For these two broken hearts, the first step toward love will be a huge leap of faith.
Jessica Mason isn’t looking for love when she meets Ridley Chesterfield. Instead she is still reeling from the tragic, unexpected loss of her husband and daughter—and awaiting the arrival of her unborn child. Harboring the secret of her husband’s betrayal, her pain is deeper than anyone knows.
Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and the barrage of false media headlines that have tarnished his good name. The last thing Ridley wants is a relationship—but when fate leads Ridley to form a friendship with his reclusive and pregnant neighbor, he wonders if this small-town hideout might be more of a long-term destination.
When Jessica begins to read her great-grandfather’s Bible, she finds a connection with a man she never knew. Somehow the verses he marked and the words he wrote in the margins open her heart to healing. And as Ridley and Jessica help each other forgive the people who have wronged them, they must decide if the past will define them or if they will choose to love again.
Who I Am With You weaves together a modern-day romance with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s story from the 1930s, reminding us that some truths can cross generations and that faith has the power to transform families forever.
About the Author
Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of 80 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Her numerous awards include the RITA Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. Robin is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. Robin makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.
Read an Excerpt
HOPE SPRINGS, IDAHO
The drive through Hope Springs took Ridley Chesterfield all of about a minute or so, even at only fifteen miles per hour. Downtown consisted of a few small retail shops, including a grocery store and a large local government building that appeared to house the post office, the mayor's office, and the police station. Off the main drag, he caught sight of a couple of school buildings as well as a town park. No traffic lights. No parking meters. A slice of Mayberry RFD.
His mom had told him the town had charm. He would have to trust her on that.
After arriving at the log house a short while later, he unlocked the front door and stepped inside. The air was cool, the room cloaked in shadows. Rather than reaching for the light switch, he stepped over to the nearest window and opened the blinds, letting daylight spill into the sparsely furnished room.
His mom and stepfather — they currently lived and worked in Arizona — had purchased this property a couple of months before. Located in a remote mountain valley north of Boise, it was to be their vacation home until they retired from their respective jobs a decade or so from now. Then they planned to live in Hope Springs year round.
Ironic, wasn't it? A man without hope taking refuge in a town with that name. A laugh devoid of humor escaped his throat.
His mom had told him the two-story house had a charm similar to the town's, and he supposed she was right about that. But it also needed work, both inside and out, and for that he was thankful. The more things he had to do to keep himself busy, the better. And the more physical the labor, the better. Anything to keep him from dwelling on the circumstances that had brought him there. The less he thought about that, also the better.
"'Whatever is true,'" he reminded himself aloud, "'whatever is honorable, whatever is right ... dwell on these things.'"
Easier said than done. For the past few weeks, he'd waffled between regret and rage, between the need to justify himself and the desire to beat himself up for his own stupidity and blind trust. Dwelling on what was true, honorable, right, and whatever else that verse in Philippians said was a whole lot harder than he'd imagined.
Clenching his jaw, he did his best to shut off his thoughts altogether. Instead, he concentrated on a tour of the house.
The lower level had a large great room with vaulted ceilings and a stone fireplace, a spacious kitchen and dining area, a bathroom with a soaking tub, and a master bedroom. Upstairs he found an open area set up as a small library with bookshelves and two comfortable chairs. A window provided a spectacular view of the northern end of the valley. On either side of the library was a bedroom. And finally, there was another bathroom, this one with a shower but no tub.
"Use the master bedroom," his mom had told him. "We don't have our vacation planned until the end of August."
Now that he was inside the house, he knew he wouldn't follow her instructions. It wouldn't feel right. No, he would take one of the upstairs rooms. That way, if he was still in residence come the end of August —
Ridley closed his eyes and drew in a slow breath. Better not to put a timetable on anything. Next month. Next year. Who knew how long it would be before he was left alone to find new employment? Surely the newsmongers and internet trolls would turn their attention elsewhere before too long; he was a small fish in a big pond, although that didn't mean his troubles with the campaign wouldn't follow him around when it came to finding a job.
With a grunt, he headed down the stairs and went outside to retrieve his things from the car. Suitcases and duffel bags had been packed in a hurry. He hadn't cared about organization once he'd made his decision to leave Boise. Hopefully, he would manage to find his toothbrush before bedtime.
