Redemption (Redemption Series #1)

Redemption (Redemption Series #1)

by Karen Kingsbury, Gary Smalley


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781414333007
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 09/01/2009
Series: Redemption Series , #1
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 72,916
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

USA Today and New York Times best-selling author Karen Kingsbury is America’s #1 inspirational novelist. She has written more than forty novels and there are over 15 million copies of her award-winning books in print. Visit her Web site at

Read an Excerpt


By Gary Smalley Karen Kingsbury

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2002 The Smalley Publishing Group, LLC, and Karen Kingsbury
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0842356223

Chapter One

From the front seat of his beat-up Chevy truck, Dirk Bennett stared at his girl's third-story apartment. He watched the shadowy figures of two people come together and stay that way.

A minute passed, then two. Then the apartment lights went out.

Dirk's fingers trembled, and his heart ricocheted against the walls of his chest. He glanced at the revolver on the seat beside him and shuddered. What was wrong with him? He was a nice guy from a nice family. People like him didn't carry guns, didn't lose sleep at night hating a guy for stealing his girl.

Maybe I'm going crazy.

Or maybe it was the pills. They could do that to a person, couldn't they? Make you crazy in the head? No, that was paranoid. Dirk calmed himself down. The pills had nothing to do with the way he felt. They weren't even steroids-not exactly. And they were working. He'd packed on ten pounds in the past six weeks-ever since he doubled his regular dosage. Ten pounds of muscle.

Dirk gripped his forehead and tried to remember what his trainer had told him when he sold him the bottle. Get the formula right. Too little and the lifting would be worthless. Too much and ...

Rage, depression, irrational behavior.

Was that what this was, this constant buzzing in his head? Too many pills? Dirk tapped his fist against his forehead. It was impossible. The pills were completely natural; that's what every-one said. Half the guys at school were on them, and no one else was having any kind of reaction.

He stared at the gun again.

It's what anyone would do. He wasn't going to hurt Professor Jacobs, after all-just scare him. Then Dirk and Angela Manning could be together the way they should have been all along.

He had known from the beginning that Angela was the one, the only woman he could ever love. She'd felt it, too, at first, before she met the professor. Dirk shifted his gaze to Angela's apartment. What could she possibly see in that guy? He was at least ten years older than she was, with thinning hair and gray in his beard and the beginnings of a paunch.

Besides, Professor Jacobs was married.

Dirk had seen the man's wife up in the journalism department a time or two, a beautiful, dark-haired woman who laughed and smiled and seemed to be in love with her husband. The whole thing didn't make sense-an old man like the professor with two gorgeous women. Dirk bit the inside of his lip. That part would change soon if he had anything to do with it.

In the glow of a streetlight he glanced at his watch and saw it was after ten o'clock. If he wanted to pass history, he'd better get home and write the paper on Civil War generals. It was due tomorrow. Dirk worked the muscles in his jaw as he grabbed the gun and tucked it underneath his seat.

He'd have to scare Professor Jacobs another time.

Then, just as he started his engine, he got an idea-an idea so sound and strong it caused a surge of hope to rise in his heart. Maybe he wouldn't have to use the gun. Maybe there was another way to scare the professor into backing off his girl.

He chuckled out loud as he pulled away from the curb.

Ten minutes later he sat on the floor of his Indiana University dormitory room, staring at a single entry in the Bloomington white pages as his fingers began punching the numbers.

Not many blocks away, Professor Tim Jacobs lay awake in his girlfriend's off-campus apartment, wondering what was happening to him.

He was used to the guilt and insomnia. But the tears were something new.

Since he'd begun violating his wedding vows, there had been too many times when he was supposed to be at work reading student papers or at one conference or another but instead had been sharing a bed with Angela Manning, possibly the most promising student ever to grace Tim's advanced newswriting class. She was young and idealistic and achingly beautiful, and Tim knew their affair was more than a passing distraction.

