Finding each other was only the beginning . . .
When Kate Darby swerves off a mountain road to avoid hitting a California condor, she ends up trapped in her car, teetering on the edge of a cliff. Terrified, she breathes a prayer that changes her life.
It's Nick Sheridan who comes to Kate's rescue. Nick is handsome and confident, and he seems to develop a habit of rescuing her, but Kate is in town only until her grandmother recuperates from a stroke. She's not planning to get involved with one of the locals.
Nick is a reformed veteran of life in the fast lane, a new Christian, and a travel writer. When he sees a car dangling on the edge of a cliff, the daredevil in him jumps into action. He doesn't expect to be swept off his feet by the car's occupant. He's made a vow--no dating for a year--but keeping that vow is going to be a lot more difficult now that he's met Kate Darby. . . .
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About the Author
Victoria Bylin writes contemporary and historical romances known for their realistic, relatable characters. Her work has finaled in contests such as the Carol Awards, the RITAs, and the RT Reviewers' Choice Award. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky. Visit her website at www.victoriabylin.com to find out more.
Read an Excerpt
Until I Found You
By Victoria Bylin
Bethany House PublishersCopyright © 2014 Victoria Bylin
All rights reserved.
kate darby clutched the steering wheel of her BMW with both hands. According to the state of California, San Miguel Highway was only the twenty-sixth most dangerous road in the state. That's why the county refused to pay for guardrails to protect motorists from the cliffs looming on the outer edge of the slick asphalt. October drizzle collected on the windshield, blurring the steep drops until the wipers brought the view back with startling clarity.
The mountains plummeted three hundred feet to the valley floor, and the highway twisted so tightly she could see four sharp turns ahead of her.
She couldn't imagine driving this road more than occasionally, but that's what she'd be doing for the next two months, or until Leona recovered enough to live alone and go back to overseeing the Clarion. The stroke had occurred six long weeks ago. After a two-week stint in the hospital, Leona was transferred to Sierra Rehab for four weeks of therapy of all kinds—physical, occupational, and speech. She could feed herself now, bathe, and get around with a walker, but she still couldn't talk. The prognosis was uncertain. The doctors and therapists all said the same thing. Only time would tell if she fully regained her speech, a process that could take up to a year.
In spite of the damp air, Kate lowered the side window. The hiss of rubber on the wet pavement assured her the car had good traction, though she wished she had replaced the worn tires. There simply hadn't been time. Between arranging with her boss for a leave of absence, packing her things, and visiting Leona at the rehab hospital, Kate's days were a blur. Three days from now she'd pick up Leona, but tomorrow belonged to Kate alone. She needed to unpack and buy groceries, but then she could curl up on the couch and lick the wounds left by Joel and cope with the lingering sadness of being away from Sutton Advertising. The boutique ad agency fit Kate and her talents perfectly. She was good at her job, and she loved the people, but she loved Leona more.
Sighing, she pressed the accelerator to climb a steep hill. When the tires spun helplessly on a patch of sand, adrenaline shot through her body. Local residents called the next curve the hanging hairpin. It was the highest drop on the road and had taken nine lives in ten years.
Her grandfather had taught her to drive, and now his calm instructions echoed in her memory. "Brake going into a turn. Accelerate coming out of it." Nervous, she steered into the hairpin with her foot on the brake. Centrifugal force pulled the car toward the cliff, but the tires held, and she confidently pressed the accelerator and rounded the bend.
A black bird standing three feet tall—a California condor— stood eating roadkill directly in front of the BMW.
The condor flapped twice, took flight, and grazed the windshield with its massive wing. A large yellow tag marked 53 in bold print slapped across Kate's field of vision, blinding her as she stomped on the brake. When the BMW fishtailed, she knew what to do—steer into a skid. But she had nowhere to go. The car was aimed toward the cliff. Frantic, she cranked the steering wheel downhill and to the left—a mistake because the right front wheel ran of the road. The car lurched to the side, throwing her of balance as the chassis sank into the shoulder, a strip of dirt about a foot wide but soft with rain.
