2016 RITA Award Finalist
Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.
When Lyndie James, Jake's childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion's reluctance to run.
Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake's will, Lyndie's sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he's built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he'd thought he'd lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?
Praise for Becky Wade
"I wasn't ready for this story to end, but when it did, I sighed the happy/longing sort of sigh that romance readers know so well..."USA Today on Undeniably Yours
"They are a couple you'll be rooting for to have their Texas fairy-tale ending."Romantic Times on Undeniably Yours
"I adored this book. It was hilariously funny, heartwarming, and too cute! I laughed. I cried. It made me smile countless times."Will Bake for Books blog on Meant to Be Mine
About the Author
Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market, took time off to raise her children, then felt God nudging her to pursue contemporary Christian fiction. Becky's work has been a finalist for both a RITA and an INSPY Award. Learn more at www.beckywade.com.
Read an Excerpt
A Love Like Ours
By Becky Wade
Bethany House PublishersCopyright © 2015 Rebecca Wade
All rights reserved.
It had been twenty years since Lyndie James had seen Jake Porter. Twenty years! The bulk of her life. By all accounts, Jake should not matter so much to her still. Her memories of him should not have remained so clear. But he did. And they had. And now she was about to see him again, face-to-face. After twenty years.
Lyndie steered her Jeep around a curve in the road that offered a beautiful view of Whispering Creek Ranch's Thoroughbred farm.
The towering gates and the security guard at the ranch's front entrance had been wildly impressive. The lodge-style mansion she'd glimpsed, jaw dropping. But the horsewoman within her appreciated this vista most of all.
Low green hills framed a picturesque redbrick structure. Behind it, white fences marked off paddocks and pastures that enclosed horses of varying hues.
It was mid-March, a time of year in Texas that could mean tank top weather just as easily as sweater weather. Today classified as a sweater day, complete with low and moody gray clouds and tossing wind.
The scene made her fingers itch for her paintbrush. If only she could somehow capture the rare pale green of that tree up ahead. Such a bright, almost yellow-tinted green. The color of spring's first leaves ...
Whoops. She straightened the car's trajectory before running herself off the road.
The guard had given her a map of the horse farm, which she'd clamped against the steering wheel with her thumbs. He'd told her to pass by this first barn, right? She double-checked the route he'd marked. Right. She continued along the paved road.
Jake's older brother Bo managed Whispering Creek Horses. Bo had told her that she'd find Jake at the barn that stabled the racehorses in training. Bo was the one who'd encouraged her to pursue the job opening on Jake's staff and the one who'd asked the guard to let her in.
Jake didn't know she was coming.
Which didn't seem, suddenly, like the best plan in the world. Hi, Jake. I haven't seen you in twenty years. Do you remember me? No? Can I have a job exercising your Thoroughbreds, please? I'd really, really like a job.
She'd purposely arrived here at the ranch late in the morning, knowing that by this hour Jake would have finished working out his Thoroughbreds. And she'd purposely come unannounced, because Bo had assured her that was her best strategy. Though he hadn't said why, she feared she knew. If she or Bo had given Jake an opportunity to prevent her visit, he'd have taken it.
The thought made her emotions twist, stupidly.
Lyndie still recalled her last morning in Holley, Texas. She and Jake had been two kids shell-shocked with grief. Their sadness had been too deep for tears, even. In the final moments before she'd gotten into her parents' car, they'd simply stood facing each other, saying what could not be said.
Afterward, she'd cried into her pillow at bedtime for weeks. She'd pleaded to God through prayers. She'd written letters to Jake in her kid handwriting on lined notebook paper. For months, he'd written back. Then her letters and his replies had grown more scarce. She was positively certain, though, that she'd been the one to write last.
She'd followed every detail of his career as a Thoroughbred racehorse trainer. One might even say that she'd followed it a mite obsessively. Lyndie knew all there was to know about his professional success and little about his personal life, except what she could glean from the occasional updates passed from Jake's mom to her mom and the Porter family Christmas card photo.
Every year since her parents had moved the family to Southern California, the Porters' annual photo would arrive and her gaze would go straight to Jake. The dark-haired, hazel-eyed twelve-year-old boy had become a star football player as a teenager, then a Marine, then an aloof adult with a scar across one side of his face. Through her mom, she knew that Jake had received the scar in Iraq, when the Humvee he'd been traveling in had been struck by an IED.
Every December she'd stared at that family photo as if she had the power to divine the state of Jake's soul based on a 4x8 glossy from Walmart. She didn't.
Since she'd returned to Texas, Jake's family had been warning her that the state of Jake's soul ranged, due to the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder he struggled against, somewhere between merely dark to downright terrifying.
Her Jeep crested a rise and the training barn popped into view. It looked as though she was about to have the opportunity to judge the state of Jake's soul for herself, a fact that made her stomach tighten with nerves.
The training barn looked like a twin of the first barn. Redbrick, white trim, a gabled metal roof. Blue pansies brightened the base of the building, and a few horses peered at her through the top halves of open Dutch doors. First class, all the way, which pleased her. Jake, her old friend, worked in a very charming setting.
She slid her Jeep into a parking place. The rearview mirror informed her that the makeup she'd put on earlier still looked okay. The hair was a different story. Uncontainable, as usual. She made her way toward the barn.
Ordinarily, she was not the anxious type. Then again, she didn't usually come face-to-face with someone who mattered after two decades of separation. She had a sentimental streak as wide as her independent streak, and the former was entirely to blame for the fluttery feeling in her chest.
Trust God with it, Lyndie. He's got this.
She let herself inside the building's shed row. A middle-aged male groom stepped from a stall holding a rake. "Good afternoon." He smiled at her kindly.
