumored to be two more books in this series.

    As the first book centers solely around Jade, the main character, I think the strong suit for this book was to share the central focus on Jade, her mother and her mother-in-law. Each of these three women had a journey in this book and there were similarities in each of their struggles. The reader was able to get to go both mother figures in a deeper way - some of the story was even told from their perspective.

    A wonderfully heartfelt book that made me cry as I journeyed through the days with all three women. I am calling this the perfect series to curl up with this winter. The third book will be arriving early after the new year, I will definitely be looking for it.

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  • Posted November 19, 2011

    great book- good read

    Softly and Tenderly is a very powerful book. It deals with many heartaches, tragedy, deception and lies. In the story Jade, the main character and a wife of Max, has these problems in her life within a short time. Jade had Faith in God, which helped her to hold herself together, mostly. At the very end of the story when Jade's mother dies, she loses herself for few minutes. Jade soon fell in love with the son Jade never knew he had until now.

    This is the second book in the series Sara Evans had written. I LOVE this book, I believe if a person read this book who had some of the same problems of her could better relate to this story. The story line I loved because It was unique with its character. While I was reading this story I felt like I was REALLY there with the characters during her struggles, but also when she was having a great day. I think if a story makes you think about your life it is honestly a book that everyone needs to read.

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  • Posted October 27, 2011

    Story of Betrayal and the Forgiveness

    Softly & Tenderly is the second book in the Songbird series. I didn't know that when I requested the book. I had no problem reading the book and understanding what was going on without reading the first book. The book started out a little slow for me.
    Jade is a married woman who is having trouble having a baby. Jade is also taking care of her mother who is battling cancer. Jade's world continues to be rocked when she discovers more secrets about her family. The worse being her husband has fathered a son that she did not know about until another tragedy strikes, which causes her husband to be honest. Softly & Tenderly reminds me of a Soap Opera set to print. There is a lot of drama and tragedy in the book. In my opinion too much drama and tragedy. The books ending was very good and left me wanting to read the next book in the series.

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  • Posted October 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Terrific book!

    This book surprised me. First, it dealt with subjects not typically addressed in Christian Fiction: adultery, deception, divorce, etc. Secondly, Sara Evans is a surprisingly good writer. Jade and Max have a seemingly perfect marriage. They are dealing with infertility and miscarriage, but everything else appears to be wonderful. Until Max has to come clean to Jade that shortly before their wedding, he fathered a child with another woman. He just assumes she will forgive and forget, but Jade is deeply wounded by this revelation.
    On top of everything else, Jade's mother is dying, and her in-laws' marriage is crumbling. Her mother longs to die at home in Iowa so Jade, her mother, and her mother-in-law embark on a road trip to her hometown. While there, she re-connects with her first love and finds herself in a position of having to make some difficult choices. This is a story of love, hope, forgiveness, redemption, and faith.
    This book kept me interested enough that I read it in two days. I liked the fact that the characters all had flaws...deep flaws. I found myself confused at times - typically during Jade's flashback sections - but I think that may be because I never read the first installment of this series. Other than that, this book was very easy to read and quite enjoyable.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book to Curl Up With

    "Softly and Tenderly" is the second book in the Songbird series by country star Sara Evans and talented novelist Rachel Hauck. Jade Fitzgerald Benson has married into what she calls a "Southern soap opera", with a husband who is a high-powered attorney and a recovering addict, a father-in-law who is angling for a political appointment and a mother-in-law who is travels in high Southern society and expect Jade to do the same. Yet Jade has a family soap opera of her own, with a terminally ill hippie mother and siblings scattered from Alaska to Guatemala, not to mention her own personal crises of multiple failed pregnancies and two antique stores with issues.

    If that's not enough soap opera content for you, don't worry, there's more coming as you get deeper into the story. Unlike soap operas, however, the characters in this book are capable of making decisions, facing their problems and working to solve them, leaning on their faith and growing as people and as Christians.