Slowly, afraid to breathe, she eased the gearshift into Park and turned of the ignition. Silence engulfed her with the force of a dive into a swimming pool, but then the car tilted and she screamed. The new angle tugged her body forward—a death sentence if she moved. Beyond her vision, rocks careened down the slope in a rhythm as erratic and unstoppable as a heart attack.
"No," she whimpered. "No!"
Tentatively she dropped her gaze to the canyon below. Pine trees pointed upward like spikes, their tops a mile way. No way could she open the car door. The BMW would plummet down the slope. Neither could she reach the cell phone tucked safely in her purse, out of reach on the backseat, where she wouldn't be tempted to use it while driving. The notes of a high-pitched scream gathered in her throat—terror, hysteria, the irony of cautious Kate, a woman who didn't take chances, dangling over a cliff without her cell phone. Her ribs squeezed her lungs, and somehow she hurdled back in time to the day of her father's funeral ... to her childhood home ... to Leona and a flat of blue and yellow pansies.
"It's all right, Katie girl," Leona had said. "We'll plant these together."
The day before a car accident took his life, Peter Darby and his seven-year-old daughter had purchased flowers at the Green Thumb Nursery. She picked out the prettiest pansies, and he promised to plant them with her on Saturday. Instead, he died on a Friday afternoon in a twenty-car pile-up that made headlines on CNN. After the funeral, little Kate found the pansies wilting in the sun. She cried for a while, then put the flowers in her wagon and hauled them to the front yard to plant along the walk. Dirt was everywhere when her grandmother crouched next to her. In the first of many rescues to come, Leona helped Kate plant the flowers and clean up the mess Kate's mother didn't see at all through a haze of sedatives.
Without Leona, Kate wouldn't have survived those years. Staring into the canyon—an abyss, it seemed—Kate wished she had her grandmother's faith.
But she didn't.
Kate lived in the moment. She savored beauty where she found it, reveled in experience, and rolled with the punches.
Her friends changed with the seasons of her life—college, her first job, the big break at Sutton Advertising.
Men came and went. Joel was boyfriend number three.
Her addresses improved with her income—the latest being a tiny condo with a massive mortgage.
She took life as it came, good and bad. Why fight a string of random events? Accidents happened. Fathers died in fires, and grandmothers had strokes, also known as CVAs or cerebral vascular accidents. Sometimes condors landed in the middle of mountain roads, and cars skidded over cliffs. But why today? Leona needed her, and Kate didn't want to die.
With the car teetering on the cliff, she thought of the stubborn faith that made her grandmother so strong. If Leona were in the car, she'd ask God for help. Kate didn't have that faith, but sometimes she wished she did.
Staring down at certain mayhem—injury, maybe death— she closed her eyes. "Are you real?" she whispered to Leona's God. "Because if you are, I need help."
There was no answer at all, only silence. But the BMW stayed wedged in the mud. Was it wiser to stay still and wait for help, or to risk opening the door and jumping to safety? A shudder and a tilt made the question moot as the BMW plunged down the mountainside.
* * *
If he'd been a cautious man, Nick Sheridan would have spent the night in Valencia, a suburb on the northern edge of Los Angeles. His brother Sam had offered him the couch in the small tract home Sam shared with his wife and two young sons, but Nick resisted Sam's offer. Instead he raced his Harley up I-5 in an attempt to beat the storm. The sky opened up ten miles from the Meadows exit and he got soaked, but the adrenaline rush was worth both the chill sinking into his bones and the speeding ticket tucked in his leather jacket.
Considering Nick's former bad habits, an occasional traffic violation didn't seem so terrible. He considered it a business expense, not that he'd report it to California Dreaming, the travel magazine that paid him to write about everything from hiking trails to art festivals. Nick loved his work, but he hadn't always written for such a dignified publication. He was also—to his embarrassment—the author of California for Real Men, aka CFRM, a bestselling travel guide that had sold over a million copies to date and generated a popular app. Between the blockbuster sales, good investments, and his free-lance work, Nick's career made him financially comfortable. It had also made him a veteran of life in the fast lane.