Sometimes the realization caused the guilt to grow so loud that it almost took on a voice-a voice that kept Tim awake even when he was dead tired.

The voice was not audible, but many nights it woke him all the same. Tim would be nestled against Angela, intoxicated by the kind of sin he'd never even dreamed about, when from out of nowhere the voice would come.

Repent! Flee immorality. I stand at the door of your heart and knock! Flee ...

Tim would roll over, hoping to find his way back to sleep, to the imaginary place where his wife, Kari, would not be waiting at home alone, trusting him to be faithful. But the voice of guilt would come again and again-persistent, relentless, tirelessly calling him home regardless of his lack of response.

His lack of worth.

Tim shifted onto his side, trying not to waken Angela. He stared at her plain white apartment wall, and a memory came to mind-the day Angela Manning first visited him at his office and made her intentions clear.

They had talked for fifteen minutes, teasing and laughing and sharing sentiments of mutual admiration while Tim twisted his wedding ring, hiding it behind the fingers of his right hand.

When Angela left the room, a scent of musky jasmine remained. And enough heat to warm the building. Tim spent the minutes before his next class savoring the way she made him feel. But as he left his office that day his eyes settled on a plaque Kari had given him for their first anniversary. It bore the engraved image of an eagle in flight and words he remembered even now: The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth ... to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

In that moment everything about serving the Lord had felt binding and restrictive. Without too much thought he swept up the plaque, dropped it in the nearest file drawer, and strode out of his office.

It remained hidden in the drawer to this day.

Tim blinked as the memory faded. The plaque no longer applied to his life; it was best left out of sight. His strength didn't come from having a heart committed to God. Not anymore.

Since the hot August night when he and Angela first slept together, Tim's strength had come from being with her. And from his professional accomplishments, of course. Tim had devoted his career to excellence in print, first as a working journalist, then as a teacher of the craft, training a yearly crop of reporters who would carry on America's devotion to preserving a free press. In relatively little time, he had become a respected professor who also wrote a regular column for the Indianapolis Star. In the most influential circles of the discipline, Tim's name was gaining recognition.

That was a kind of strength that made a difference in life.

Another reason for his power was his absolute commitment to journalistic integrity both in the field and in the classroom. Back when he was reporting, he had never revealed a source. And even though he was a churchgoer-well, he used to be a church-goer-he had never let his religious faith stand in the way of his ability to practice objective journalism. Religious bias had no place either in the newsroom or in the educational process-not when a reporter could do his best work only with an open mind.

Kari had always struggled a bit with Tim's thoughts about faith and the press. But not Angela.

She treasured the fact that Tim was a "man of faith," as she put it. But she also admired him for his ability to put aside his personal beliefs when he wrote a column or lectured to a class. "We never knew exactly where you stood on issues," Angela had told him later, transfixing him with her electric blue eyes. "But we always knew you stood for good journalism. We knew you'd never cave, never give in. Do you know how rare that is these days?"

He was Angela's hero, no doubt. It was something he'd known from that first day when she had showed up at his desk after class the spring of her junior year and had asked him out.

"Professors can't date their students," he told her, stifling a smile.

She simply held his gaze, her directness both disconcerting and alluring. "Can they have lunch together?"

They had lunch. The office visit happened a week later.

After that, month after month after month, he fought the temptation. After all, it truly was policy that a professor couldn't date a student currently in his classes, though the university's Ethics and Harassment Department had long since agreed that there was nothing wrong with a mutually consenting relationship once the shared class had officially ended.

So Tim had held back, flirting with Angela, enjoying lunches and study times with her, but refusing to cross the line. When summer came and Angela returned to her hometown of Boston, Tim felt relieved, glad to be free from the guilt of their flirtation. He tried to put Angela behind him, to focus on his marriage. But Kari was gone nearly every day, too busy to spend time with him, often too tired to respond lovingly to him at the end of the day.