Lucky for him, his mom and stepfather had furnished the house shortly after buying it, complete with sheets and blankets for the beds and all the necessary dishes, utensils, and appliances for the kitchen. All Ridley needed to do was make a quick trip into Hope Springs for some grocery items to stock the fridge and pantry, and he would be set.
"Might as well get that over with." He dropped the last duffel bag on the floor of his new bedroom and headed back outside, car keys in hand and a baseball cap pulled low on his forehead.
* * *
Jessica Mason had fallen in love with Hope Springs the moment she'd seen it a decade ago. She and Joe had moved to the small mountain town a few weeks after their wedding, happily settling into their fixer-upper on several acres of land. In no time at all they had become a part of the community. Jessica hadn't even minded those times when Joe traveled for work. She'd been busy with making their house a home as well as becoming involved in their church and the local community. She'd made friends with a number of young wives. Her days had been full — and even more so after the birth of Angela. Her life had been everything she'd dreamed it should be.
But Joe hadn't been as happy as Jessica. When that had changed, she didn't know for certain. She felt she should be able to pinpoint the moment he'd stopped loving her, but she couldn't.
Shoving away the painful memories, Jessica entered the grocery store on the eastern edge of Hope Springs, her shopping list in hand. She never took her time or browsed as she once had. She shopped quickly and went straight home. After the accident, it had been instinctive. She hadn't been able to bear the words of condolence she'd heard over and over again. Now it was habit.
Her mom had told her more than once that it wasn't healthy to isolate herself. Maybe not, but Jessica preferred it that way. It was less painful. Besides, when she was with people, she had to pretend too much. She had to lie too often. It was better to spend her days creating in her studio, working at her computer, and running her online shop where she sold her crafts and paintings. Better to be alone than to be reminded of all she'd lost.
In the produce department she was looking at the tomatoes when another cart bumped into hers.
She glanced up. The stranger was tall and broad shouldered, well-developed biceps straining the sleeves of his T-shirt, but his baseball cap and dark glasses hid his eyes. "It's all right," she said, thankful it wasn't someone she knew.
He gave her a quick nod before moving on.
Jessica reached for another tomato, then looked over her shoulder in time to see the man fill a plastic bag with plums. He didn't check for soft spots or to see if they were too green or too ripe. He simply loaded the bag, not seeming to care about quality.
Men. She returned her attention to the tomatoes.
It took her about fifteen minutes to finish her shopping, pay for her groceries, and get her few bags into the back of her SUV. Once upon a time, she'd loved to discover new recipes and shop for the ingredients. She used to spend hours in the kitchen, cooking to please her husband. These days she cared little about what she ate. For the baby's sake, she tried to eat healthy, but she preferred whatever was quick and simple. She had no one to please, no one to impress.
Once home and everything put away, she tried to immerse herself in her latest art project, but she couldn't seem to concentrate on it. Giving up, she went outside to weed her flowerbeds.
She was nearly finished when a familiar but unexpected sound reached her ears. She straightened, resting on her heels, and looked toward the neighboring property. The log house — about an acre away from her own — had stood empty for almost two years. Then, in early April, the For Sale sign had come down. She'd wondered who bought it, but the house had continued to stand empty. Until now. A man, wearing Levi's and a white T-shirt, wielded an ax with expertise, chopping the logs that had long ago been stacked near the shed and covered with a tarp.
A good neighbor would have crossed the acre that separated them to say hello and introduce herself. A good neighbor might have taken over a plate of fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies. But Jessica had forgotten how to be a good neighbor.
She stood, at the same time removing her gardening gloves, and went back inside.
Monday, November 11, 1929
Andrew stood outside the bank's entrance, a cold wind blowing through his coat and another through his soul. When he'd kissed Helen goodbye that morning, he'd been employed. Now he wasn't. They'd used most of his savings for their honeymoon to the Oregon coast. It hadn't seemed extravagant at the time. Now he wished they'd been more prudent.
He pulled his coat collar up around his neck as he turned and began to follow the sidewalk in the direction of his automobile.
"I'll find another job," he whispered as he walked.
How difficult could it be? Certainly what had happened in the stock market a few weeks earlier had shaken financial institutions throughout the country, but it wouldn't last. And besides, he didn't have to work for a bank. His degree qualified him for many positions in industry or even in local or state government. He had the promise of good recommendations even if his work experience was limited. He would find another job soon enough.
Although his thoughts were meant to bolster his self-confidence, he dreaded telling his wife of less than three weeks that he was now unexpectedly unemployed.