A retired veteran, he reminded himself.
God was good.
God was merciful.
God had a sense of humor, because He'd taken one of the biggest sinners in California and turned him into a monk.
Nick hoped it was a temporary calling, because he hadn't taken to celibacy like the apostle Paul. Sam, the preacher— his older brother who headed up international missions at a megachurch—was right. Nick needed a wife. But Sam had been blunt in the rest of his advice. "I'm telling you what I tell everyone undergoing a big change. Don't make any major decisions for at least a year. You need time to shift gears."
Sam had a point and Nick knew it. On his own he had taken the advice a step further and made a personal pledge—no dating for one year. A social sabbatical made sense for a man who did everything too fast.
Six months down. Six months to go.
But what then? He couldn't see himself among the singles at Sam's church. The women he met there were lovely, talented, and dedicated Christians, but Nick didn't fit in with all that niceness—nice barbecues, nice houses, nice everything. He'd been washed clean by the blood of Jesus, but six months ago he'd emerged from a very dark place. Sometimes the past pulled at him like gravity, and he had to fight to keep from sliding back into old habits. Those habits died hard, and some died harder than others.
He didn't drink anymore, but sometimes a cold beer sounded really good.
If he cursed, it was because he hit his thumb with a hammer.
He had always played it safe on the Internet, and he still did. No temptation there, because the porn industry disgusted him.
On the other hand, a man couldn't help but notice an attractive woman. Nick no longer viewed dating as a sport, and he was sorry he ever did, but he very much wanted to finish his sabbatical, fall in love, and settle down with the right woman.
Cold and wet, he veered on to San Miguel Highway, cranked the throttle but immediately eased of. Rain and speed didn't mix, especially on a road littered with rocks and decomposed granite. He didn't mind slowing down. He had lived in Meadows for six months now, and the drive through San Miguel Canyon still worked the same magic. His pulse slowed and his lungs filled with piney air. A deep breath scrubbed away the past, and he silently thanked God for that night on Mount Abel when he had grieved his mistakes and burned a copy of CFRM a page at a time. When the fire died to embers, Nick saw his life in the ash and called Sam.
Sam had paused. "You better explain, because 'everything' is a big word."
Leave it to Sam to be dramatic, a side effect of taking the gospel to cannibals in New Guinea. Nick admired him for it. In a way, for a period of time Nick had been a cannibal of another kind—a man who fed of other people. He'd been a user back then, a taker. That night, his voice had cracked when he finally replied to his brother.
"Pray for me."
Nick still smiled at Sam's reaction. "You idiot. I pray for you all the time."
"Pray for yourself, Nick. I'll listen."
More silence. Darkness. Then a breeze stirred the ash and a charred log glowed from the inside out. The orange sparks lit up a single moment of the endless night, but that moment changed him. With Sam on the phone, Nick cracked like an egg and spilled his guts, cursed like a sailor and cried like a little girl all at once. What a mess he'd been—and still was. Sam said Christ had died for his sins. It was that simple. Nick had believed and prayed, but Sam's next words made no sense.
"God forgives us, little brother. Now you have to forgive yourself."
Nice words, but his straight-arrow brother had no idea how it felt to get slapped with a paternity suit for a dead child—a baby girl who had endured open-heart surgery, infections, and two weeks in the NICU; a child who should not have been conceived. Nick barely remembered the Santa Cruz waitress who gave birth to the baby, but the genetic tests were a perfect match. He helped with the medical bills, then dealt with his guilt that night on Mount Abel. Those few hours changed him forever. The next morning he had ridden into Meadows, bought a half-finished log cabin, and officially become a monk.
Monkhood had some advantages. He slept when he wanted to and wrote at night, an old habit he still enjoyed; and to keep from becoming a weird recluse, he free-lanced for Leona Darby and the Clarion. With journalism and Christianity in common, the two of them had become good friends. The morning of the stroke, when Leona failed to show up at the office, it was Nick who found her and called 9-1-1. He often visited her in rehab and had promised to keep an eye on the house. But Leona wanted more. And Kate, she had scrawled on a paper tablet. Be her friend.