When Angela returned to school, Tim finally had to admit the truth to himself, even if he wasn't ready to admit it to his wife.

He was in love with Angela Manning. Deeply, completely in love. It was wrong, no doubt. But he couldn't deny his feelings or the way she left him unable to choose anything but time with her.

And it was since that realization that the voice of guilt had been nothing short of relentless.

Repent.... The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.

The voice spouted Bible verses at him, passages he'd memorized as a boy but hadn't read in years.

I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.

Tim liked that one least of all. Life to the full. As if reading a Bible or going to church every time he earned a day off could possibly compare with the way Angela made him feel.

Life to the full?

The Bible was obviously mistaken on that point. In Angela's arms life had never been more full. So Tim had gradually let go of the beliefs that had once been the foundation of his life-a foundation that now seemed flawed and almost ridiculous.

He'd doubted some of the details for a long time, of course. A world made in six days? An ark with hundreds of animals, floating above a world of water? People cured of diseases by simply taking a bath or having their eyes covered with mud? Tim had long ago written off such events as either symbolic or simply irrelevant.

But recently he had started to ask even more fundamental questions. What if God didn't exist after all? What if the Bible had been made up by a group of religious leaders intent on dictating the moral fiber of a society gone bad? What if real life, real truth, lay in the finding of one's soul mate? Someone whose soul seemed like a missing piece to one's own?

Someone like Angela.

In the weeks since he and Angela had begun sleeping together, the questions had gradually become statements in his mind, until now he was ready to let go of the crutch of religious tradition entirely, ready to embrace the reality of new life with his new love.

What he wasn't ready to do was tell his wife, and therein lay the struggle. He knew that the only right thing was to confess the affair. But when Kari met him at the door each evening, he couldn't bring himself to look her in the eye and tell her the truth. That he wanted a divorce. That he was in love with another woman-a student, no less.

It did not take a psychiatrist to figure out the most likely source of the guilt that interrupted his days and kept him awake at night. And it wasn't hard for Tim to convince himself that the whispered flashes of Scripture were figments of his imagination, a consequence of confused brain signals or perhaps the manifestation of an overactive conscience.

So he chose not to dwell on the fact. The guilt would pass in time, once he acted on his decision to leave Kari, once the stress of a double life was behind him. The voices would eventually stop, though for the time being they made sleeping almost impossible.

And that's where things were different now. For weeks the guilt had awakened him with gently persistent preachy sentiments about truth and repentance.

But lately, that same guilt had been waking him with something else.


These thoughts, all of them, came in the time it took to realize it had happened again. In the midst of a perfectly good night's sleep next to a woman who had captured his heart and intoxicated his senses, Tim Jacobs, respected professor and ace columnist, was crying.

Weeping quietly as if someone had died.

Tim blinked to clear his vision, and suddenly he knew that someone had indeed ceased to exist. Himself.

Quietly, discreetly, he silenced the sobs and wiped his tears, but none of that erased the sadness in his soul, a sadness so deep and true he ached from the power of it. As if a veil had been lifted from his heart, he saw everything he'd once been-the idealistic boy, the energetic teenager, the God-centered college student, the hardworking journalist, the romantic groom. The loyal husband.

That man was dead.

His betrayal of Kari had fired a final, fatal bullet into what remained of the man he'd once been.

There in the darkness, with Angela curled up beside him, lost in sleep, the sadness within him grew. He cried for Kari, the sweet young woman to whom he'd promised a lifetime. He cried for the children they'd never have and for the growing old they'd never do together.

Tim swallowed back a lump in his throat and tried again to clear the tears from his eyes. Where were these feelings coming from? Why were they hitting him now? His love for Kari had cooled long before he met Angela. Still, Kari was his wife. As much as he longed to be with Angela, Kari deserved better.

Why have I let things get so bad? What's happened to me? What have I become?