"Good afternoon. I'm looking for Jake Porter."
"Sure." He propped his rake against the wall and wiped his palms on his jeans while scanning the row. "He was here just a second ago. He must have gone outside to one of the paddocks or the pasture. I'd try that direction, there." He motioned toward the doors at the far end of the row. "Would you like for me to walk you out?"
"No, thank you. I'll find him." This meeting would be difficult enough without witnesses.
Both Lyndie and her mother had been wanting to move back to Texas for years. But her father's steady and reliable job had kept her parents—and thus her younger sister, Mollie, and herself—in California.
Mollie required a great deal of care. From earliest memory, Lyndie had understood that Mollie needed her and that her parents needed her help with Mollie. Lyndie had never, and would never—for as long as Mollie lived—roam far from her sister.
When Lyndie's dad's company had transferred him to Texas a month ago, the entire James family had made the long-awaited cross-country move back to Lone Star soil. Lyndie had assumed she'd see Jake shortly after their arrival and had been bracing mentally and emotionally for the meeting ever since.
Her parents and Mollie had settled into a house, and Lyndie had moved into an apartment. The other Porters had swung by. No Jake. When Nancy had invited the James family over for Sunday lunch three weeks ago, Jake's three siblings had been there. No Jake. When the Jameses had shared Sunday lunch with the Porters again two days ago, still no Jake. It had become clear to Lyndie that Jake was either a hermit, did not eat food, or was making an effort to avoid her.
His rejection stung, and she would've been content to let another few weeks go by before breaking the ice between them. But when Bo had informed her this past Sunday that a job on Jake's staff had come open, her timetable for ice-breaking had changed.
She no longer lived in Altadena, California. There, she could drive to Santa Anita in twenty minutes and Hollywood Park in forty Horse trainers were as common as in-line skaters. In Holley, Texas, Whispering Creek Horses was the only game in town. And Jake the only trainer. If she wanted a position as an exercise rider, which she definitely did, then she knew she needed to nab the job before Jake gave it to someone else.
She pushed open the door at the far end of the barn.
She'd come to Whispering Creek Ranch to see the very best friend of her childhood, at long last.
And she'd come for the job.
* * *
Jake turned up the collar of his brown corduroy hunting jacket, then rested his forearms on the top rail of the wooden fence that enclosed the thirty-acre pasture. His careful attention catalogued numerous things about the colt within, only a handful of them visual. Call it horse sense. Or instinct. Jake understood things about these animals that most people didn't.
A few days ago he'd decided to back off training this particular colt, Desert Willow, and give him more time to recover fully from his arthroscopic knee surgery. Willow liked to complain about his sore knee, which meant Jake needed to freshen him longer before Willow would be ready to resume training. Five more days maybe—
Jake heard the crunch of a twig breaking and flinched at the unexpected noise, then cursed himself for flinching. He could already tell that the sound had been made by nothing but footsteps.
Turning, he squinted beneath the brim of his black Stetson and tried to make out who was coming toward him. A small woman with long, wavy blond hair. She wasn't on the barn staff; that he knew. He angled toward her more fully.
And then, very slowly, recognition began to slide over him. The hair on his arms rose.
It couldn't be her. Not after all this time. And yet the rational part of his brain understood that it could be. He knew she'd moved back to Holley. His mom had been nagging him to see her ever since, but he'd wanted no part of that, no part of her.
Yet here she was.
He went to stone, inside and out. Only his heart kept moving, knocking inside his chest, hard and sure. He didn't want her to look at him.
He was ugly. And she was beautiful.
He'd already lived the life and died the death of the boy she'd known. She wouldn't recognize him now, same as he no longer recognized himself.
She wore jeans tucked into black riding boots. A white shirt under a pale green sweater that hung open down to her hips. Big hoop earrings. Her scarf, which had a lot of green, pink, white, and gray on it, didn't have ends. It just rested in a loop around her neck.
She no longer looked like a Texan. She looked like a Californian to him now.
She came to a stop a few feet away and stuck her hands into the back pockets of her jeans.
He couldn't speak, and she had the grace not to say anything trite. She only took him in, her head tilted slightly, a half smile on her face, softness in her gaze.
He hadn't felt any emotion forcefully since his accident. Yet the sight of her caused bitterness to blaze through him, true and clean. You left me behind, he wanted to accuse. You. Left. Me.
It surprised him, the anger turning in his gut like a blade. She'd been a kid back then. Her father had gotten a better job in California, and so they'd moved. It hadn't been Lyndie's fault. But that's not what he was feeling, standing here all these years later. He was feeling a betrayal so strong it nearly took his breath.
"Jake," she said at last, her smile growing.
He dipped his chin. "Lyndie."
"Had you heard that my family moved back?"
"I had." Another pause opened. He felt no obligation to fill it. He'd grown used to uncomfortable silence.
Her features were even and delicate, unmistakably her, yet different, too. She couldn't be taller than five foot four. He'd looked down at her when she was ten, but he towered over her now.
Her skin held a light West Coast tan. She still had freckles across her nose, so faint Jake almost couldn't make them out. Her brown eyes were as perceptive as they'd once been, and her hair hadn't changed except in color. It had gone from shades of pale blond to shades of dark blond.
She looked confident and fresh and happy, and he wished like the devil she hadn't come.
"It's great to see you again," she said. "We were pretty good friends once."
"That was a long time ago."
However long it had been, it felt like three times that to Jake.
"I heard about what happened to you in Iraq. I'm sorry"
He braced. She'd always been direct. Nonetheless, he hadn't thought she'd mention Iraq. Everyone who knew him knew that he refused to talk about the war, much less think about it. But she didn't know him, did she? She hadn't been around to know anything about him for decades.