He frowned and his footsteps slowed. As a bank employee, he'd been aware of the recession hitting the country earlier in the year, but he hadn't thought it would last. He hadn't thought it would worsen. He hadn't expected a crash or that men would throw themselves out of tall buildings over it. Certainly he hadn't expected that any of it would affect him personally. How wrong he'd been.
Another blast of cold air struck him, and he hurried on.
The drive home didn't take long. Andrew parked his Model T Ford in a space off the alley and walked to the rear of the large home, then went down the ten steps to the basement apartment he'd rented shortly before his wedding day. Since returning from their honeymoon, Helen had been happily making their little place as attractive as possible. There was the living room with its cold, tiled floor; an eating nook; a kitchen one could barely turn around in; a bathroom just large enough for the sink, toilet, and shower stall; plus one bedroom. Helen moved furniture on an almost daily basis, fussing over this and that while making lists of things she wanted to purchase when possible. In fact, she was pushing the sofa to a new location when he opened the door and stepped inside.
She gasped and whirled around. Her hand went to her throat as she let out a breath. "Andrew. For heaven's sake. You startled me. What are you doing home at this hour?"
He removed his hat and hung it on the rack near the door. His coat followed it.
He met her gaze again. "I'm afraid I have some bad news."
"Helen, I've lost my position at the bank."
Her face paled. "But why?"
As he walked across the room, he wondered if his bride ever looked at the newspaper. Then again, he always read the newspaper, and he'd still been caught off guard.
He took hold of her shoulders. "The bank must take cost-savings measures because of what happened in the stock market. Cutting back on employees is where they started. I was among those they let go today." He drew her close. "Don't worry. They've promised me an excellent recommendation. I'll find another position soon."
God, don't let that be a lie.CHAPTER 2
Ridley awakened the next morning while daylight was only a promise. To his surprise, he'd slept hard throughout the night. A good eight hours straight. He'd begun to think he would never sleep soundly again, and he was pleased to have been proved wrong.
Mountain air, no doubt. Mountain air plus a long stretch of chopping wood yesterday. Not that he had need of wood to burn. But attacking that woodpile had helped him rid himself of some of his frustration.
His cell phone rang, and he knew without looking at the screen that it would be his mom. She'd always been an early riser.
"Hi, honey. How are you?"
"Good." He pushed himself up until his back rested against the headboard. "I like your place."
"Then you got there all right."
"Not like it was hard to find. Drive through town and keep going east for three miles, then head south for another four, and turn right at the stone pillar. Like I said. Not hard to find."
"No. Of course not."
He heard the concern in her voice, heard all of her unspoken questions. He pretended he didn't. "I should have come up to see it before now. Maybe I'd've moved in sooner."
She didn't reply, and he knew his attempt at humor had fallen flat.
After a few moments of silence, he said, "I'm grateful I could come up here, Mom. I needed to get away from it all. This is the perfect place to be alone, get my head together, figure out what I want to do next."
"And you're all right?"
"I will be. At least I can say I'm at peace with God. Finding peace with people will take me a little longer."
"I'll keep praying for you, dear."
He smiled wryly. "I know you will."
"I know you want to escape what's happened, but don't shut everyone out. You need other people. Whether you think you do or not."
He wished he could give his mom a hug. "I know."
"Go to church."
He heard her laugh softly. "I'm through lecturing."
"I love you, Mom."
"I love you too."
They exchanged a few more words before saying goodbye and ending the call.
Knowing there was no going back to sleep, Ridley got up and headed for the shower. When he was done and dressed, he went downstairs to fix himself a breakfast of eggs, bacon, and toast. There was no television in the house so he couldn't watch the morning news as was his habit. In fact, the lack of both television and internet had been a great deal of this location's appeal. He'd come to Hope Springs to escape the news. Better to be ignorant of state and national affairs, lest he see his own face plastered on the screen again. He'd had enough of that for ten lifetimes.
After eating breakfast, he washed and dried the frying pan and other dishes before heading outside. At the bottom of the back porch, he stopped to survey the property again. A detached three-car garage was off to his left. The woodpile, where he'd spent a good deal of yesterday afternoon, was on the right side of the yard beside a small shed. The three acres of partially fenced land that went with the house was spotted with a few clusters of aspens and lodgepole pines and carpeted with wild grass. At the far end trickled a creek and a small pond, a few ducks bobbing for bugs, tail feathers stuck in the air. The property lay at the end of a dirt road, and it felt remote — more so than it actually was. Something else he liked about it.