    This is a great read, and well-deserving of the starred review that Booklist gave it. I have not read the first book in this series. The book stands complete on its own, and there is plenty of background in this book so that it is enjoyable without reading the first. However, that same background information may have spoiled the first book for me.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    Pretty good, would recommend

    Jade is settling into a happy marriage. Though struggling with infertility and her mother's leukemia, she's a successful boutique owner, has left her uncertain child-of-a-hippie childhood to be embraced into an established, southern family, and has her loving husband...

    Then everything begins to fall apart. The next thing she knows she's jumping in a pink Cadillac with her mother and mother-in-law and heading across the country to face family, life, and death.

    This was an unusual fiction book. Apparently, it is the second in a series. I didn't realize this when I began reading this, and felt I was missing something and checked it out. I was still able to get into the plot, but I did feel I was lacking vital backstory.

    I would assert this book is not just the story of Jade, but also the story of Beryl, her mother, and June, her mother-in-law. Both of them are also facing very difficult things and struggling to make it right. While having slight Christian tones, it is mainly focused on the lives of these women, not on Christ in their lives.

    I did enjoy this story, but it wasn't what I thought it was from the description. Because it is one in a series, I also didn't feel like it was finished when it was over. I felt somewhat satisfied with Jade's part, and definitely satisfied with Beryl's part, but what about June? I felt like her future was a question mark.

    I also admit the affluence of June's family turned me off a little. I came to relate to her, but the book started off with her complaining about her daughter-in-law's choice of trucks because "You're a Benson now... surely you can afford a better vehicle than this" while clinging to a Gucci bag and wearing haute couture clothing (p. 2). I know it's my own bias, but I have trouble with relating to a person who is supposed to be a Christian pillar in her family, but insists on expensive luxury in own home. I was also afraid the book would be a soap opera of the rich and regionally famous. While there was definitely some soap opera-like twists, I felt like the authors delved into the real heart and flaws of the character of June, despite not resolving her story to my satisfaction.

    While I don't have a feeling of "This was excellent" when I finished, I also think I'd be interested in reading the next book in the series, coming out in January, to see what happens next.

    I received this book from the booksneeze program for free in exchange for my unbiased review.

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Three ladies embark on a road trip to see if they can each find themselves before they're lost.

    This book, at least for me, didn't draw or pull. It just was. There wasn't the profound Christian experience I had hoped for nor was it devoid of Christian life. It was a book about three women, but mainly Jade, dealing with the choices they've made and trying to move forward with them in the way that God wants them to.

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  • Posted July 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    softly and tenderly

    Jade has finally gotten everything she has wanted - almost. Having reconciled with the mother who abandoned her as a child and is currently struglling with terminal cancer, she has married the man of her supposed dreams and runs a successful business. The only thing missing is a child in her arms. After numerous miscarriages, her world feels like it is falling apart. When she learns of her husband's illegitimate son, conceived teh night of his bachelro's party, it finally comes crashing down. As she struggles with this new revelation, her husband's drug addiction, her mother's imminent death, and the dissolution of her in-laws' perfect marriage, Jade must decide what it is she is really looking for in life.

    The religious aspect of this book wasn't as profound as many others of the genre, which I appreciated. However, I found Jade to be rather lacking as a character. It seemed as though all of her desires were fictional ones based in what she was "supposed" to want. When faced with real life dilemmas, her character floundered. The best part of the book was the strength exhibited by her mother and mother-in-law, as they road tripped to take her mother home to die.

    Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

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  • Posted June 19, 2011

    Wonderfully written

    Jade Fitzgerald's hope for a perfect marriage shatters when her husband confesses he has an illegitimate son. What's more, he wants to raise the boy in their home.
    Hurting and confused, Jade embarks on a road trip to Iowa to take her sick mother to her childhood home. In the comfort of the old homeplace, Jade struggles with her fears and the tug of her first love. With the help of her family and her faith, she comes to understand her future doesn't rest on the power of her past, but in the goodness of God's mercy.

    My thoughts...

    Jade Benson's attorney husband is a recovering addict, her mother has cancer, her sister is in Guatemala and in constant danger and this is only the beginning. This is a lot for one person to carry on their shoulders.How will Jade make it through? WILL she make it?