Nick had agreed, of course. But the last thing he needed in his head was the image of the pretty redhead he'd seen in photographs displayed in Leona's home and office. For now, monkhood suited his purposes.
With the Harley burbling at an easy pace, he decided to pick up tacos for dinner and then hammer out the article for California Dreaming. The free-lance work was a good distraction while he waited to hear from his agent about his newest manuscript—a memoir about what led to that night on Mount Abel. The income from a sale would be nice, but mostly Nick wanted to atone for CFRM.
He navigated the next few miles at a snail's pace, then slowed even more as he came around the hanging hairpin.
What he saw put him on full alert. A quarter of the road had crumbled into a muddy slide. Nick braked to a halt, whipped of his helmet, and heard three short blasts of a horn ... then three long ones ... and three short ones.
Someone had gone over the side and was alive. He snatched his phone and called the Meadows fire station. Captain Rob McAllister picked up on the second ring.
"Rob, it's Nick Sheridan. The hairpin crumbled."
"It's down to one-and-a-half lanes. Someone went over the side."
"I can't see, but they're honking an SOS."
"We're on our way."
Nick wasn't about to wait for the rescue crew before he climbed down the canyon, but first other drivers needed to be warned. Helmet unstrapped on his head, he steered the Harley to the top of the hill, parked it across the lane and turned on the emergency flashers. He hoped no one plowed into it, but that was a risk he had to take. As he strode up the hill, the car horn continued to honk, three beeps at a time, over and over, in a cry as calm and desperate as the radio signals from the Titanic. He strode purposefully to the edge of the hairpin, looked down, and saw a metallic gray BMW wedged in a patch of scrub oak. The flimsy bushes made a fence of sorts, but any minute the roots could pull loose and the car would plummet another two hundred feet to the rocky bottom of the ravine.
He cupped his hands around his mouth. "Hello!"
"Hang on," he yelled. "I'm coming down."
The horn blared again—three erratic beeps that sounded like Yes! Yes! Yes! He sized up the slope, didn't like what he saw, and decided to approach from farther down the road at a more horizontal angle. Staying close to the mountain, he walked several feet past the crumbled road before venturing to the cliff's edge. A slight bulge in the mountain offered the best approach, so he gingerly found footing and began the descent.
When he was halfway to the car, he called to the driver. "Can you hear me?"
A woman. Nick knew just about everyone in Meadows, and he didn't recognize the BMW. A visitor, he decided. Or someone speeding down an empty road the way he sometimes did. "Are you alone?"
"Yes." She sounded a bit calmer. "I'm afraid to open the door—"
"Are you close?"
"About thirty more feet." His boot slipped and he landed on his chest. Grunting, he maneuvered with the climbing techniques he'd learned in Yosemite for the "Daredevil" chapter of CFRM. His foot slipped again and knocked a rock down the slope. Female whimpering made his gut clench.
"Are you still there?" she called to him.
"Just a few feet to go."
He inched to a spot where he could see the shrubs bending with the weight of the car, their roots straining against the mud and close to breaking loose. Any minute the car could plummet to the distant bottom of the ravine. He listened for sirens but heard nothing. The rescue squad was at least five minutes away, and it would take time to rappel down the mountain. Nick glanced again at the scrub oak and got a bad feeling. He needed to get the woman out now.
"Are you hurt?" he asked.
"I'm just ... just shaken up." An off-kilter laugh spilled through the window. "It's—it's a good car. I c-c- could do a BMW s-safety commercial."
"You could star in it," he replied lightly.
Bracing in the mud, he peered through the window and saw a woman in her twenties with blue-green eyes, ivory skin, and a swish of auburn hair. She was beautiful in a girl-next-door kind of way, and he recognized her instantly from Leona's gallery of photographs. This was Kate, Leona's granddaughter. Kate, whom he had called when he found Leona unconscious on her deck.
The woman's alto voice skittered out of her throat. "I-I'm afraid to m-m-move."