The answers were ugly and came as quickly as the questions, forming a stranglehold on Tim's heart. As strong and capable as Tim thought himself to be, the depth of sorrow that surrounded him now was enough to destroy him. It was a moment that would normally be accompanied by the voice of guilt, assuring him that even now redemption was his for the asking.

But as Tim cried quietly into Angela's pillow, mourning for the first time the man he'd once been, the marriage he was about to lose, and the fact that he had no intention of changing his mind, he realized something that was more heartbreaking than the other losses combined.

The words on the plaque Kari had given him were right. Without God he wasn't as strong as he'd thought. Not at all. And that's why the tears flowed so easily these days.


Excerpted from Redemption by Gary Smalley Karen Kingsbury Copyright © 2002 by The Smalley Publishing Group, LLC, and Karen Kingsbury
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Redemption (Redemption Series #1) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
Bethb5290 More than 1 year ago
Redemption brings you to Bloomington, Indiana just far enough in the country to believe that the characters are real people that you have met. From the first page the characters will become part of your family and friends, as the story unfolds your will celebrate their victories and grieve in their losses. I have never read Christian fiction before and was truly amazed at the authors ability to bring out each persons faith or lack there of with such vivid detail. Each character is so richly developed that you can understand why they make the choices they make and by the end of the story are at peace with what happens, however Redemption is the first of five books in this series with two more series to follow a total of 14 books before you can finally put the Baxter family to rest. But don't let the number of books scare you off you will be dying to read the next one as soon as you finish the first. If you have ever lost something you have treasured, been tempted with something you have always wanted, and faced the decision to do what feels right or hold your ground and follow your heart and beliefs no matter what, this is the book for you. Follow the journey with John and Elizabeth Baxter as their children struggle with love, life and choices. As they learn to accept that God is in control and that He knows the journey they must face and the trials they will encounter. And even when we have reached the end of our rope, our friends and family no longer support our choices God offers us one great gift. A gift that defines forgiveness, a gift above restoration, one reserved for His chosen people...Redemption
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book Redemption by Karen Kingsbury is a wonderful story, full of wonder excitement and endless emotion. This book really grabs your attention from the time you open the book to the time you close the book.It starts with Kari. A God-loving, family-bonding,28 year old, young Christian women is in a very difficult situation in this story. She wants to keep a long lasting marrige with her cheating, no good husband Tim. A mysterious stranger finding out what his 'girlfriend' is up to. Instead he sees an older man in her appartment doing grown-up things with her. The stranger decides to get him back and tell his wife what he did behind her back all this time. From this point on Kari's world goes spiraling down hill. This book is a beautiful book. I felt every emotion she was feeling. This book deals with real life situations. I can't wait to read the rest of this series!!
CafinatedReads2009 More than 1 year ago
I reviewed this book several years ago, so this is a reread review.  I can tell you that my thoughts then were high on this book and not much has changed through the years. Mrs. Kingsbury's books were introduced to me by my mother many years ago, and I was hooked. Redemption was one of the first Kingsbury books that I read, and it is one of my favorites. I was instantly hooked on it the first time I read it, and the reread was no different. Whenever I find myself in a book funk, or I suffer a tragedy in my life, I pick up Redemption and am reminded that with God's redeeming grace, I can pull through anything. As someone who went through a bad first marriage, this book truly hits home for me. There are many elements of the book that I went through but I didn't lean on God through it all like Kari did. I loved watching her character again. It truly felt like reuniting with a long lost friend. The pain and suffering she felt, once again became my own. The sadness and the struggling, were mine. I found myself wanting to wrap her in a big old hug and fall to my knees to pray for her.  This is definitely still a 5 star book in my opinion. Mrs. Kingsbury can create a novel that will suck you in, wrap you up in God's warmth and grace, and set you down in a brand new place. Her words will stay with you long after you've shut the pages, long after you've placed the book back on the shelf. She will leave you breathless and ready for the next book. I highly recommend this book to all!  *I purchased this book for my personal collection. Cafinated Reads was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kennedystewart More than 1 year ago