The silence of the morning was broken by the barking of a dog. Ridley caught sight of the long-coated canine as it raced across the land toward the pond. Several ducks took flight. A few others waited to see if the dog would plunge into the water after them. It didn't. Instead, it raced around the pond, continuing to bark.
Using his hands, Ridley vaulted over the white board fence and strode toward the pond. When he got closer, he said, "Hey, there. Settle down."
The dog ignored him.
"Come on. Settle down. Those ducks couldn't care less about you."
The raucous noise continued.
Deepening his voice, Ridley said, "No!"
At last he had the dog's attention.
"Sit," he commanded.
To his surprise, the dog did so.
He took a few steps closer. The dog — a sheltie, judging by its smaller size and its sable and white coat — was desperately in need of a bath. It wore no collar. "Can I touch you?" He reached out slowly. "You look a little thin beneath all that hair and dirt. When did you eat last?"
The dog whimpered.
He patted its head. "How about I get you something? Come with me."
Again the sheltie obeyed the command.
"Anybody missing you?" Doubt rose to answer the question. No collar and underweight. Either the dog had been neglected or had been lost a long time.
They walked to the house, the sheltie on his left side.
"I don't have any dog food, but I'll bet you like scrambled eggs."
After the dog was fed, Ridley decided, he would check with the neighbor. Maybe someone knew where the canine belonged.
* * *
The sound of the doorbell startled Jessica. It was too early for Carol Donaldson to bring one of her deliveries. But who else could it be? She never had visitors anymore. She left her computer and walked to the front door as the bell sounded a second time.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Who I Am with You"
Copyright © 2018 RobinSong, Inc..
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
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 received a copy of the book from The Fiction Guild, I was not required to give a favorable review. This was a beautiful story about starting over for two people. Jessica was cheated on and was being left by her husband when he and their daughter were hit and killed in a car accident on the way to get Christmas present. After their death she found out she was pregnant. Ridley came to Hope Springs after being accused of leaking information about a candidate he was working for. He is getting the house ready for his parents that they bought to live in when they retired. The house was next door to Jessica. They became friends but with healing of friendship & God's help they found a new start with friendship.
This was such a sweet romance. My heart broke for Jessica and I felt like defending Ridley right out the start gate. Their relationship grew so organically and I loved the tie slip back to Andrew and Helen. This is a beautiful story of love and redemption and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I received this book from the Fiction Guild. It was a pretty good story. Jessica Macon is reeling from the tragic loss of her husband and daughter and dealing with the fact she is pregnant. She is struggling with her grief and trying to face the truth of her marriage and life. Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs from the media after a political scandal and false media headlines. He moves into his parent's summer home for a time which makes he and Jessica neighbors. Will they be able to help each other move past their emotional issues? Will they start to look toward the future? Will their future include each other?
Who I am With You by Robin Lee Hatcher is an amazing spin of current day events and flashbacks to love long ago. I really enjoyed that the author did this with the story and looked forward to the jumping back and forth. This story has love and loss and hurt and healing and restoration and the sweetest neighbor dog. I love the element of hope for the future that is set out by God. It inspired me to want to get my paints out and create an awesome masterpiece. I thought this was a great read! I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
4 stars- I really enjoyed this story and am excited for this new series. I love the idea of this series: wondering what would happen if a family Bible is passed down through the generations. How would the notes and passages marked in it encourage or influence future generations? The present day story of Jessica and Ridley was touching. It was a sweet romance and I enjoyed walking with them through their ups and downs and traveling with them on their journey to each other and back to God. Jessica inherits her great-grandfather Andrew’s Bible after her grandmother’s death. Not only do we get to see how this Bible affects Jessica’s life but the author walks us through part of Andrew’s life as well, during the Great Depression. Even though Andrew and Jessica are separated by many decades, it is fascinating to see the similarities between them and how the Bible is timeless. I enjoyed reading both of their stories. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. This book also made me stop and think about what kind of legacy I could leave for my future generations. How the things I do today could influence my loved ones down the road. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
Robin Lee Hatcher's latest novel Who I Am With You is the first book in her Legacy of Faith series. Hatcher is a master at contemporary romance and created a heartwarming dual-timeline story filled with faith, love, and forgiveness that readers will not want to put down. In the contemporary storyline, following the unexpected death of her husband and younger daughter, Jessica Mason finds comfort in reading her great-grandfather Andrew Henning's Bible and the verses that he marked in the Bible. Jessica meets her new neighbor Ridley Chesterfield who is trying to make a fresh start of his own after false allegations of his involvement in a political scandal. The historical storyline follows Jessica's great-grandfather Andrew Henning through the Great Depression in the 1930s and the pain and heartache that his family endured during that time. Readers will fall in love with Ridley, Jessica, and the whole Henning family and will share in their heartaches and triumphs throughout the story. Forgiveness is an important theme in this novel, and the knowledge that God is always there for us during the good times and the bad. I love the storyline of having a family heirloom Bible to pass on throughout the generations and how the characters grew in their faith throughout the novel. I can't wait for the second book in the series, Cross My Heart, which will continue the journey of the Henning family through the years. I read this book for my book club and loved it so much that I purchased my own copy after first reading it from the library. I would recommend this book for fans of contemporary romance! It's definitely one for the keeper shelf!