"I can see why." If he stayed calm, so would she. "We have to get you out of there."
She shook her head. "If I move, the car will f-f-fall."
"We'll work fast."
Excerpted from Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin. Copyright © 2014 Victoria Bylin. 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 enjoyed this book so much. I started it and was finished before 2 days went by. I only put it down when I had to. These characters were so engaging that I immediately fell in love with them. I picked up the book the first time and before I knew it I was in chapter 3. The conflict was satisfying and the resolution more so. It was not a foregone conclusion as the author put the story in a place that could have gone more than one way. I guess the title says it all but when you're reading you don't see it for sure. I liked the secondary characters as well. They brought a lot to the story.
Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin Kate Darby's mantra is to enjoy life one day at a time. She enjoys her work and living in the city. When Leona Darby, her grandmother, becomes ill Kate heads to the small mountain town of Meadows to take care of her and help run the small newspaper her grandfather started. She suddenly finds her life having more twists and turns than the mountain highways. Nick Sheridan isn't proud of his past. He had a bestseller book about his old life, his hedonistic life. One night on Mount Abel had changed all of that. He became a Christian and promised God he would stay date-free for one year. He still struggled to lose all those old habits. His struggle became a bit harder when Leona's beautiful granddaughter came to town. Leona Darby was ready to die, but she was still needed on earth. She had to tell Kate about the condors. One morning while she poured her heart out to God in prayer, she told Him she would do whatever it would take to help Kate, she had no clue God would take it so literally. A page turner. I could not put this book down until the end. It was so true life. The struggles of leaving old lives behind, of giving up control of one's life to an unseen God, of having the right people around you to help guide you. Or, to follow the wrong people. The questions of why God allows bad things happen. Learning to depend and trust God even when life isn't full of roses, because there will always still be thorns.
Beautifully written story...very unique in how it flowed. Loved Leona's wisdom and strength, and enjoyed the journey to faith Nick and Kate took. The story of the condors woven throughout just added to the depth. Highly recommend!
It is a very touching story that does a good job describing the struggle to trust God.
Until I Found You was a great book! I enjoyed the passion shown in each of the character's personalities. There is definite chemistry between Nick and Kate. I enjoyed how the author weaved their faith into their everyday lives making it very realistic and true to life. The trials faced by each are the ones that are faced by each of us at one time or another. I will enjoy continuing to read this author's work.I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have read several of Victoria Bylin's novels and enjoyed each of them, not merely for the storyline but for her writing style. However, I can unequivocally say without hesitation that this is Victoria's best work to date. It is a contemporary captivating page turner that I couldn't put down. I continually found my mind wandering back to the book and its characters. The author developed compelling characters that are realistic, memorable and relatable. Victoria’s writing style is beautifully detailed and visibly descriptive, and her prose is extraordinarily illuminating and symbolically metaphoric. This is definitely her element. “Until I Found You” draws us into the characters and their struggles with faith, commitment and choice. Nick is a new Christian who, after living a life which led to tragedy, made a vow with God to refrain from dating for a year. Yet, when he meets Kate, independent, career-driven and always in control, his bold attempts to keep his vow are tested. Kate wants desperately to find her faith and believe in God, yet she questions God’s timing, His plan. She admires Nick’s Christian faith and that of her grandmother and it is obvious she desires to accept and believe. When the metamorphic moment arrives, it brings the reader to his/her knees. The apparent chemistry between Nick and Kate remains alive from their first encounter. Their love for Nonny Leona, Kate’s grandmother, and their commitment to saving her failing newspaper is merely one tie that binds Nick and Kate. Another is their affection for the California Condors which the Victoria so artfully intermeshes throughout the novel, providing yet another poignant metaphor of faith, love and trust. The subplot of the Condors is a love-story unto itself. “Until I Found You” is about choices. It is about loving God above all else so that we may find it within us to love another. It is about trusting others as well as our own instincts, but above all trusting God and his timing and plan for our lives. I found that I related to the faith aspect of this novel in so many ways and I strongly believe that others will as well. I would like to thank Victoria Bylin for writing such an exquisitely poignant novel that has touched me deeply. Thank you for spreading your wings! I would also like to thank Bethany House for providing a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