"I've been following your career as a trainer," she said. "Congratulations on everything you've accomplished."
"I can imagine all the work you must have put in."
"Can you?" He didn't see how she could imagine anything about him.
She lifted her eyebrows at his rough tone, not with hurt, only with curiosity. "I have a decent idea of what it's taken to achieve all that you have." Strands of hair lifted away from her temple, carried by wind. She caught them and dashed them behind one ear. "I've been exercising horses since I was sixteen for Southern California trainers."
"California trainers wouldn't know a Thoroughbred from a donkey."
She paused for a half second, then laughed. "Zenyatta was a California horse."
"Born in Kentucky."
"Trained by a Californian."
"Who was born in Kansas."
"California Chrome was born in California," she pointed out.
"Trained by someone born in New York."
Her lips set in an amused line. "I suppose you think only Texan Thoroughbreds and trainers have merit."
"Everything's better in Texas."
"I thought the saying was 'Everything's bigger in Texas.'"
She crossed her arms loosely. "Be careful, or I might think you have a sense of humor."
"I wouldn't want that."
"No," she answered cheerfully. "I can see that you wouldn't."
He remembered how much he'd enjoyed making her laugh when they were kids. Now, it physically hurt him to see her smile. It reminded him of all he'd lost. "If you'll excuse me, I need to get back to work."
She considered him for a moment. "Sure. I don't want to keep you. I came out today because Bo told me that you have an opening for an exercise rider."
He frowned, vicious words filling his mind.
"If you're willing to give me an opportunity, I'd really like a chance at the position."
His heart set to striking again, like a hammer against a rock. "I don't think that's a good idea."
She didn't step back or break their eye contact. "Why not?"
Since they'd started talking, she'd stirred more hostility in him than he'd experienced in years. He couldn't do this daily. He couldn't be around her for hours at a time, the way he was with his riders.
She reached back with one hand, grabbed and twisted her hair and brought it over her shoulder. The move jarred him because she'd pulled her hair forward just that way when she was young. "Jake?"
"We knew each other when we were kids and our moms are friends," he stated.
"It's not enough. I don't hire riders for either of those reasons."
She tipped her chin up. "I don't expect you to hire me for those reasons. I'd like for you to hire me because I'm qualified. I've built a solid resume. I'll email it to you."
He didn't give a rip about her resume.
"Bo told me that there's a training track here on the property."
"May I come out one morning this week so that you can see how I ride?"
He didn't want her anywhere near his track. "There's no point." Which was true. "I already have someone else in mind for the position." Which was a lie.
What was the matter with him? What was it about her that made him want to help her, the same way he'd wanted to help her at the age of twelve? "I'll think about it. Like I said, I have someone else in mind."
"All right." She studied him, then walked backward a few steps. "I'll see you later."
He held himself still as she turned.
"Oh." After just a few paces, she swung back toward him. Her hair hadn't stayed over her shoulder. It never had when she was a kid, either. "Your colt?" She motioned to Desert Willow. "He had knee surgery, yes?"
Jake inclined his head.
"What are you thinking? Maybe five more days to recover?"
He furrowed his brow. How had she been able to diagnose a horse she'd hardly glanced at? "Something like that."
Her lips curved. "Bye, Jake."
* * *
Well, Lyndie thought as she walked back to her car, that did not go well. And through no fault of her own. Tall, Dark, and Brooding was not a very friendly person. Not at all.
Excerpted from A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade. Copyright © 2015 Rebecca Wade. Excerpted by permission of Bethany House Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was so very blessed to receive a copy of "A Love Like Ours" from Becky Wade and Bethany House. (Thank You, thank you, thank you!!!) I have been following Becky since I fell in love with her debut novel, My Stubborn Heart, back in 2012. Since then I have had the joy of following the Porter family stories where I've been teased with little glimpses into Jake's back story. Even then I believed his tale would be the most intriguing of the three brothers and Becky proved me right! Needless to say, I was beyond excited to finally get to know the man behind the stoic yet damaged facade. Little did I know how much it would rend my heart. Unlike Bo and Ty's stories, Jake's story is vastly morose. He suffers from PTSD from serving overseas in the Marine Corps. Becky brilliantly portrays the nightmare of relived pain and the emotions attached to those haunting memories, allowing you to connect and understand his character on a more intimate level. Your heart breaks for Jake each time he is faced with the eco of his former reality. In steps Lyndie. She is the direct opposite of Jake in demeanor. Lyndie is upbeat, optimistic and full of faith. Not to say she is carefree. You see Lyndie deals with her own very unique set of circumstances as she sacrifices lifelong dreams to co-parent her special needs sister Mollie alongside her Mother and Father. However, Lyndie's faith in God gives her the strength to see the light in every situation no matter how grim it may appear. Which is exactly why she is so perfect for Jake. (Although he doesn't quite view it that way ... at first.) You could surmise that Lyndie becomes a powerful ray of SONshine that plants the seeds of hope and redemption into what was previously the barren wasteland of Jake's broken soul. My favorite part of Jake's story is when he comes to the very end of himself and reconciles his life to God. It is a beautiful thing; the realization that we have a hope and a future . I'm not afraid to admit that I am a sucker for prodigal son stories. Nothing brings my heart more joy than to know that lives are being made new in Christ Jesus ... even if it is in a book! They made the best kinds of stories! ;) If you have yet to read a Becky Wade story, I assure you that it is the best investment of bookish brilliance you can ever make. Becky has an amazing gift of creating literary worlds so rich in character that your fingers literally itch to turn the page ... long into the wee hours of the morning ... until you end up suffering from a book hanger the next day. Yes ... THAT GOOD! A Love Like Ours is a story of redemptive hope that will capture your heart. Verse after verse, Becky weaves a masterpiece born of childhood affection, family devotion, courage, honor and unconditional love. Five Stars!!!