The first book in Karen Kingsbury's Baxter Family series will certainly have you wanting to read all the others back-to-back! I have never highlighted or made notes in a Fiction book before, but Karen's writing filled with encouraging words, scripture and life lessons makes all of her books go-to guides for years to come. This first book introduces you to the members of the Baxter Family and all their struggles, focusing mostly on Kari Baxter who has just learned her husband is having an affair. Despite advice from family, friends and a long-lost love, Kari decides to try and make the marriage work and forgive her husband. Such a testimony of family and the healing powers of forgiveness.
MLNC More than 1 year ago
Karen Kingsbury, alongside Gary Smalley, has written an incredible first start to an even better series! Redemption is a great reminder, that love is not a feeling, it is a choice. We choose to love our spouse daily. Kingsbury makes you laugh out loud, but it will also bring you to tears! A must read (including the entire Baxter series!!!) You won't be able to put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A different kind of look at a painful issue. You'll find yourself in the shoes of Kari as she goes through one of life's most difficult circumstances. A must-read for sure! (P.S. Be sure to bring the tissues!)
tender1GH More than 1 year ago
I like Karen Kingsbury series on the Baxter Family but I am having trouble figuring out the order of the various series. Right now I am reading the Redemption Series. I am on the 5th book. I figure the Flanigan series is the last one but which series do I read next "First Born" or "Above the Line"? Am I missing any?
Bernadette171 More than 1 year ago
This was one of the best series I've ever read. Not only was it inspiring, but it also spoke to the heart. Made me cry like a baby in several parts and helped me to believe again that God really does have a plan for all of us. A must read.
KelBel85 More than 1 year ago
I have never been a big romance novel fan, but this book I loved. I think because it is realistic and not sappy or fairy tale (ish). It has real life problems, and what I especially love is that the problems are faced with a Christ centered thought process. Can't wait to finish the series :)
footangel More than 1 year ago
I would consider this light reading with a lot of deep perspective on living life according to the Judeo-Christian ethic. After being divorced for 16 years it gave me renewed perspectives on the amount of work it takes to make a marriage as God intended. I really appreciate the heroine being a woman of principal.
songbirdsue More than 1 year ago
Wow, I wonder if it was as hard to write about the subjects in this novel as it was to read about them. It was done so well that I could not put it down from the start. Kari is a much better person than I am. I do not know if I could have forgiven and worked so hard at her marriage after learning her husband had an affair with one of his students, especially when he told her he wanted a divorce. And then reacquainting with her old boyfriend. . . I was so rooting for the old boyfriend. I know you never know how you will react to a situation until you are actually in it, but I am afraid that I might just give him (the cheating husband) the BIG BOOT out of my life. I do believe in marriage and working to make it a success so I hope I would do the right thing, but it is hard to imagine until you are faced with it. I really like the definition of love that was formed in this book. I fell as though I learned a bit about myself and how selfish I can be at times. I think it will have a positive impact on my life. I sure feel my emotions have been exercised. I would like to have a little more details in what happens next. I hope the next book will complete this story a bit more as it details another Baxter Sibling's story. I think I would recommend this to everyone. There are lessons to learn. But I would be careful of younger teens because of some of the subject matter. It is a bit graphic and violent in places.
alishamarie11 More than 1 year ago
I love this book it grabs your attention right away and keeps it. Once you start you wont be able to put it down. Its about the one thing we all want -love-. Undying love. well read it because its an amazing book that one like me who doesnt read often will fall in love with.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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treegardner More than 1 year ago
The author writes about trials in one's life from a Christian perspective. My grandmother lent this book to me. I felt like the last few chapters or so were hasty.