    This is an easy to follow storyline with lots of drama that keeps you guessing what will happen next. Intense and emotional, you feel a part of it. There's heartache, infidelity, and much more totally believabe incidents.

    God is in the midst and He does get the glory....eventually. I highly recommend this book, it's realistic and the ending is much better than the beginning. An excellent read. I give it 5 stars.

    I received an e-copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Title: Softly and Tenderly

    Publisher: Thomas Nelson

    Pub Date: 01/04/2011

    ISBN: 9781595544902

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    great book can't wait for the next

    This book was great can't wait til love lift me comes out. I love the charcters in the book and I can totally relate.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2011

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    AWESOME!!!! Can't wait for the next book to be released.

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  • Posted February 16, 2011

    Betrayal: Termination or Opportunity?

    Softly and Tenderly, by Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck, is anything but soft and tender as the story first unfolds. Secrets and betrayal open with painful harshness. You find your heart bleeding all over the pages with the characters. There's no sugar-coating on the raw emotions felt and displayed. Honest, heartfelt, and painful conversations are held. Heart-wrenching in every way. Choices made could have easily been my own.

    Sara pulled out all the stops on a very touchy, harsh reality for some women. Had it not been for the mix of humor and hope, the pain and rejection could have almost been too overwhelming, but overall I believe Sara did it with just the right balance.

    Added to these scenarios is the cold reality of an imminent death to be dealt with, one where the past has almost devastated the relationships. With maturation, reconciliation is cautiously and even humorously worked out.

    Despite the gravity of the subjects, I don't think I've ever been moved as much by a story as I was with this book. It was deep and intense, and you felt every part of it. The pain, grief and sorrow were not glossed over. Very realistic, yet encouraging. God's grace was apparent throughout the gamut of circumstances, though not necessarily seen 'in the moment.' His power of forgiveness is strong, but not always instant.

    A powerful book to help women in situations such as these. Softly and tenderly does work its way in at the end in an unexpected way. Top of the line writing!

    Here's to 'all the women out there just trying to live a little stronger.'

    This book was provided by BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Posted February 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A book for mothers and daughters!

    This is the 2nd book in a 3 books series. The first was The Sweet By and By. I didn't read the first book and thus going straight into book 2 took some effort in knowing about previous events that was vaguely mentioned in book 2. It would have been great to follow the series starting with book 1 but even without reading the 1st book, Softly & Tenderly manage to hold its own.
    I enjoyed the book. I like all the characters portrayed - their complexity and their simplicity. I especially like Jade's mother-in-law, Jane whom I think is really an amazing woman. She does what she does out of love and protection for her family but not everybody will be able to identify with what she did and not everyone will approve. There's a lot of Jane in the world we live in. I also like Jade's ex-husband, Dustin whom I thought through his action at the end of the book shows that he's a real man! I would have loved to read more about him. Jade is also an interesting character but a bit drama queen but I thought that Jade is such a pretty name and such I didn't like it when her mother called her Jade-o. I would have loved to get to know her better. This Songbird series is written by Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck. The first book that I read from Rachel Hauck is Dinning With Joy which I also enjoyed. The concluding book to this series entitled Love Lifted Me will be available end of year 2012. I can't wait to read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2011

    A good book!

    Softly and Tenderly by Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck is a story about family relationships, marriage difficulties, human weaknesses, in fact every day life in soap opera terms. Jade Benson, the main character, is the proud owner of two successful shops, happily married to a successful lawyer, and has finally moved beyond her past into a promising future. So she thinks. However, in one fell swoop her life is turned upside down when she learns that her husband has an illegitimate son conceived one week before their wedding. Jade is thrown into an adventure that has her questioning every aspect of her life, past and present, including her relationship with God. I was drawn into this novel from the first page. I liked the occasional humor, the pathos and the ease of discovering more about the characters. Jade is a real character with real struggles that are similar to those of many women. She deals with these struggles in a way that is true to life and they come to resolution in a way that leaves the reader satisfied and not skeptical. I received this book free from Thomas Nelson through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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