A complimentary copy was provided. I really enjoyed Meant to Be Mine by Becky Wade when I read it, so when I heard that she had another book out and it was part of the Porter Family series, I jumped on the chance to read and review it. (I have been so busy reading, that I haven't had the chance to pick up the first one in the series, but that's okay) The author has created some very real characters in this book. As a reader, I felt such a connection with the characters and their feelings. There was such a chemistry between Lyndie and Jake. The type of story that draws you in from the start. The story tackled some deep issues - PTSD and disabilities - that are being faced by every day people. The book appeals to the romantic side with the great love story, but it also shares a message. As with Meant to Be, the characters are challenged and flawed and in need of God's Grace and through the story their faith in God helps them to heal and learn to trust again. I enjoyed this book and even though it is the third in the series, there is nothing lost in the story line if you haven't read the other books, so feel free to jump in with A Love Like Ours. As always though, the chance to see a glimpse into the ongoing story of Ty and Celia is something that I enjoy about reading books in a series.
I have read the first two books in this series and loved them. I couldn’t wait to read this one. The first book took me a while to get into while the second had my heart twisting and aching from the first few pages. I was hoping this book would be more like the second. However, it took me a while to really get into this one. It was good, don’t get me wrong. I think I just had this expectation that it would grip me from the beginning. And although, I did care about the characters my heart wasn’t twisting in pain for them from the very beginning. It took awhile, but it did happen. Lyndie is such a sweet spirit. I love her determination when it come to life. She has a disabled sister that honestly has prepared her to deal with Jake. Also, there is a horse that Lyndie is determined to win over. You’ll just have to read the book to see what happens. Jake, or “tall, dark and brooding” as Lyndie likes to call him, totally fights his feelings for Lyndie, yet has this need to protect her and take care of her. The internal struggle within him is so real, you will feel his pain. One thing I don’t remember in the other books is being inside the head of secondary characters. But this time we get to meet up with a character from the first book and see her point-of-view on things. I also enjoyed seeing the other Porters and what they are up to. If you haven’t read the other two books you won’t be lost. This can be read as a stand-alone. Overall, another great book by Becky Wade. Contemporary romance lovers will enjoy this newest installment. An e-copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This story now takes top billing in all of the stories that I have read by this author. I absolutely loved it. I really like the way this author takes tough issues and writes love stories with hope surrounding them. In this book, Jake struggles with PTSD and Lyndie has a sister with a disability. Both of them struggle with these issues but love gets them through. Full Review at my website. Note: I received this book in a giveaway. I was not required to give a positive review. All of the opinions I have expressed are my own.
A Love Like Ours is the third book in Becky Wade’s Porter Family series, coming after Undeniably Yours and Meant to Be Mine. I cannot tell you in words just how much I loved the first two books in this series, and how much I love the Porter boys in general, so I was absolutely dying to read this novel. Did I mention I read all three of these books in just three days? Well, all I can say is, spring break is a wonderful gift. Anyway, Becky is one of the most amazing, talented writers I have ever encountered, and I know that I am going to be a faithful fan of hers from this day forward. I am absolutely dying for her to write more books, because once I read My Stubborn Heart, I will have read every one of her full length novels, which is a bit of a problem since I can’t get enough of them! Lyndie James is one of my favorite heroines of all time. I know that I say that fairly often, but I really mean it this time, partly because I really felt like I had quite a few things in common with her. I do love horses, but I haven’t been around them very much yet, so that’s not really what I feel connects us. It’s the writing and painting. I don’t write and illustrate children’s books, but I do write whenever I can, and I do love to paint, so I felt close to Lyndie immediately. On top of that, I absolutely loved her caring nature, the part of her that made her take in little hurt animals all through her childhood, and caused her to long to help Jake the minute she laid eyes on him after their twenty year separation. She treats him with more patience and tenderness than I ever could imagine, and I cannot help but admire her and hope that I could someday have half the amount of those qualities she has. Jake Porter is one of my favorite Porter brothers. Rather than loving him despite his dark and gloomy exterior, I love him because of all the he has been through and how it has changed him. I have mentioned numerous times that I tend to be fond of the slightly “bad boy” types, but what I haven’t mentioned is I also cannot help loving hurting and broken men who are just trying to find a way out. The thing I love about him the most, however, is his intense protective instinct, especially when it comes to Lyndie. When they were little, he made it his job to protect her with everything in him, and that hasn’t changed despite the years that have passed and the pain he now harbors. Although I cannot say that this book is my favorite of the three; I have melted through each one a fairly equal amount though for slightly different reasons because of each unique situation, but I will say that A Love Like Ours does have a permanent place on my all-time favorites list. I gladly give it all five bookshelves, and I cannot wait for the day when I own all of the books in this series. I am going to keep an eye out for a time when I might be able to purchase these that I have already read, and when their sister Dru’s story comes out in May, I am positive I will pre-order it so that I can read it as soon as possible. Though I am a little disappointed that there isn’t another Porter brother to read about, I am sure that Dru’s book will showcase Becky’s fabulous writing just as well as the first three books, so I’m still excited to read it. And, I highly recommend all of Becky’s books, especially this one, to anyone! (This review is from my blog, spreadinghisgrace.blogspot.com)
If you have read any of Becky Wades’ books, then you know this one is going to be good. A Love Like Ours is the third book in the Porter Family series. The first two books, Undeniably Yours and Meant to Be Mine, follow the oldest two Porter brothers. A Love Like Ours follows Jake. You don’t have to read the first two books in this series, but who doesn’t enjoy reading about hunky guys and the girls they fall for? I would totally recommend you read them, because if you don’t, you are missing out of some of my absolute favorite books. Wade writes her characters with real feelings we can all relate to. I couldn’t put this book down, and finished it in less than 24 hours. Since Jake has returned from war he hasn’t been the same. Things happened over there that he wishes he could change. He is the trainer of Whisper Creek and is good at what he does. But his brokenness is easy for everyone to see. When Lyndie moves back to Texas he knows he’s going to eventually run into her, but he isn’t in a hurry. When she shows up asking for a job, he doesn’t want to risk seeing her everyday, but his brother Bo has other plans. Lyndie is good at what she does, and they have an opening she would fill perfectly. Spending time with her is good for Jake, but can he let her help him? Or will he push her away like he does everyone else? This was a great story of how love can over come all. Love doesn’t mean life will be perfect, but it sure helps get you through some things. I love the Porter family and all of their friends. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series knowing it will be amazing! Obviously I am a Becky Wade fan, and know that after reading this you will be too. Those that fight for our freedom don’t always come back free. And I appreciate how Wade brought to light what a lot of our service men and women go through when they return home. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.