BLUEEYEBE More than 1 year ago
Kingsbury captured the essence of the struggles that we have in everyday life. This book deals with infidelity in a marriage. Kari is a young woman who is faced with the reality that her husband is involved with one of his college students. Although in the eyes of most, she would be justified in granting him a divorce and moving on, instead, she makes the difficult decision to honor her wedding vows and try to save their marriage. What an inspiration! Others that were truly inspirational to me, REDEEMING LOVE, EXPLOSION IN PARIS, CRACKED HEARTS and I WILL WAIT FOR YOU
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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chary26 More than 1 year ago
Karen Kingsbury brings out her God gifting writing ability in the Baxter series it's so breathtaking how in our walk with God how we are not perfect but we are forgiven and loved unconditionally by God and how he turns everything around for the good of those who love him.
ajc65 More than 1 year ago
This 1st of the 5 book Redemption series introduces us to the Baxter's, a close-knit family from Bloomington, Indiana, albeit not one without trials nor with perfection. But who wants to read about perfect people? I think Ms. Kingsbury does a nice job of developing the characters and I was interested in them- John Baxter...the loving Godly family man, Elizabeth Baxter...the fiercely devoted mother who looks after her family, Ashley Baxter...self-proclaimed family blacksheep, Kari Baxter...the sweet sister who is devoted to serving God, Luke...the youngest and only boy of the family, who is sure he is heeding God's will, yet shows only scorn for his sister Ashley, and sisters Erin and the oldest,Brooke, who is more into scientific proof than God. But at any rate, they love each other and like to get together, have fun and reminisce as well as be there for each other through thick and thin. Although I think Ms. Kingsbury develops interesting characters, it feels like she thought up the characters and adds stuff with them being somewhat formulaic. Whereas when I read Beverly Lewis' 5 book series Abrams Daughters, it feels more like these are actual people she is simply telling the reader about. Kari's professor husband (whom she marries on the rebound) has an affair and leaves her for a younger woman. Kari relies on God to work at saving her marriage, but in the end her husband is killed by a deranged stalker. The thing that bothers me here is that I was actually glad he was killed because then Kari can have the chance to be with her one and only true childhood love...Ryan Taylor. ((Ultimately, they had parted because of a misunderstand that didn't seem very believable.) I think it would have been more realistic for that not to happen. Then the reader could see how Kari and Tim's relationship continued. It was just too neat and tidy that he died so then Kari and Ryan could be together. The writing of Kari and Tim's love for each other was almost sickening. I was really hoping Ryan would not say, "Kari girl" one more time. The best part of this book, in my opinion, is the relationship shown between Ashley and her son Cole with Ashley's parents, John and Elizabeth. Ashley hasn't really grown up and sees Cole more as a reminder of the past she would like to forget. Ashley feels that she never really fit in with her family that embodies establishment. She comes back from a stint in Paris in which she became pregnant after an affair with a French painter. The relationship that Cole has with his grandparents is very touching. He is a happy, loved little boy because these two people see the need to feel a void in his life, where John is his only father figure. This 1st book introduces Landon, the man who has been in love with Ashley since high school, but whom Ashley sees as too "safe" for her anti-establishment ways. This is a good start to a good series and I recommend it to anyone who does like Christian fiction, Christian romance, etc. It combines good storyline and characters with a bit of faith, prayer and listening to God's voice, as well as the power of God to work in and change lives sprinkled throughout. I would call Kingsbury her a good writer, not a brilliant writer, mainly because sometimes the characters are overdone, formulaic and stereotypical.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
galaxyglory More than 1 year ago
In searching for christian-themed fiction, I came across Karen Kingsbury's Redemption Series. As the first of 5 books, this book is a wonderful way to meet the Baxters. I loved the dynamic that Ms. Kingsbury demonstrates between current issues and the journey one family faces while walking with God. A must-read for anyone interested in Christian fiction or just an honest good book. I managed to finish it in a couple days and already have the next four in the series to look forward to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago