In this beautifully rendered, affecting novel, a young widow’s world is shattered when she meets her late husband’s identical twin—and finds herself caught between honoring her husband’s memory and falling in love with his reflection.
Haley’s three-year marriage to Sam, an army medic, ends tragically when he’s killed in Afghanistan. Her attempts to create a new life for herself are ambushed when she arrives home one evening—and finds her husband waiting for her. Did the military make an unimaginable mistake when they told her Sam was killed?
Too late to make things right with his estranged twin brother, Stephen discovers Sam never told Haley about him. As Haley and Stephen navigate their fragile relationship, they are inexorably drawn to each other. How can they honor the memory of a man whose death brought them together—and whose ghost could drive them apart?
Somebody Like You is a beautifully rendered, affecting novel, reminding us that while we can’t change the past, we have the choice to change the future and start anew.
|Product dimensions:||5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Beth K. Vogt is a nonfiction writer who said she’d never write fiction. After saying she’d never marry a doctor or anyone in the military, she is now happily married to a former Air Force family physician. Beth believes God’s best is often behind the door marked “never.” An established magazine writer and editor, she now writes inspirational contemporary romance because she believes there is more to happily ever after than the fairy tales tell us.
Read an Excerpt
Somebody Like You
This conversation wasn’t going to be easy.
Haley pulled off the faded fatigue-patterned ball cap, twisting it in her hands as she approached the front counter of the gun club. Thick arms crossed over his barrel chest, her boss chatted with Frank, a club regular.
“Wes, I need to talk to you—”
The man wrapped up his conversation with a gravelly laugh before clapping the guy on his back and focusing on her. “There a problem, Hal?”
A glass display case separated them, filled with two shelves of handguns—ranging from .32 caliber to 9mm—that members could rent for use on the range or purchase. “I need to talk to you about taking maternity leave.”
“Now?” Wes stopped prepping to count up the day’s take. “I thought the baby wasn’t due for a few more months.”
“Not until April.” She scuffed the faded patch of carpet with the toe of her brown cowboy boot. “But I need to get off the range.”
“What’s bothering you?” Wes dumped his unlit cigar in a spotless ceramic ashtray.
Haley twisted one of the strands of hair that had slipped free from her ponytail. “One of the women in the gun safety class asked if it was safe for a pregnant woman to be on the range.”
“Is that all?” He dismissed her concern with a wave of his beefy hand. “Of course it’s safe. We have the best ventilation system in town.”
“But what about the noise? I hadn’t even thought about that.” Repositioning the hat on her head, she rubbed the palms of her hands along the front of her sweatpants. “I wear stuff to protect my eyes and ears—but it’s not like I can soundproof my belly. I haven’t read a lot of the information online, but I do know unborn babies hear sounds.”
“So what are you telling me? You want to quit because your baby might be bothered by the noise?”
“I didn’t say quit. But maybe . . . a leave of absence? Just to be safe?”
“You know I’m short-staffed as it is, Hal. Who am I going to get to teach your classes?”
“How about I make a few phone calls? Maybe someone at the Olympic Training Center might know of a competitive shooter looking for part-time work. And maybe I can do some shifts behind the counter. Let’s both sleep on it and talk tomorrow or the next day, okay?”
A few moments later, Haley stuffed her gear bag into the backseat of her Subaru Forester, standing to stretch the ever-present ache in her lower back. One more decision to make—and no one to talk it over with. She couldn’t even ask someone to help her remember to make the phone calls—except for the virtual assistant on her iPhone.
Why couldn’t that woman in her class mind her own business? Most people didn’t even notice she was pregnant, especially when she wore one of Sam’s baggy chamois shirts.
Once on the road, Haley shifted in the seat, one hand on the steering wheel, the other hand holding a Three Musketeers bar as she tore at the silver wrapper with her teeth. Even as she inhaled the first whiff of sugary chocolate, she promised herself something healthy for dinner when she got home. Like a banana. Wait. Did she have any bananas? Did she have any fresh fruit at all?
The Forester’s in-dash clock declared it was nine thirty. “Sorry, buddy.” She patted her rounded tummy underneath her cotton henley top. “But it’s not like you’re running on a regular schedule in there—not the way you like to roll around right when I want to go to sleep.”
Only a few more miles and she’d be home. Was it only two months ago that she’d signed on the multiple dotted lines and bought a house? When she stared down the woman in the mirror brushing her teeth twice a day it took a few seconds before she recognized herself.
Owning a home was one thing.
Being pregnant . . . well, by the time she got used to that life-and-body-altering idea, the baby would be here and she’d be wrestling with the up-close-and-personal reality of motherhood.
And now, four and a half months later, she still shifted under the heaviness of the word widow. There was no dodging the truth. But when would the nightmare of Sam’s death stop slapping her awake in the early hours of the morning?
Haley rolled her shoulders—backward, forward—in an attempt to ease the tautness that had settled right between her shoulder blades. Until tonight, work had given her a respite from thinking about the what-ifs and the what-nows stalking her. She usually got a kick out of teaching the weekly women’s gun safety class.
But not tonight.
Doubt had followed her out to her car and settled in the passenger seat beside her. Some trained professional she was—she hadn’t once thought about how being on the range might affect her unborn son. But then, hearing the “Mrs. Ames, we’re sorry to inform you . . .” speech from the military representatives four months ago had muted every other reality in her life—even her pregnancy. What kind of mother didn’t go to her first OB appointment until she was sixteen weeks pregnant? Had she been too relaxed about being on the range?
Haley crumbled the candy bar wrapper and stuffed it beneath her seat. She hadn’t enjoyed a single bite. After months of spending her days staring into the bottom of a bucket—or worse, the toilet—she could eat again, and she wasn’t even paying attention.
As if a Three Musketeers bar would give her anything more than—what?—two minutes of enjoyment. Not that something as temporary as a sugar rush mattered anymore. She needed to take care of, well, everything—and that included the baby. Her son. Sam’s son. And if it meant starting to act as though she was pregnant and taking a leave from her job, then that’s what she’d do.
But first she’d grab a banana or a bowl of cereal—something—to eat when she got home. And she needed to surf some of the pregnancy websites she’d found when she first realized she was pregnant. Her friends with kids said there was lots of good information available on the sites. But had they meant the slideshow labeled “Poppy seed to pumpkin: How big is your baby”? Imagining her unborn child as an ear of corn was odd enough. But would she ever get used to the thought that by the end of this pregnancy, she’d be carrying around something—someone—the size of a small pumpkin?
Sam would have laughed at the entire fruits-and-veggies slideshow, probably juggled a few of the oranges and apples in the fruit bowl—if they had any—to make Haley laugh, and then suggested they go out to eat.
Haley pulled the car in front of the house—her home—put the vehicle in park, and cut the engine, closing her eyes and tilting her head as if to catch the echo of Sam’s laugh. Yes. She still remembered her husband’s low, rumbling chuckle that created a crooked half smile and warmed his chicory-brown eyes.
She needed to remember Sam’s laugh.
Half in and half out of the car, Haley froze. Why was a Mustang parked in her driveway? Had one of Sam’s army friends come to check up on her? But none of them drove a Mustang—Sam’s dream car.
She reached over to grab her gun case from the backseat, stilling when a movement on her front porch caught her eye. Who was that backlit by her porch light? Most likely a man, based on the width of the shoulders. She left the gun case where it was, bringing her hand back to check the SIG Sauer 9mm holstered on her belt, hidden by her shirt. Was she overreacting? Probably. But better armed and safe than caught unaware and sorry.
She stepped out of her car, keeping the Forester’s front end between her and the house. The heels of her boots tapped on the cul-de-sac’s asphalt, and she forced herself to steady her breathing, small white puffs of air appearing with each exhale. A man stood in the pale yellow halo cast by her front porch light. His face was hidden by the darkness . . . but the set of his shoulders, his height, reminded her of . . .
“Sam?” Even as she whispered his name, Haley strained to see past the shadows. It wasn’t possible . . . was it? She’d been confronted by a Bereavement Team. Endured alone the rain on the tarmac at Dover, Delaware, when Sam’s body came off a plane in a flag-draped coffin. Stood beside his grave surrounded by her family, Sam’s mother clinging to her hand, while an army chaplain she barely knew talked about God’s grace being sufficient . . .
Haley moved around the car and stumbled toward the specter of her husband as he stepped off the porch.
“Haley—Haley Ames? I’m—”
She would know her husband’s voice anywhere.
With a strangled cry, Haley launched herself into the shelter of Sam’s arms. “Sam . . . Sam . . . how—”
She’d told herself to wait . . . to not think during the funeral, or about the future without Sam. She hadn’t taken a true, complete breath in months. If she sifted through and measured everything she’d lost, she’d become nothing more than one unending, keening wail. She inhaled. Exhaled. The brittleness around her heart began to splinter. Sam was home. Home. His heart beat against the palm of her hand, which she’d pressed against his chest. Maybe now her heart would find the right rhythm again.
She didn’t know.
Even as Haley Ames threw herself into his arms, Stephen staggered back under the weight of realizing she didn’t know he existed. Neither his brother nor his mother had told her that Sam had an identical twin brother.
They’d left that job for him.
For a moment, she clung to him, her body shaking—the silence more painful than if she’d sobbed so that the neighbors came running out of their houses. Stephen’s arms hung at his sides. He didn’t dare comfort this woman—not when the first words he spoke would rend her wound open again.
He cleared his throat. Tried to step back, to put some space between them. “Haley, I’m sorry . . . I’m not Sam. I’m his brother, Stephen.”
No response. He tried again. “Haley—I’m Sam’s brother, Stephen.”
She pushed away from him, her movements jerky. “What?” Her expression twisted around the question. “Sam? What are you saying? You don’t have a brother—”
“Yes, I do—I mean, yes, he does. I’m Sam’s twin brother. My mother—our mother told me that Sam was killed in Afghanistan. That’s why I decided to contact you—”
She backed away from him, her steps unsteady, her eyes wide in the moonlit darkness. “Who are you . . . you look exactly like . . . like . . .” Her voice was high. Frail.
“I know this is a shock. I didn’t know Sam hadn’t told you about me—”
“Stop talking. Now.” She reached behind her back and then positioned her arm beside her right leg. “I don’t know who you are or why you look like Sam, but I’m telling you this: I have a gun and I know how to use it. Get out of here.”
“Let me explain.” A sharp metallic click stopped Stephen before he could find a way to unravel who he was from who Haley thought he was.
“I’ve released the safety on my gun.” Haley took another step back, raising her arms so he could see the gun pointed halfway between his feet and his knees. “Leave. Now.”
She was either bluffing or ready to put a hole in him.
Stephen lifted his hands in the universal sign of surrender. “I’m going.” He shifted his position in the direction of his Mustang, her eyes tracking him. “Just one thing.”
She turned, her aim straight and sure, as he moved right, one slow step at a time, giving her a wide berth. But she didn’t respond to his statement.
“I left my, uh, business card tucked in your screen door. Will you at least think about calling me so we can talk?”
Silence followed him as he rounded the front of his car. Opened the driver’s-side door. Ducked his head and climbed inside, the chill of the Colorado night air following him into the car. He knew Sam’s widow watched him, could almost feel the heat of her eyes trained on him through the car windows—could almost hear the measured pace of her breathing, until he slid behind the wheel and shut the door. Locked it. She remained still as he started the engine and backed out of the driveway. In the rearview mirror as he pulled away, Stephen saw her walk toward the house, shoulders hunched, arms crossed over her waist.
Wait a minute.
There was something eluding him . . . something not right, beyond the fact that Sam’s widow had just threatened to shoot him. He hadn’t expected a warm “Where have you been all these years?” welcome, but he hadn’t imagined being threatened by a pistol-packing mama either.
Sam’s widow was pregnant.
The few moments that Haley Ames clung to him something had felt . . . odd about their one-sided embrace. She was tall. Slender. And yet the woman had a belly. There was no other way to say it. Not a “What have you been eating since Sam died?” kind of weight gain . . . but a firm tummy that indicated pregnancy. Not that Stephen knew a lot about pregnant women. But holding Haley reminded him of hugging his stepmother, Gina, when she’d been pregnant with his half brother, Pete.
What do I do now, God?
Stephen’s hand clenched and unclenched around the cool steering wheel. He resisted the urge to slow down, pull the car into the next driveway, turn around, and head back to Haley’s house. And then what? Knock on the door, wait for her to answer, and hope she didn’t shoot him before he asked her—what? When is the baby due?
He’d get settled in his hotel room. Regroup. Pray. And maybe figure out a way to approach his armed and angry sister-in-law tomorrow.
Sam did not have a brother.
He didn’t. He would have told her. Husbands and wives told each other things like that, didn’t they?
As if she had any right to hold Sam to a standard of honesty.
Haley curled up under a white and gray rugby-striped blanket in the middle of the faded blue corduroy couch that she and Sam had bought off Craigslist, clutching her cell phone to her chest. In the background, John Wayne discovered Maureen O’Hara hiding in his family’s cottage. How many hours of movies had filled the backdrop of her life since Sam had died? What had once helped her deal with Sam’s back-to-back deployments—fill the empty apartment with a movie . . . and another . . . and another—was now a daily ritual. Anything for background noise—even life in black and white, with a disgraced boxer who escaped his demons by traveling home to Ireland.
She needed to call her mother-in-law.
She’d call Miriam at ten thirty at night—eleven thirty in Oklahoma, where she lived—wake her up, and ask, “You don’t have another child that you and Sam forgot to tell me about, do you? A son who looks just like Sam?”
Gathering the edges of the blanket closer, she closed her eyes—and stared down the image of a man who walked like her husband. Sounded like her husband. Who had her husband’s face.
In all the months since a trio of somber men in military uniform had shown up at her door to inform her that Sam had been killed, she’d never once dreamed of him—no matter how many nights she lay in bed and begged God for a glimpse of her husband. And now, when she was wide awake, he had walked toward her.
But he wasn’t Sam.
Sam had died last August. And what had happened tonight didn’t alter that reality.
Four people had answers. One, she had buried. One, she had chased away at gunpoint. Then there was Sam’s father—whom she’d never even talked to. That left her mother-in-law.
She needed to make the call. Get it over with.
As the shrill sound of the phone rang in her ear, Haley prayed that Sam’s mother would answer the phone. If not, what would she do? Leave a message? Hi, Miriam. This is Haley. I wanted to ask you if Sam had a twin brother?
Miriam Ames’s half-asleep “Hello?” interrupted Haley’s practice conversation.
“Miriam, it’s Haley. I’m sorry to call so late.”
“Oh, Haley.” It sounded as if her mother-in-law was moving around in bed—maybe sitting up. “Honey, you know you can call me anytime. Is the baby keeping you awake?”
More like an unwanted apparition.
“I’m sleeping okay.” She was—when she was able to fall asleep. She shoved her hair back from her face. “I don’t know how to ask this. I mean, you’re going to think I’m certifiable—”
Miriam’s sharp inhale should have warned her, told her to tuck her heart away. Prepare for the blow of the unwanted but expected truth. “Did he call you?”
“Did who call me?”
“Sam’s twin brother, Stephen.”
She’d read about how people felt as if they’d been verbally punched in the gut. But Miriam’s statement felt more like something—someone—had strangled the breath from her throat.
Was she the only person speaking truth tonight? “Sam doesn’t have a twin brother.”
As if she should have been telling Sam’s mother any such thing.
The silence between them dissolved into muffled sobs.
“Does he?” Her whispered question couldn’t pierce the woman’s grief. She tried again, reining in her emotions and raising her voice. “Sam has a twin brother?”
“Yes. Sam never talked about Stephen—” Miriam broke off again, any attempt to talk lost in her tears, forcing Haley to wait. “—and it wasn’t my place to tell you if he didn’t.”
Dear God, help me, help me.
Since Sam’s death, all of her prayers had been reduced to that one-sentence plea. God was all-knowing. All-powerful. His thoughts were higher than hers—he could decipher all the hidden meanings in six words. Six syllables.
“Why wouldn’t Sam tell me about . . . Stephen?”
“They haven’t spoken to each other in years—since they were eighteen. It’s as if they erased each other from their lives. I kept hoping and praying they’d figure out a way to reconcile . . . but it never happened.”
“Why would brothers—twins—refuse to speak to each other?” Haley pushed off the couch, the blanket puddling at her feet. She needed to walk. Think. She needed answers.
Miriam’s reply escaped as a sigh. “Haley, it’s such a long, convoluted story. What did Stephen tell you?”
“Nothing.” Her crack of laughter brought her up short. “I threatened to shoot him.”
“I didn’t know who he was. How could I?” Haley paced between the living room and the kitchen. She wouldn’t find what she was looking for in either place. “Sam didn’t tell me that he had a twin brother. I just wanted him . . . gone.”
“Oh, Haley, I’m so sorry. This is my fault. I called and told Stephen that Sam was killed. I thought he had a right to know, even if they were estranged. Stephen refused to come to the funeral—said it would shock too many people if he walked into the church.”
He’d been right about that. The strength that enabled Haley to stand, to not shed a tear, would have shattered if the man she saw tonight had walked into the church and stood beside Sam’s casket.
“And then . . . well, it’s been four months. I thought Stephen decided to leave things be.”
“You haven’t talked to him since then?”
“No. We’re . . . not close. And I didn’t call him during the holidays—I just couldn’t.”
Twilight Zone. That was it. She’d been transported to a present-day Twilight Zone. There was no other way to explain the fact that she was widowed and pregnant, and that her husband’s twin brother had shown up on her doorstep tonight, unknown and unannounced. And now her mother-in-law stated, “We’re not close,” as if she were talking about the mail carrier.
Miriam’s voice pulled her back to the harsh glare of reality. “The divorce—it did awful things to our family.”
“I have to go.” Haley walked over to where she’d left the blanket, picking it up and clutching it to her chest.
“Haley, let me explain—”
“Not tonight. Please.” Haley curled into the corner of the couch. “We’ll talk tomorrow.”
“I’m so, so sorry.”
She disconnected without saying good-bye, but not before cutting off the sound of tears in Miriam’s voice.
Miriam was sorry. Would Sam be sorry that the secret he’d kept from her had walked into her life, a living, breathing reflection of him?
Secrets. How she hated them.
Reading Group Guide
This reading group guide for Somebody Like You includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Beth K. Vogt. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
Stephen and Sam Ames had big plans for their lives. Growing up as identical twins, they shared everything from toys to dreams of owning a Mustang. But the painful aftermath of their parents’ divorce and the reality of the war in Afghanistan set them on separate paths and changed their relationship forever. As Stephen begins a journey to make peace with his brother, he discovers one more thing they share, which will require him to step out in faith and trust God for the outcome.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Based on the description in the prologue, how would you describe Stephen and Sam’s relationship when they were young boys? How would you describe Stephen? Sam?
2. What does Stephen’s conversation with his boss about the pending layoffs in chapter one reveal about his character?
3. How would you describe Haley Ames as she enters the story in chapter two? What did you feel toward her when you first met her?
4. What happened that created distance and tension in Stephen and Sam’s relationship? In what ways did each of them contribute to the rift in their relationship? Have you ever experienced a similar change in a close relationship? How did you respond?
5. Describe how Haley’s family of origin influenced the way she related to her femininity. What were the Jordan family rules (p. 83)? How do they compare with God’s design for Haley as his daughter?
6. What do you think Stephen was looking for when he went to visit Haley Ames after his brother’s death? Have you experienced the loss of a close family member or friend? What were some of the ways you expressed your grief?
7. In what ways did Stephen and Sam turn out to be identical? In what ways were they very different from each other?
8. What did Haley’s growing friendship with Stephen reveal about her marriage to Sam? How did she deal with her pain and disappointment during their marriage?
9. Do you think Stephen and Sam’s parents had any responsibility for the distance that developed in the brothers’ relationship? How might they have fostered a different outcome?
10. Why did Haley have her heart set on a baby boy? In what ways did baby Kit serve as a catalyst for change in Haley’s life?
11. How would you describe Haley’s relationship with God in the aftermath of Sam’s death? What shifted or changed as the story unfolded?
12. On p. 122, Haley says: “Praying feels like trickles of water coming out of a hose when someone has tied a big knot in it somewhere.” Have you ever related to this description of prayer? Explain.
13. What role did Lily, the childbirth instructor, play in Haley’s life?
14. What was the misunderstanding that created distance between Stephen and Haley before Sam’s memorial service? How could each of them have handled the situation differently? What got in the way of honest, direct communication?
15. What happened to Haley’s heart as she experienced Stephen’s consistent care? How is Stephen a Christ figure in this story? Describe Haley as the story finishes in contrast with the beginning.
16. How did you respond to Stephen and Haley’s developing relationship?
Enhance Your Book Club
1. Spend some time reflecting on your family motto or a friend’s family motto. Connections to think about might include money, conflict, gender roles, etc. Consider how your motto either reflects or contradicts God’s design for us as His children. Discuss what you learned with your book club.
2. Read Psalm 32. Think about relationships in your life that may have ended abruptly or with an unresolved conflict. Ask God for guidance about how to process any remaining grief or anger.
3. Think about someone within your community who is a widow or a widower (potentially a military widow or widower). Discuss ways to serve and encourage them and consider using the time of your next book club meeting to provide tangible help and encouragement to them.
4. Invite someone who is an identical twin to talk to your book club. Explore the differences between someone who grows up as a twin and others who have non-twin siblings.
A Conversation with Beth K. Vogt
You have said that your first novel, Wish You Were Here, took three years to write and your second one, Catch a Falling Star, took three months. How about this one?
Somebody Like You was also written in a shorter time frame—about three months. However, I tore this novel apart in the editing process in a way I’ve never done with any of my other books. I was challenged by both my mentor and my editors—but even more, the issues within this novel demanded a whole new attention to detail and a willingness to delve into emotion.
What was your inspiration for writing Somebody Like You?
The initial catalyst for this novel was the fact that I’m a twin. I took the basic twin storyline and turned it inside, outside, upside down and finally created the story of Haley, Sam, and Stephen.
You’ve indicated that you like to distill your stories down to questions. What was the main question for Somebody Like You?
I started with the question: Can a young widow fall in love with her husband’s reflection? Hidden within that is the novel’s story question, which is: Is it ever wrong to love someone?
How did your experience of being a twin influence the story line? Are you an identical twin?
I understand the experience of being a twin in a very different way from Sam and Stephen because my sister and I are fraternal twins. Growing up, we had a difficult time convincing people we were sisters, much less twins. My sister and I were very different and yet we experienced the pressure of comparison from teachers and friends, which pushed us apart for a lot of years. And so, because of that, I can understand the separation Sam and Stephen experienced.
Haley Ames struggles to open herself up to vulnerability and intimacy throughout the story. Why do you think this is such a common struggle for women today?
We each experience events in our lives that create wounds that tell us we aren’t good enough, we aren’t beautiful enough . . . we aren’t enough. And then we compare ourselves to others, believing other women have it all together and we’re the only one who struggles.
What message did you hope to speak through Haley’s gradual awakening?
Sometimes we let others tell us who we are. We forget who we really are. Love, unconditional love—the kind of love that is there, day in and day out—heals our wounds and allows us to be our true selves again.
You’ve mentioned in other interviews that your husband spent twenty-four years in the military. How did your experiences during those years shape this story?
During our years in the military, several of our friends lost their husbands. Seeing that—and walking closely with one friend through that—changed me.
How did those losses impact you?
I always said my husband was in the military and I was along for the ride. I have the greatest respect for military men and women, for the sacrifices they make—and for the families who love them and support them as they serve.
What did you hope to give readers in the prologue—the brief story of Stephen and Sam’s relationship as young boys?
Oh, I debated the prologue with my mentor, Rachel Hauck. Writers are told not to begin a novel with a prologue. But this is one of those “exceptions to every rule” times. I believe readers needed to see Sam and Stephen as young boys—to see what they lost.
What was uniquely enjoyable about this novel in contrast to your first two?
Somebody Like You was so challenging to write. Yes, it’s a romance, but it deals with issues of widowhood and estrangement. I believe I stood up to the challenge of writing this story honestly, in a believable way—with the support of my family, mentors, and “spiritual ground support.”
Have you ever had a relationship end abruptly or with unresolved conflict? How did you respond?
I never imagined that as I wrote Somebody Like You I would also wrestle with estrangement in my own life. It’s been painful—heartbreaking, truthfully. I’ve embraced the truth of the verse in Romans 12: As much as you are able, be at peace with all men. I’ve done what I could . . . and I’ve had to let that be enough for now, trusting that God is working in my life, even when I don’t see anything happening.
What was your inspiration for the tree house? Did you have a tree house as a child?
I think there’s something inherently hopeful in tree houses—they are the stuff of childhood, of dreams. And I saw a TV show about tree-house builders, which inspired me to weave the tree house more strongly through the story. I never had a tree house as a child, but I always wanted one.
Do you have a family motto you hope your children remember?
Our family motto is: There’s always room for one more. It grew out of our time as a military family, when we spent so many holidays away from relatives. We always tried to open our home to whoever needed a place to celebrate.
What can we expect from you next?
I’m one of the authors in the A Year of Weddings series by HarperCollins—I’m the author of the “A November Bride” novella. I’m brainstorming several Colorado romance series . . . so we’ll see what doors God opens!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What would you do if your deceased husband’s twin (a twin you didn’t know existed) showed up on your doorstep? Well, if your Haley Ames you pull a gun and ask questions later. In Beth K Vogt’s newest novel, Somebody Like You, Haley is faced with her deceased husband’s mirror-image who has come into Haley’s life to make amends for the way he and his brother parted ways. Add into the mix the fact that Stephen is her husband’s identical twin, a gentle, charming, and compassionate guy, plus Haley is about to give birth, and you have a story worth a double take. Seriously, I think chapter 15 was one of my favorite chapters in the book. Send a poor man home to gather supplies for a woman in labor? Hilarious! Poor Stephen Ames. (And Beth, you couldn’t have picked a better model of super hero. BRING ON the Captain!!) And chapter 16 was hilarious too. Oh my goodness. Again…poor, poor Stephen Ames. I think this might be one of Beth’s best yet, partly because she includes some pretty amazing kisses and partly because of the healing process which leads to a much better second chance than the first ever was. The wounded-but-tough heroine, Haley, plays her part well, but Stephen steals the show. If you want to figure out if Haley finally ‘sees clearly’ or not, check out Beth’s beautiful new novel, Somebody Like You.
By Andrea Renee Cox Is it possible for a widow to fall in love with her husband’s reflection? Haley Ames struggles against that question in Beth K. Vogt’s newest release, Somebody Like You. The young widow grieves her late husband, Sam, even as she prepares to give birth to their child. Her heartache multiplies when Stephen Ames, Sam’s mirror twin, shows up on her doorstep. Will Haley be able to look beyond the image of her husband to the fluttering feelings the only living Ames brother stirs within her? Or will she push him away for fear of desecrating her vows to the brother in the grave? Ever since I heard Beth was working on a story about a young widow, I’ve wanted to get my hands on this book. She wowed me with her first two novels, so I knew this one would deliver what I’ve come to expect from her. But she still managed to surprise me many times over. That’s the signature of a great author. “Getting lost hadn’t been part of the plan.” That line from the brief prologue seems to be a common theme of Vogt’s books. Life very often doesn’t go as we plan. Beth allows her experience of going with the flow to shine through in her fiction. The journeys her characters go through reveal ways in which we can adapt when life doesn’t go as planned. Sometimes you find solutions to the problems that pop up. Other times you don’t, but other opportunities arise. In every moment, if we seek God, He will guide us in the ways He’s prepared for us. I like how Beth weaves that bit of truth into her stories. I’ve never been married, let alone widowed, but Beth captured the theme of widowhood so well, my heart ached for Haley Ames and her baby. Not long into the book, it dawned on me just how gut-wrenching it would be to lose a husband, only to be faced with his identical twin months later. I’m not sure how I would have handled it besides crying my brains out all over again. I’d be just as shocked as Haley was, for certain. Somebody Like You swept into my heart and left me thinking about the relationships in my life. Each one is important for unique reasons, and I cherish every one. Only God knows how long each person will be in my life, so I’ll treasure every moment I’m given. On another note, a sweet surprise awaits Marvel fans (comics or movies) in this one. The first glimpse is in chapter three, but there are a few other places along the way, as well. Of course I can’t tell you what they are because that would spoil it for you. I’d be interested to know, though, what you thought about them. They made me smile and laugh out loud at times. I love the Marvel movies, and the extra tidbits in Somebody Like You were great tributes to them and the comics. Thank you to Beth Vogt and her publisher, Howard Books, for a complimentary copy of Somebody Like You in exchange for my honest review. Beth, it’s a pleasure to be included in your group of influencers. This sweet story very nearly pushed Wish You Were Here out of its coveted favorite-Beth-Vogt-book spot. It’s a virtual tie, which makes my job as an influencer that much easier. Thanks for writing such beautiful prose.
The theme of grief is the front and center theme of this novel. It's not depressing, though, I was touched more than anything. Even with the unique plot, the characters and their interactions with each other felt very realistic. Haley and Stephen both explore their regrets with their relationship with Sam and life up to the point they are at, since they are both at a crossroads. The writing is sweet and tender, raw and real. A perfect balance between hurt, healing, and hope. Highly recommend. (Thank you to Howard Books for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish! The author beautifully weaves a true-to-life story with some surprises along the way. I laughed, cried, groaned, and cheered as the main characters experienced love and healing in the midst of loss and regret. I have enjoyed reading all three of Beth Vogt's novels, but this is the best one yet! I look forward to her next publication!
Somebody Like You is one of those beautiful, special stories I know I won’t forget. Delicately complicated and so down-to-earth relatable, this unique tale is an emotional journey for its characters and its readers. To tell you the truth, I wanted to hug the book once I finished it. Can a young widow find love again with her husband’s reflection? How can one not be intrigued by that? I mean, come on, what a novel question! I loved the fresh and captivating way this story navigated you through its highs and lows, connecting past regrets with future hope and the pains of loss and estrangement with new bonds of love and friendship. Some novels just sound similar the moment you start them. The plot already seems a bit familiar, even though the setting may look different and the characters have fresh names. I’m sure you know the kind I’m talking about. I’m happy to say this novel was nothing like that. It all felt very new and inviting and I loved how naturally the story progressed. Everything just seemed so real to me. So relatable. The characters are honest, with their own strengths and weakness from the very start. Along the way, they soften in some ways and grow in other areas. Their quirks and personalities are endearing and downright infectious. And I enjoyed watching how each of them faced their feelings and challenges in their own ways. There are lots of “life moments” tucked within that are so surprising and sweet you’ll want to savor them by reading them over again. This is one love story I fell in love with and will undoubtedly be revisiting. I encourage you all to read it as well. You may even find some healing and hope within its pages for your own life story. I know I did. This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publisher for my copy.
I so enjoyed Haley's story. This book has a huge "What if" premise. Identicals can fool anyone at first sight, but those who spend a lot of time around them will identify them by personality and mannerisms. So is the case in Somebody Like You. In fact, all of the characters have distinctive aspects. Haley has a spine of solid iron. The constant parade of hardship she endures establishes the NIKE mantra Just Do It. Steven, the surviving twin, realizes that his sister-in-law only sees her late husband when she looks at him. That has to be a painful issue for a man falling in love. Beth Vogt portrays the relationship with authenticity. This book presents a genuine journey from identity to essence, full of mistakes, brokenness, misunderstandings, and compassion. Somebody Like You offers a heart-touching read of laughter and tears. I was blessed to receive a copy from Howard Books in exchange for my honest review.
Words cannot effectively describe this beautiful story! It didn't take me long to be reeled in hook, line, and sinker into Somebody Like You. I am thoroughly impressed by Mrs. Vogt's talent, voice, and skill. I'm surprised I haven't picked up one of her books before now! Every aspect of the story felt so real that I had to remind myself it was fictional. You better believe I'm going to track down Mrs. Vogt's other books. ;-) Haley is a woman who longs to be cared for- even if she doesn't realize it herself. For years and years she has striven to be as good as her brothers. Referred to as "Hal" by all her friends, even her late husband, she was simply "one of the guys." I loved her inner struggles, because they made her human and I understood her fears. Stephen is a hurting man seeking something. Seeking what exactly, he isn't sure. I admired his compassion and servant's heart, and I appreciated the guilt he has been carrying around for going on a dozen years. In some ways, he was his twin's exact opposite. But, I'll save the details. All around, Stephen is a sigh-worthy lead and not because of his good looks. To conclude, then, I really, really, really, enjoyed Somebody Like You. Like couldn't-put-it-down good. The plot drew me in and kept me intrigued while Mrs. Vogt's characters pulled at my heart-strings. I also loved how delicately Mrs. Vogt dealt with some issues present in our society. My opinion? You're going to have to read this book for yourself. I highly recommend to readers who enjoy contemporary romance ages sixteen and older for both readability and content. I received this book for free from the author in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks, Mrs. Vogt!!
Haley is a new widow who lost her Army husband, Sam, in Afghanastan. She is also pregnant with her first child. She is doing everything to the best of her ability because she grew up with three older brothers that basically told her to suck it up and be strong. The only problem with this is that she doesn't always feel strong and she doesn't allow herself to feel her emotions. Stephen is Sam's twin - his identical, mirror twin. When he shows up to meet his sister-in-law after Sam's death, she gives her the shock of her life. Sam never told her he had a brother, let alone a twin. Sam and Stephen were estranged for over twelve years and didn't speak to others about each other. Although, they looked alike, they are quite different in their personalities. The breakage of Sam and Stephen's relationship starts when their parents divorce and when they go to high school, Sam stays with his mom and Stephen goes to live with his dad and his dad's new wife. Then when Sam decides to go into the Army, instead of going to college with Stephen like they always talked about, their relationship shatters. This book is a strong reminder of not allowing your relationships with those you love to go estranged as you never know what could happen. Things can happen and you can't go back and straighten things out with those that aren't here anymore. It's also a book about forgiveness. This is such a vital thing in our relationships with others and with God. Another thing I gained from this book was to trust where God will lead you and quit trying to figure it all out for yourself. Where God leads us is going to be so much better than where we try to go or how we try to fix things. Also, trust what God tells you and quit worrying about what others think. I really loved this book. It was such a beautiful, well-written romance, but so much more. I really had a hard time putting it down! I give it 5 out of 5 stars as it really deserves it all the way around!
Dealing with issues like family estrangement, messy divorces and polarizing remarriages are enough to make anyone uncomfortable, but when Beth Vogt deals with the tough questions, the results are healing and redemptive. I think it would be difficult to find someone reading this post who hasn't been touched by divorce. But Beth Vogt's skillful telling of this story leaves you with a satisfying feeling in your heart and soul. Can you imagine being a young widow and coming home to find your husband on your front porch? Vogt's website describes it as "a young widow’s world is shattered when she meets her late husband’s identical twin—and finds herself caught between honoring her husband’s memory and falling in love with his reflection." An extraordinary premise that the author makes completely believable through her ability to put her readers right there in every scene. I've read all of Vogt's books and each gets better. She's an amazing storyteller! Beth Vogt’s Somebody Like You is on my best reads of 2014—you don’t want to miss this story. My thanks to Howard Books and the author for my copy in exchange for my fair and impartial review.
I love this author more and more. I look for upcoming books and have added her to all my to be read lists. In this book, Vogt weaves together a love story with two people who both need to learn to let go of the past. Her characters are more than believable, they've become friends and people I can relate to and learn from. Her plotting is compelling and leads to a book that I couldn't put down.
Somebody Like You was every bit as dramatic, romantic, and sigh-worthy as I hoped it would be! I felt the intense emotions that Haley faces on a daily basis as she struggles to make a life on her own. I could feel the surprise, anger, and even betrayal as she discovers Sam has kept some pretty big secrets from her. I could feel the curiosity, desire to be cared for, struggle to maintain her independence as Stephen begins to worm his way into her life. Seriously, this is a big book of feelings. There's so much that takes place in the book, and I don't want to give any spoilers away, so let me just say it's amazing. There were times that might heart nearly stopped at the raw emotion and then began galloping away at the sweetness and tenderness of the moment. The overarching theme of the book deals with betrayal and family connections. There's a sense that the author is trying to pound into her characters' hearts—and the readers' as well—that we don't know how much time we have on this earth. Let's don't let unforgiveness hold us back from God's best for our lives. What a great message ... and a great avenue for sharing it with the world. This is an amazing book! But don't take my word for it. Go get your copy TODAY! You'll love it! I promise!!! [5 stars] I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my fair and honest review.
The story also holds a deep sense of Christian faith, although it's not so much that each page drips with evangelism. It's clear that Haley and her family trust God's will and His plan for their future. I appreciated the strong family ties that echoed throughout this book. If you want a story that goes beyond the basic romance model, definitely pick up Somebody Like You. You won't want to put it down! I received this book to review. The opinions shared here are 100% mine. You can find my full review at SavingsInSeconds(dot)com.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 Somebody Like You by Beth K. Vogt, © 2014 Widow Haley Ames comes home unexpecting to have a visitor who is the identical image of her deceased husband. How can it be? Even with a closed casket, could they have made a mistake? Stephen Ames awaits the arrival of his sister-in-law, hoping to find out about his brother, Sam, after hearing of his death. Being separated for years following the divorce of their parents and their selection to stay with opposite parents. Living in different states, going to different highschools, losing contact because of separate plans and time later that never came. Haley has Stephen leave. No one told her Sam had a brother; a twin brother. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. --Psalm 34:18 As I read their story, I reflect on the fragileness of both of them. A brother, lost forever to be unable to reconcile with; a husband who stands before her, but it isn't him ~ a mirror image, alike in so many ways, yet different in pace and deportment. So well written, their hearts come forth in such a way that you want to shield them from pain yet enable them to learn from each other. A story of hope and reaching out, yet soft and pliable as they begin to trust what they are given. Security and a solid foundation peeks through the haze of every day. Haley has had a close family; Stephen has not. I am amazed at the gentleness and closeness he brings in doing the little things, as she retains a self-protective shield in her grief, seemingly in reverse of their upbringings. The interchanges between the families are very real and become healing for them. A beginning to move from what might have been to what they relinquish to live today. I thoroughly enjoyed the building and outcome as they trust God to lead. A story hard to put down, with so much to come through in changing circumstances. I applaud the author on how she brought in others to come alongside, as they find strength to go on. Being steadfast and removing barriers they were able to come to common ground. ***Thank you to author Beth Vogt and Howard Books for sending this copy during the book tour of Somebody Like You. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
Beth K. Vogt gets better and better with each books he writes. In Somebody Like You she creates an instant connection with Haley as someone who is grieving the recent loss of her husband. With surprises and twists along the way, you experience the whole process of grief with Haley. You feel her crushing sadness, her anger at the cards life dealt her and the joy when she realizes it's OK to move on in life. Stephen Ames is a man that is opposite his brother in so many ways that it's hard to remember they were mirror-twins. While he is looking for some reconciliation and trying to make peace with his past decisions he has some surprises along the way. This book created such an emotional connections for me to the characters that I found myself crying (anywhere from silent tears, to full-on sobs) and not wanting to wait to read the next page. I haven't connected with fictional characters like that, ever in a book. I can't recommend this book enough to you! Buy it today and don't wait to read it.
A beautiful story of loss, grief, estrangement, forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, and love. The thing I love most about Beth's books is that it's never your typical story line. The characters are real. Haley is a grieving pregnant widow who is trying to re-build her life after the loss of her military husband. She's been taught that her worth is in being able to take care of things herself. She's not doing a great job at it. She's unable to prepare healthy meals during her pregnancy nor is she able to set up the house for a baby. An unexpected, but hauntingly familiar hero emerges in her season of grief to help her heal wounds from her past and present, while she helps him foster forgiveness and reconciliation. I loved the relationship between Haley and Stephan and the unveiling of the inner beauty that each of them possess to help heal the wounds of the others. It's the beauty of God in each of them that draws them closer to God and results in their healing. It's a good reminder that it is God's beauty in each of us that helps us minister to those we have been chosen to help.
This is a dilemma that I hope I never have to make for myself. I guess Haley is a lot tougher or stronger than me. It would make me feel really weird and very guilty to move on with her husband's twin brother. To me, it would just be too spooky, but I guess love will do strange things to people and you can never predict the future. I think I would always be second guessing myself as to my real feelings and would always wonder if I was projecting my feelings but I can see where this might make a great love story and it is tragic that her husband, Sam was killed. I hate hearing about our soldier's being killed in such a far away place that I am not so sure that they really want us there to begin with. But, I have to admit this book is very good at what it does best and that is grab at your heart and no matter what your personal opinion is, it's a great story and all the more heart wrenching when tragedy is involved, especially about a loved one killed in a senseless war
Displaying a mastery of writing skills, Beth Vogt has penned an astonishingly complex and emotional novel. Somebody Like You is a deeply moving story about a pregnant young widow whose husband Sam, after only three years being married, has been killed in Afghanistan. Haley, otherwise known as ‘Hal’, grew up having three older brothers that she had to keep up with or be left out. Over the years, she developed the persona of being ‘one of the guys’. That’s one of the traits that attracted Sam to her in the first place. He always said she was the perfect Army wife; he didn't have to worry about her while he was deployed (which was most of their marriage) because she was independent and strong. At her core, she wonders how she is going to manage everything without Sam; taking care of a new house and a baby. And then her world is rocked again. Is that her deceased husband back from the grave, standing on her front porch? Stephen Ames has been estranged from his twin brother, Sam, for over a decade. When he gets news that Sam has died, he is filled with remorse and wonders how will he reconcile now that his brother is gone. He decides to seek out Sam’s widow in hopes of learning about his brother’s life the past decade and somehow make amends. Stephen is the opposite of Sam in so many ways, except looks. In fact, they were mirror twins, so when he shows up on Haley’s doorstep, she thinks Sam survived after all. That scene in the book is one of the most touching and wrenching I believe I have read in a long while. Can you imagine someone that you thought was gone, reappearing? Somebody Like You is a beautiful book, from the lovely cover to the words on the pages. While I felt the sadness and sorrow over Sam’s death, I enjoyed watching Haley and Stephen get to know one another. They had to let go of expectations of themselves and each other, much like we do in real life. And the scenes between Stephen and the baby are precious! He really is the best fictional uncle J There’s such a great blend of faith, grief, humor and just plain fun in this story. I know it sounds kind of crazy. How can all those things go together? But they do, and quite perfectly at that. I appreciate the author and Howard Books providing me a copy for review purposes. My honest opinion is all that was required. No monetary compensation has been received.
Somebody Like You By: Beth K. Vogt Beth Vogt has penned a wonderful novel of loss, life, second chances, forgiveness and romance. This was my first novel to read of Beth Vogt and it will not be my last. Beth captures me right at the first and holds on till the last word, then you want more. I do want to say that you might want to have a box of kleenex close by when you are reading "Somebody Like You." Haley and Sam had been married three-years when she got word her husband Sam, a Medic in the Army had been killed in Afghanistan. What is Haley to do now? She had three brothers and they taught her to do for herself. She is trying to start over a new life for herself. One evening Haley comes home and finds who she thinks is her husband waiting for her. Did the Army make a mistake and Sam was alive? Haley was never told that Sam was a mirror twin. Now Haley knows how to use a gun and she runs Stephen, Sam's twin off and away from her home. No way was her husband a twin. He would have told her. Haley also has a secret that she did not tell her husband, and she wishes she had.told him. There is a lot of going back and wishing things could have been different. I love the way Vogt's characters talk to God. Sometimes we go out and do on our own before we ask God what he wants us to do. Stephen wants to help Haley, he feels like it is his place. How can she be friends with her brother's twin? Haley and Stephen are drawn together a lot in "Somebody Like You." Will they take the time to slow down and see what God is trying to tell them? I loved this novel and it did not disappoint me. I felt sorry for Haley and Stephen. Both loosing someone they loved. I was given a copy of this book for my honest review and I have given it.
I am so excited to share my thoughts on this book with you. From the very first chapter, I knew it was going to be a keeper. YES, it is! What a heart-wrenching, heart-warming story! From the back cover, I wasn't sure I was going to like this book. It sounded almost too painful to read. A lost husband, widowed army wife, and an estranged brother-in-law. All I could think was the emotional turmoil. I was wrong. Beth Vogt did a fantastic job dealing with the grief, but also giving hope. I felt as though I made new friends. I journeyed with Hayley and Stephen as they faced the past and the future. The characters were so likable that I found myself cheering each of them in their walk with God and daily struggles. Unlike many of today's Christian fiction romances, the ending wasn't rushed. I was happy with the pacing all the way to the end. I laughed, cried and sighed. Tender, beautiful, captivating, Just a few of the words that come to mind for explaining this book. From the first paragraph to the last sentence on the page, a wonderfully written, well-done story. Beth K Vogt If you haven't read any of her books, don't forget her name. She's an author you'll want to follow!
How does a recent widow fall in love with her husband’s mirror reflection? That is the dilemma in Beth Vogt’s Somebody Like You. This book is Vogt’s best yet. She weaves a beautiful story dealing with the loss of a husband and a brother. Finding forgiveness to work through estrangement adds poignancy and depth to this story that I haven’t seen in many other books. Haley Ames knows how to fire a gun, and she’s not afraid to use it on the stranger standing on her front porch one cold night. Turns out, that stranger is her husband’s twin brother. Even as she tries to keep him at a distance, Haley gradually begins to trust this man who looks so much like her husband. She’s a woman who never asks for help and never cries. Thing is, she needs help, and Stephen Ames is the one man who knows how to help her on a heart level. Stephen Ames has a heart of gold, seeing opportunities to help others in unique ways. When he tries to find out information about his estranged brother, he hits wall after wall in Haley Ames. Yet, he sees in her a beauty others seem to miss. He is always there in a pinch for her, including in some rather surprising situations. His tender heart draws Haley to him, and him to her. Things I loved about this story: Haley’s quirky character. How does a woman protect her grieving heart but through what she knows best—Independence. Seeing her character grow and learn to trust was beautiful. Stephen’s tender side, so unlike his brother’s, was a highlight too. He is the kind of hero women wish for. Vogt did a great job showing each character as unique. And the unexpected twists? Delightful and unanticipated. Loved them. This story has stayed with me. It made me laugh out loud, made me cry, and when I turned that last page—made me wish there was more to read. This is a definite must-read. It’s much more than a romance, it’s a glimpse into real life issues portrayed in such a way as to see that there is hope for forgiveness and second chances.
If you love courageous heroines, you will LOVE Haley. A widow of an Afghanistan Veteran, Haley knows what it is like to be left behind, but that doesn't mean she's about to give up. Having grown up the only girl among three brothers, she's learned how to take care of herself, but she never dreamed she'd know what it was like to be truly cherished by a man. Stephan Ames is confident and successful, but past regrets are hard to swallow when there is no way to take them back. He is determined to be close to all he has left of his brother, even if it means staring down a loaded gun held in the hands of his brother's widow. Beautiful metaphor, vivid imagery, and just enough gun powder make this story one of my favorite romances ever!
Loved this book! Somebody Like You is a beautifully rendered, inspiring story of resilience. You'll remember this story long after the last page.
When I read about this book I thought it was an interesting and unique story. The author did not disappoint me. I also expected this to be an emotionally charge story. Which it was, but not in the way I anticipated. First the characters, Haley and Stephen were excellent. Haley was a girl after my own heart, in that she was a tomboy rather than a girlie girl. She was comfortable with who she was and made no apologies. Stephen, was a gentle soul, yet strong in character. And both carried a burden beyond the grief of their husband and brother. The story was engaging from the beginning until the end. There were times when I laughed at the exchanges between Haley and Stephen. There were other times when my heart broke for the characters. This was a touching story and I saw a maturity in the author's writing from the previous book I had read. I look forward to more from her. Disclaimer: Howard Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.
Somebody Like You drew me in before I even turned page one. The idea of a widow falling not just for her husband's brother, but his mirror twin? How can that work? For either of them. The hurdles they both would need to overcome emotionally. The faith their love would need to take on, to know that it was based on their relationship and not the "ghost" of the man between them. So, so, so good! And Beth wove these pieces together seamlessly. Ever-so-slowly Hayley and Stephen's love story begins to take root and glimpses of the future they could have are painted over the pages. I loved the tender hero Stephen was in this book. Beth balanced his strength and compassion in a way that brought sigh-worthy moments readers will love. And Hayley's attempt at being strong while also wanting to be cared for was so well written--as a woman I understood the difficulty in striking this balance. Beth wrote Hayley in such a way that those conflicting emotions came off the page as an authentic struggle that allowed me to identify with Hayley, pulling me in even farther. All together, I felt this was Beth's best book yet--which is saying a lot because I loved her previous two also. However, between the unique story line, fast-paced (peppered with laughter) dialogue, moving scenes, and two characters who yank you straight into their lives...this book takes first place for me.