This is the third book in A Porter Family series. I would say it is a stand alone book, because I have not read the first two and had no trouble following along. However, that being said I do think I probably missed some history of the Porter family by coming in on the 3rd book. So now I must go back and read book one and two. :) This is my first book by Becky Wade, that I have read, yet it will not be my last. I enjoyed her writing style. She is not afraid to tackle some tough topics like PTSD. Her characters are very real with problems of their own. Sometimes they handle them correctly and sometimes not so well. There is emotion an understanding in her writing. Jake Porter is suffering from PTSD he is a strong willed, determined horse trainer. He has his own agenda and does not want anyone to get through the wall he has built around himself. When Lyndie James walks back into his life, he is not prepared for the feelings that well up with in him. Will he be able to keep his wall up or will she find a way around it? Lyndie James loves animals and helping others. She has a loving and caring personality. She is also a determined stubborn woman with a plan of her own. When she finds Jake Porter broken and in need of healing, can she help him or is he beyond help? Will she be able to wait on God's timing or will she rush ahead with plans of her own. Lyndie has a strong faith that has been built through a lifetime of trials, yet they have only made her stronger. This book is full or some side stories as well. You will fall in love with all the characters, flaws and all. I look forward to reading more by Becky Wade. I was given a copy of this book from Bookclub.org for my honest opinion.
Can You Go Back Home Again? Twenty years ago Jake and Lyndie were best friends living in Texas. Lyndie loved horses, was a dreamer with a huge imagination and very impetuous. Jake, Lyndie's self-appointed guardian, had a heart of gold who followed her everywhere and kept her safe. Suddenly their idyllic childhood was torn apart when Lyndie's family moved to California. Now, two decades later, Jake and Lyndie are reunited. Lyndie has become an author, a published writer and an expert horsewoman. She is also a woman with a strong Christian faith. Jake, on the other hand, has become dark, brooding and is suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He wants nothing to do with God or people. Slowly, a relationship forms because of Lyndie's perseverance, but Jake does everything he can to sabotage them. This story describes some very intense and dark situations that Jake has experienced, and that continue to haunt him. The seriousness of PTSD is not sugar coated. Everybody needs a friend... Lyndie's friendship with Amber provides some hilarious situations. Amber, a single mom, has a story that many will be able to relate to. Especially her vow, since becoming a Christian, to put her love-life into God's hands--even if that means never having another man in her life. Will Jake's dogged determination for self-destruction destroy both Lyndie and his life? Or will Lyndie compromise her faith and values to have a love relationship with Jake? Does Mollie, Lyndie's severely disabled sister, truly have healing powers, or is this another one of Lyndie's fantasizes? Count the cost, some relationships are harder than others. This is an uncommon romance because it includes the serious situation of PTSD. I applaud the author for addressing it, along with some of the possible consequences that could come from it. A couple of cautions about some of the subject matter: first, each person struggling with PTSD is unique, and a romance will not necessarily turn out well, or the way this story does. Also, Christians are playing a dangerous game when they become romantically involved with a non-believer. More often than not, there is a lot of heartache when that happens in real-life. A Love Like Ours is part of a series, but can be read as a stand-alone tale. I read it without reading the others, and it did not keep me from enjoying this one. Although I now want to get the rest of the series after reading it. This 5-star book will appeal to people who like horses, tales of people attempting to overcome big obstacles, and those who enjoy Christian fiction. The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through Bethany House Publishing for the purpose of review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal.
If you like Christian Romance then you will love all of Becky Wade's books. You can read this as a stand alone but I would encourage you to start with Book #1 of the Porter family series. You will not be disappointed! Lyndie James and Jake Porter-childhood friends who were separated by a move and brought back together as adults. They have such a special bond between them. Jake, a marine, sufers from (PTSD) after an IED explosion that killed 3 in his unit. His faith falters and he's dealing with a lot of emotional baggage and guilt. Lyndie is just what he needs to help him find his way. I feel like Becky has a way that brings the characters to life and that I fully expect that at any time I could run into them at the store. I love how she weaves past characters into the storyline and we can catch up with the rest of the Porters. I received a free copy from Bethany house in exchange for my honest review.
To all my contemporary romance fans, this is a fantastic book and I believe you will enjoy it!! Though I know everyone has different opinions. I have read every book Becky Wade has ever written & I do believe this one is now my favorite of them all. Jake Porter is a former marine & a very wounded hero in "A Love Like Ours" but I suppose that is what was endearing about him to me. He was terrified of what he couldn't control. Such as people getting hurt on his watch. Yet, he had a vulnerability about him that made your heartache for his character & you just simply can't help but love him. Then there's Lyndie James, always wanting to fix what's broken. Even though she knows that she can't possibly do it without God's help. She sets out to help Jake & in the mean time, falls head over heals in love with her childhood best friend. You honestly can't help but love our heroine either. Her love for people, animals & God is contagious. No matter how hard life got, she always said "God is good". Then there's Jake, who wanted nothing to do with God, yet as the story goes on, he can't help but see evidence of the Lord in Lyndie's life. One thing I really loved about this book is that no matter how broken Jake thought he was, Lyndie always saw him as beautifully broken. She loved him for all that he was in the present, ever flaw & every quirk she loved. I think we could all learn a little bit from Lyndie's character about loving someone just as God made them, not perfect but beautiful all the same. As for what happens throughout the story, you're going to have to read it to find out!! At first I thought they were developing feelings for each other too quickly but I assure you the timing was perfect for the way the story progressed. Though I loved the book very much it isn't one that I would recommend for younger readers, however the parts I am referring to didn't affect my personal rating much, it did a little to be honest but it wasn't anything major. I simply thought I would make a note of that for those looking to read this book that may be under the age of sixteen/eighteen. Personally I also thought that toward the end of the book it started speeding up too much, though all of the loose ends were tied up in the epilogue, I still felt that the ending would have been a bit better had it been longer. The ending is what honestly affected my rating the most. I told my friend that I was torn because I loved it enough to give it five stars but it didn't quite make it because of the things I have previously mentioned. All in all I give this book 4.5 stars and I do recommend it to lovers of contemporary fiction!! I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are mine.
This is a Christian Romance so God & faith play a huge part in the story. Sometimes these books only have a special innocence and a hint of religion but here it is a center point of the story - Lyndie’s belief in a good God and Jake’s turning away from his. I love the idea of these two having a connection even though they haven’t seen each other in decades. There are people who are that special and make such an impact on you that they live in your heart forever and that’s Jake & Lyndie. But a lot has happened to him since then and it has left scars both inside and out. Jake is dealing with a lot of survivor’s guilt and PTSD from his time as a Marine. It’s led him to a dark and troubled place. He’s still a good man – one who cares for his family and takes his obligations seriously – but he feels unworthy and that’s led him to distance himself from others. Then Lyndie comes back into his life. Her life with a disabled sister has taught her a lot about love, grace and faith. Her patience and understanding, plus her belief in a good God, gives her the ability to see into Jake and hope to be able to help him. She knows that God is what he needs but he needs to find his faith again. He just has to find it within himself to want to make that connection again. It’s a lovely journey for both of them – one that has extreme lows to go with the highs but beautiful nonetheless. (Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review)
I fell totally in love with the relationship between Jake and Lyndie. They are so perfectly different... but so perfectly compliment each other. They're exactly what the other need. There is something so magical to me about the idea of childhood best friends finding each other again as adults. Add in the immediate chemistry that Jake and Lyndie have for each other and it made for a page turner that I just couldn't put down. Not that it was a simple romance. It was anything but simple. The troubles that Lyndie and Jake faced both together and separately made their story (and their family's story) really intriguing. I found myself routing for them to beat all of their difficulties. I turned every page hoping that a magic, or fate, or God, would intervene and make it all work out. I love that while Becky Wade makes the perfect romance... she also tackles huge serious topics. Not only did A Love Like Ours take on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder... but also the story of Lyndie's sister Mollie's Cerebral Palsy. It really is a full book. And THEN there is the little side story with Amber and Lyndie making a deal to go on 3 dates... and the unintentional hilarity that comes from these "dates" just gives that little bit extra. Becky Wade just has this way of weaving in all of these stories and characters. Perfect.
Lyndie and Jake were inseparable friends as children. But when Lyndie's family moves away, it will be years before they meet again. Twenty, to be exact. Now adults, they've become very different people. But there's one thing they still have in common - horses. After being injured while serving his country in Iraq with the Marines, Jake struggles with PTSD. Now working as a Thoroughbred trainer, he spends most of his time alone and avoids relationships. But with Lyndie back in his life and exercising the horses he trains, how long will that last? An excellent spring/summer read, I read this book in one day. There was no way I could put it aside for later once I'd begun. Truthfully, I think the cover is quite sappy (although the colors are lovely), but the plot and sub-plots more then compensated for that. Jake reminded me very much of the tall, dark, and brooding characters from Jane Austen's books (Mr. Darcy, anyone?). I'm sure that was intentional. Lyndie was sweet. Sweet, caring, and thoughtful. And she loves horses, so how could I not like her? I especially enjoyed the interaction between Lyndie's family. Her only sister is confined to a wheelchair because of health problems, and over the years she has helped to grow their faith. Yes, I loved their family. And unlike much of Christian Fiction, the faith they showed was not wishy-washy. This was a great book and I will be seeking out other titles by Becky Wade. Thanks for the chance to review this book, Bethany House!
A Love Like Ours is book #3 in the Porter Family Series. One of the things I love best about Becky Wade's books is the honest way she writes. Numerous times I caught myself blushing and thinking - I can't believe she said that! This one is no exception! There is so much to say about this lovely book. In my mind it reaches out to so many different reader-types. But before we dig too deep I have to say I love the cover! And then I read the Prologue and loved it!! Favorite line that only makes full sense in context of the entire story : "That was his job, to keep her safe. And that's what he would do. She was his favorite person." Now ... let's get to the (really) good stuff. First of all it is a story of love, hope and redemption. Jake Porter is one wounded guy! And he has pretty much committed his life to staying away from people, happiness and God. Horses he can deal with. Everything else- including his loving family- should be treated with much caution. I have to admit I am a sucker for a wounded soul. Especially when that wounded soul is on God's radar and He isn't backing down. This part of the plot was fantastic. Wade delves deep into the issue of PTSD and what war has done to so many fine young men. At one point in the story, the heroine's mother, a counsellor, tells Lyndie that Jake's condition isn't curable. But that doesn't stop God (and Becky Wade) from infusing hope into every crevice possible. Loved it! Next, this story is a romance. Whoa! Cover your eyes ... or ears ... or don't. But be prepared for some spice. I can remember being a tad shocked reading Wade's first book My Stubborn Heart when the main characters started commenting on her "boobs". Can you say that in Christian Fiction? Yet in context of the story it felt real and very life-like. So I moved on. Now, after several more Wade stories under my belt I still love the authenticity and realness she gives her stories and characters. But I was also caught off guard with her latest shocker. "Bedroom eyes" Will. A secondary character who I’m hoping will be the main character in the future. As you can tell by now, I read almost exclusively Christian Fiction. (Otherwise those words wouldn't snag me.) So, this is my one warning to potential readers. There is no explicit information in this book, nor did I find it uncomfortable or inappropriate. However, if there is a line in the sand for you on what you want (or don't want) in your fiction, be aware. Becky Wade is wonderful at bringing to life a fact of romantic life that sometimes is overlooked in Christian fiction. Passion and attraction are real and there is a way to write it with modesty and truth. (And spice!) Fans of Julie Lessman will know what I mean here. If there was an award for kissing scenes - I'd give it to Becky Wade ... or Jake Porter ("Tall, Dark and Brooding"), however you want to see that one. Phew! Moving on ... Next this story tackles the issue of disabilities and gifts. There is a sweet sub-plot moving throughout the story that adds such depth and character to the main story line. And I love how Wade made this thread work on both sides of the characters and mirror the main plot. Fantastic! First we have Mollie, Lyndie's younger sister who is non-verbal and blind suffering with cerebral palsy. But Lyndie believes God gave her sister the power to heal others. Then we also have the horse, Silver Leaf, a horse with potential that only a few can see. This raises the complex topic of God's grace and His healing hand. Why would God not heal Mollie, but use her to heal others? And why would a horse that can't or won't win any horse races be useful to anyone? And why would God take a broken, wounded man and bless him with an optimistic, life-breathing woman that won't give up? Bottom line: this is an interesting, thought-provoking, heart-stirring and blood-pumping good novel. Thanks to Bethany House and Baker Publishing for a chance to review this book. I received a free copy in exchange for my opinion. I am not required to rate it positively.
An inspiring journey of beauty from ashes. These characters had my heart from the first chapter and proved how God can take our fragile lives and repair us to reflect His glory. Jake Porter is one beautiful disaster. For eight years he's suffered from PTSD, after an IED explosion took the lives of three of his men in Iraq. His thoroughbred racehorses and Whispering Creek Ranch are the only things motivating his dark days and even darker nights. Then Lyndie, his childhood best friend, returns to Holley, Texas, and forces Jake to see the world under a new light. As they pass their days working together to solve the mystery of Silver Leaf's apprehension to race, Jake catches a glimpse of all the things he's missing out on, the life he could lead--if he deserved it. Though Lyndie's specialty is nursing wounded things back to health, Jake's wounds are seemingly irreparable. But God.... I recommend this book to anyone looking for a fresh author who's gifted with insight into the human heart. A Love Like Ours will appeal to horse lovers, as well as readers who're searching for a strong, yet clean, romance.
Perfectly Wonderful in Every Way!! This novel is, in a nutshell, absolutely perfect. I completely adored the spunky, moody, and thoughtful characters, each one so unique and yet so able to effortlessly interact with one another. Lyndie’s bright outlook on life despite her past trials and Jake’s brokenness create a masterful relationship that is interesting, unique, emotional, and genuinely true. The real feelings and real struggles were relatable and enjoyable. I became part of the characters’ lives and by the end, I wished I could simply call them up and go out for dinner together. The book contains so many deep spiritual themes that can be applied to my own life despite very different circumstances. With charming and engaging dialogue and incredibly deep character developments, this book flows impeccably from beginning to end. I truly cannot recommend this novel enough. It deserves even more than five stars! I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed this next installment in the Porter family series. I've been waiting for Jake's story and was not dissapointed. * I received a complimentary copy for this review.
This was another wonderful story in the Porter Family series! I loved Lyndie. She was such a fun and imaginative character! Her two jobs were an interesting combo of exercising horses and writing and illustrating children's books. She made a good foil for Jake's seriousness and brooding. I loved that Lyndie and her family had such a strong faith in God even as they dealt with her sister's serious health issues. It was interesting to see Jake's struggles with survivor's guilt and PTSD and how he tried to cope on his own. He was just so stubborn, it was heartbreaking. I loved seeing the other characters from the previous Porter books in this one and catching up on their lives. The story line with Amber and how she convinced Lyndie that they each needed to go out on three dates was hilarious! The dating events were too funny and it was so sweet how a relationship progressed for her. The horse racing was interesting, too, as Lyndie tried to help figure out why a horse wouldn't race like it could. There's some wonderful romance and humor, too. This story would work as a stand-alone, but I highly recommend reading the first two because they're excellent. I definitely recommend this book! I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.
Becky Wade in her new book “A Love Like Ours” Book Three in the Porter Family series published by Bethany House Publishers brings us into the lives of Lyndie James and Jake Porter. From the back cover: Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships. When Lyndie James, Jake’s childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion’s reluctance to run. Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake’s will, Lyndie’s sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he’d thought he’d lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend? Welcome to the ranch for thoroughbred race horses. Jake owns the ranch and they are his horses. Lyndie is an old friend and wants to train the horses which concerns Jake because of the danger involved. The real danger is that she will break through the wall of protection he built around his heart. Ms. Wade explores the effects of PTSD that seems to be a recurring problem surrounding our returning vets. How these two are going to work together and draw close to one another is the basis for this really wonderful story. Jake and Lyndie are wonderful characters that live and breathe on the pages and we root for them all the way through the book. “A Love Like Ours” is a marvelous story filled with great romance, healing and learning to trust again. This book does not disappoint at all. I enjoyed it and I am so hoping for another book in this series. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I've been wondering about the third Porter sibling for some time. He made appearances in the first two books in this series and I knew he had a troubled past, but I never new exactly what that past was and what he was dealing with. Finally, in A Love Like Ours, I got to find out what Jake's story was. I found it to be a lot of things. Violence, duty, desperation, guilt, pain, family, horses, his best friend Lyndie, among other things. Then there was the happiness that was his childhood and the hope, peace, and happiness that starts to open up to him as he begins to heal. It was a heartbreaking story, but one that was full of sweet moments, nuggets of wisdom, family, sacrifice, love, and hope for a better and fuller future. I loved both Jake and Lyndie pretty much from the start. Jake is tormented and broody, but he is also fiercely protective, hard-working, and gentle. Lyndie was attracted right from the start even though she doesn't normally fall for the brooding type. Obviously Jake is her type and only him. Their relationship is rocky, at best, for some time. However, they so perfectly compliment each other and they have a deep bond from the time they were children and best friends. There was also a secondary romance between Lyndie's neighbor, Amber, and a local firefighter that I found fun and humorous. I loved how slowly things developed with them and how realistic their feelings and situation felt to me. It was fun too because I remember Amber and her son from the first book in this series, Undeniably Yours. I also loved both Jake's and Lyndie's families. They are involved in each others' lives. Lyndie's family have had a tougher road than most. Jake's is tight knit and it was fun to see former main characters from the prior books. I also loved that the characters were honest and non-preachy about their beliefs. There was just the quiet sure faith that Lyndie and her family portrayed and Jake's unbelief because of what he had been through. There were moments that were inspirational and they felt consistent with the characters and true to this story. I loved reading A Love Like Ours! I loved these characters, how well the author showed Jake's struggles, the family support, the small-town community, and of course the sweet inspirational and romantic moments. If you've enjoyed Becky's other books or enjoy reading Christian contemporary romance then I would definitely recommend picking this one up! Content: Clean. There was some innuendo and some violent remembrances from one of the characters, but both were appropriate for the genre and handled well. Source: I would like to thank Bethany House for my eARC through NetGalley and also Becky Wade for the copy she sent me (Thank you!), which did not affect my review in any way.
A Love Like Ours is the third book in the Porter Family series. It can easily be read as a stand-alone novel, but, oh my goodness, I definitely recommend enjoying the entire series! I have loved each of these novels and they just keep getting better and better! I have been looking forward to reading Jake’s story since his appearance in the first book, Undeniably Yours. I knew that this scarred hero was going to have an emotionally wrenching story! There are just so many beautiful things about this tale. These childhood friends, Jake and Lyndie, already have an inner connection. No matter how hard Jake tries to refuse it, the truth of that connection won’t be denied. But, Jake is definitely not the person he used to be. A Love Like Ours tackles huge, huge issues. It spans the spectrum of deep and painful questions about guilt, God, and worthiness, while also having many fun and lighthearted moments. I ached over Jake’s struggle with PTSD and Lyndie’s patience and love toward him. I worried over his disbelief in God after all he’d seen. I felt, at the same time, both sadness and amazing hope for Lyndie’s sister, Mollie, who is an integral part of the book. I laughed out loud at the group dating scenes, and even more so at Zoe, who always left her thoughts hanging. I loved the way Lyndie’s mind worked to complete those thoughts in zany ways. Those moments were some of my favorites. Of course, my very favorite moments were between Lyndie and Jake. Their romance was even more moving and emotional than I could have ever imagined it to be. They had so much to overcome and darkness kept trying to pull Jake down. There was great tension, a beautiful romance, definitely some heartache…and this book was the perfect answer for the hopeless romantic in me. I highly recommend A Love Like Ours and the entire series of Porter Family novels that have been written so far. My thanks to Bethany House and Litfuse Publicity for the complimentary copy of this book that I received in exchange for an honest review.
This is an amazing book. The characters and their interactions felt so real. The prologue perfectly shows the unique and special relationship between Jake and Lyndie as well as their individual personalities, which made me feel like I knew the characters immediately, even though Jake is so different as an adult because of his trauma. Lyndie trusts that he is the same person deep down, and the strength of her faith is counterpoint to Jake's hopelessness and despair. There is so much desire in him to have her goodness surround him, yet he continually holds her at arms length. Her optimism is one of the things I enjoyed most about her character, in addition to her creativity as an artist which really shone through. I appreciated the themes woven into this novel. Lyndie has an adult sister who has had cerebral palsy since birth, and Lyndie cares for her deeply with compassion and grace. The portrayal of Jake's PTSD is heartbreaking; I couldn't wait for him to turn to the Lord to begin healing. The members of Lyndie's family play an important role alongside her in providing direction and support to Jake. The romantic tension and passion is intense once Jake's guard begins to falter. The author is skilled at creating genuine moments between the two as they help each other deal with the difficulties life has handed them. A subplot of Lyndie's neighbor Amber and her dating woes creates some interlude from the intensity of the drama yet doesn't detract from the story. Several other family and community members are influential in the story and create a sense of unity. (Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Bethany House for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)