An endearing, contemporary! This is the first book I've read from Bylin and I have to say I'm impressed. Her style is smooth and it draws you deeper into the story. I loved the condors! I'd heard about the incredible, near-extinction birds from somewhere else, but Bylin's novel took my knowledge to another level. The condors slipped into the story so seamlessly that they didn't take up too much space, nor did I feel they were lacking attention. Kate is a seemingly typical control-freak with a bruised heart. All her life she has lost people she deeply cares about due to circumstances beyond her control. She's a character I could easily sympathize with, but I couldn't relate to her problems. There were so many times I wanted to shake her silly! Nick too for that matter. Kate's transformation from an unbeliever to a believer in God is slow and realistic. She asks many questions common coming from an unbeliever. They're good questions. They're hard questions too. Yet Nick responds with grace and patience every time, being honest with Kate when he doesn't know all the answers. In sum, Bylin's newest release from Bethany House isn't a personal favorite; however it's a delightful story about giving up control of your life to your Creator. I recommend this novel to those who enjoy contemporary novels set in small towns, and those looking for a novel with a deeper message. I recommend to readers ages fifteen and older. I received this book from Bethany House through Netgalley in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!!
Victoria Bylin has written several western romances in the Love Inspired Historical line, but Until I Found You is her first full-length contemporary romance and is a new author to me. I guess I was expecting another entertaining, but typical, romance - yet this is so much more. Victoria has a distinctive ability when it comes to setting, characterization, romance, environmental elements, and spiritual themes. The Christian element flows throughout, and just feels real and compelling. The story entertains, but also informs and makes you think. Until I Found You touched me greatly. The setting is the small town of Meadows, California, located in the Los Padres National Forest, and I have to say that Victoria creates a feel for place as good as any author I've ever read - from Leona's cabin with its 300 daffodil bulbs located in the shadow of Mount Abel, to the winding roads with hairpin turns in San Miguel canyon, to the nature blind where Nick and Kate watched a condor courting ritual. Nick, Kate and Leona are strong, well developed and realistic characters who remain in my thoughts. Nick is a reporter/travel writer who has "the posture of a soldier, the ease of a cowboy, and the daring of a pirate," according to Kate - and he considers traffic violations a business expense. Kate, a designer of ad campaigns, despises uncertainty and prefers to be in control. Leona, Kate's grandmother, is in independent spirit who struggles with accepting help and making some tough medical decisions. One of the most moving parts is the condor theme which is woven throughout, beginning with Kate's grandfather, told through Leona's journals, and experienced personally by Kate in the first chapter. The Californian condor was . . . "a bird that isn't pleasing to the eye yet still is beautiful; a bird that mates for life; a bird that faced extinction and was given new life by a power greater than itself." But most of all, Until I Found You is a story of spiritual transformation and growth - a grandmother seeking to help her granddaughter find her way, a new Christian struggling to get past the guilt and temptations from his old ways, and a seeker trying to knock on the right door. Victoria writes out of a deep faith and uses story to make us look within and ask, where do we put our faith? God, ourselves, or other people? My faith grows stronger with each passing year, yet I can still find myself dealing with these same questions. And then there's the ever necessary theme of trust, that only God sees the upper story, that "much of life is beyond our understanding - but we have the choice to believe life is a string of random events or that God has a plan in our lives." Last of all, there's the romance between Nick and Kate, who cared about each other from the very first - and that's something I like to see. Faith is the main barrier between them and it's so enjoyable to see them grow, both emotionally and spiritually. I loved Nick's poignant words to Kate and wanted to share them: "Nothing can change how I feel about you. Nothing. I'd take a bullet for you, walk on hot coals. I'll watch chick flicks and hold your purse at the mall. When babies come, I'll rub your feet, and when we're old and gray, I'll love you even more than I do now. But I can't stand here and say, 'Do whatever makes you happy,' because happy is temporary. I want us to have more, Kate. I want us to have joy." I enjoyed every minute spent reading this story. If Victoria continues to write in the style of Until I Found You, I will continue to read and highly recommend her books. Thank you to Bethany House for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
It felt like deja vu when I picked up the latest novel Until I Found You, from author Victoria Bylin. When I first began writing in high school I had written a story that began much in the same aspect as this one did but that is all the similarities between the two. It took me back almost 35 years but with a fondness for great romance that Victoria shares in this one. Kate Derby is heading to help her grandmother who is recovering from a stroke in California. On a rain slicked highway, Kate loses control of her car when she steers clear of a giant condor on the road in front of her. Unfortunately this particular stretch of highway doesn't have guard rails in place to keep the drivers from going over the cliff. Kate is lucky when her car is stopping from a two hundred foot plunge by a set of trees but it doesn't seem like it will hold the weight much longer. When Nick Sheridan it out for a drive on his Harley, he notices that a car has gone over the side on the road. Calling for help, Nick knows that the precarious situation with Kate will not last long enough for help to arrive. He proceeds to climb down the embankment and manages to free her from the car at just the moment the branches break lose and send the car plummeting below. Thinking she might have an opportunity to salvage the effects of her personal items from the car later, the car suddenly explodes. It shakes Kate up more than she realizes what her fate could have been had Nick not rescued her in time. Nick has made a vow to God that for the next year, he will refrain from dating in order to keep his life in check and provide him a much needed break from bad decisions from his past. Only he didn't expect to fall for Kate. Now he will need more than prayers to God to help him keep his commitment. He needs time to ensure himself that Kate even follows the same standards he has set in his walk of faith. She is driven in her career in advertising but has taken a leave of absence to help care for her grandmother and run the local paper until she can figure out what to do. But it seems no matter what she believes is the right choice, she struggles with coming to terms with a faith she sees in Nick and her grandmother that has her longing for more than what this life has to offer. I received Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I love how true to life Kate's struggle is. To wonder what she should do as opposed to what feels right on the inside, wanting to care for her ailing grandmother and resolving her feelings for Nick. It seems to Kate she must choose one or the other. She can't afford the care her grandmother needs running the local paper, and while her advertising job will pay the bills, it won't be close to her grandmother or Nick. The choice won't be easy but it will lead her to the home, God has always planned for her. I easily rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for more from Victoria Bylin in the near future. She is on my must watch list!
Just as I was finding my balance from the dramatic prologue, then Chapter One hit. Talk about a cliff-hanger! Victoria Bylin knows how to get a reader's attention. I really enjoyed the characters in this story. Kate Darby has to put her high-powered advertising job on hold while her grandmother recovers from her stroke. Glamorous starlet Eve, her agency's biggest customer, has taken a personal interest in Kate and isn't happy with the competition for her attention. Bylin does a great job with Eve's characterization. She reminded me more of the snake in the garden, than Eve. And I loved Nick Sheridan. He's such an earnest man. A new believer, he knows just how easy it'd be to fall back into his old ways. He's trying hard to sacrifice for God, but isn't sure how much God requires of him. You'll be rooting for Nick and Kate in this touching romance that deals with real-life faith issues.
I enjoyed reading Until I Found You and hated to put it down. The characters were realistic and pulled me into the story. They juggled issues such as caring for an older adult, trying to live a godly life, business, and falling in love. This story has it all. I met Victoria a couple of years ago at Joseph Beth in Lexington, KY. When I heard she was offering copies of her new book to be read and reviewed, I couldn't wait. I'm so glad I got to read this book, and I think you'll be glad you read it also.
Normally it is hard for me to get into contemporary romance but I was drawn into the story pretty quickly. Kate Dash is rushing to her grandmother who has just had a stroke. She is also a new believer. Yet her grandmother who has such deep faith helps her to deepen her faith through letters of her life so that her granddaughter will truly know that the things of God are important not the things of man. She is rescued by Nick Sheridan who left the trappings of the world for a life honoring God. Yet God is the matchmaker in this all. Will kate truly find out what is important before it is too late? Will kate know and have a deeper relationship with Christ? **This book was sent o me by Bethany Publishers and all opinions are my own.***
I've read several of Victoria's books but this is a decidedly different one for her. It was wonderful to see her stretch her wings and write something different. She has a fantastic writing style and I love the characters and storyline. The reason I found this book different than some other romances is that it was somewhat more realistic. Many romances have the usual trials and tribulations but this one put the characters through their paces and put them through real life experiences and gave them real life emotions. As I read it (I admit I wanted to spend every moment reading it and not put it down!), I could see this story happening in real life. The hero , Nick, used to be the kind of guy that lived for the moment and for himself - parties, flings, alcohol, travel, money, etc. He lived hard and played hard. He had a life changing experience when something happened (don't want to spoil it!) and becomes a Christian but life doesn't become easy for him. He is still tempted by that lifestyle and has to choose daily how to overcome those temptation just as regular people do! The heroine , Kate, is the opposite. She is always playing it safe and wants to be in control and doesn't want to take any kind of chances. Therefore, she doesn't think she needs God or faith because that means she can't control things. Her grandmother needs her after her stroke and Kate's life spins out of control with all that is expected of her. There is so much in this book that can be asked of ourselves of our own lives. I enjoyed it very much and would highly recommend it. I was given this book by the publisher to review but it is an honest review by me
Loved the story line. Best book to date
You can't help but fall for handsome, brave, sweet Nick, the male protagonist in Until I Found You. Nick, a new Christian, is a former womanizer who is determined to live a pure life now. Kate has lost several people important to her and is afraid to trust anyone but especially God. Victoria Bylin has done a great job of writing real characters facing real life situations and decisions. The spiritual message is clear. The book is fast-paced and you won't want to put it down! I highly recommend Until I Found You to anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction. I won my copy of Until I Found You from a drawing on the Pistols and Petticoats blog.
Well written. As well as enjoying the believable story, I enjoyed the facts about California Condors and rhe work being done to bring them back from near extinction.
Kate Darby thinks she has a fulfilling career, creating advertising campaigns. One day, while on her way to her grandmother's house in the mountas, she meets a large condor in the middle of the road. The road is wet and slippery and doesn't have any guard rails. Kate does down he mountainside with her car Nick Sheridan is driving on his motorcycle and sees Kate' accident. He rescues her from inside her car before it falls down the 200-foot cliff. When Kate meets Nick, chemistry flows between them. Nick used to live on the wild side, but now is a new Christian. He has made a vow to not date for six months. .Kate likes the glamour and notoriety found in her job. But she realizes her job an Nick's don't mesh together. She also believes they cannot have a future together, unless she comes to know Jesus. She has fallen for Nick, so it's time to make a few important life-changing decisions. I loved how this book tied faith into the lives of Nick and Kate. It revealed decisions we face today and how much easier it is when you have faith .I received a copy of this book from the publisher through TBCN in exchange for my honest review.
I found the book both interesting and boring in places. Would not read again.
Need a book for a long week-end? Until I Found You By Victoria Bylin Kate Darby and Nick Sheridan are total opposites. She career driven. He's been there and it's lost its appeal. Kate doesn't like to take chances or risks. While Nick loves the adrenaline rush he gets from pushing the limits in various activities - including his Harley. The one thing Nick and Kate both seem to agree on is there is no time for romance in their lives. But when a near accident with one of California's rare condors leaves Kate in a dangerous situation, she and Nick are about to find out that our plans are not necessarily God's plans. But the big question is can they see what God has in store for them? Or will they let their own plans and the plans of those around them take precedent in their lives? This is a book you won't mind sharing with your friends over a cup of coffee or tea. You'll be left guessing until the very end how it will all end, so it just may keep you up all night. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher through TBCN/BookFun in exchange for my honest review.
Great story showing how important it is to place our trust in God. I love reading a book that is both encouraging and clean. If you want an uplifting story about love and faith, this is an excellent choice.
I find this book, very inspirational ! God works in mysterious ways!
Great book Writing
I loved this story. I want more!!!!!!