My Review: Genre: Christian fiction. My Rating: 3 and 1/2 stars Recommendation: Anyone over 17/18. Warnings below. My favorite character is: I loved Jessica, her character was so wounded and yet strong while still being vulnerable. My Verse for Jessica is John 13:34 34 A new commandment I give unto you That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (King James Verison.) And then there was Ridley and another male POV that are so interesting, I liked getting to read both of the stories told in this novel. My thoughts: Ack, I love this book! It was so heartwrenching and loveable all at once with a dash of intrigue! And while I didn't care for all of the mentions of a man cheating on his wife, and a wife cheating on her husband . . . But it was shown as a sin and how it hurt the woman. But anyway, this book was SO good! It was a new take on a familiar almost cliche' story. The switches in time were confusing at first, but they quickly grew on me, and I fell in love with both stories. Warnings: Mentions of an affair, and a man and a woman wanting a divorce. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Who I Am with You by Robin Lee Hatcher is the first book in the new Legacy of Faith series, and the most recent book I’ve been sent from the Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction Guild. I read it in a day. I have mixed feelings about this book: mostly good, with a mix of “eh”. The book weaves together the stories of modern-day Jessica Mason, who recently lost her husband and five year old daughter while pregnant, and Ridley Chesterfield, who is running away from a political scandal, with the 1930s story of Jessica’s great-grandfather and great-grandmother. If you’ve been following me for a little bit, you may recall that I’m not a fan of split-time stories, because I find it so confusing to go back and forth 80 or so years each chapter. However, instead of each chapter being in a different time period, Hatcher simply dedicates the last page or page and a half of each chapter to the 1930s story, which I appreciated and found much easier to keep up with. The reason for the 1930s story being included is to connect the generations through a Bible Jessica’s great-grandfather had. I love that the author wanted to show that the truths of the Bible are timeless and apply to generation after generation, but I didn’t think that the extra storyline really brought that full circle, because there wasn’t a lot about the Bible mentioned in the modern-day story, except how the character avoided it. Once she picked it up, I didn’t think there was enough of a connection to warrant the whole additional storyline throughout the entire book. However, I did love the 1930s story, and would read a historical novel set in that timeframe should Hatcher write one. So if those opinions aren’t confusing enough, I’ll add that the story progressed rather oddly for me. It was a while before the characters were really introduced to and around each other, and then it was a while before they started recognizing that they liked each other, and I didn’t really catch what shifted there. It was as if they suddenly liked each other and there wasn’t really one thing or event that set it off. The switch just flipped on and suddenly they were all flirty. Overall, though, it’s a really sweet story and an easy read. When I finished it, I sat there wondering if it was in a series, because there were things that didn’t make sense, but when I looked it up, I realized it was the first in the series, so it really should have worked as a stood alone better. Yet I felt like there were missing pieces I couldn’t quite put my finger on that would have perhaps made sense if I read the whole series. So anyway, the point is, I liked it. I’ll probably give it to a friend and just share the story. It wasn’t a fantastic, earth-shattering work of fiction, but it was a sweet story set in a small town that just generally gave off cozy vibes. If you want to escape for a few hours and be inspired by some heartwarming lessons, read it. Thank you to the Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction Guild for sending me a copy of this book to read and review. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own. *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I
First of all, I was so surprised to see that this book didn't receive anything less than five stars from reviewers. I absolutely loved this story! Always a fan of Robin Lee Hatcher and this one didn't disappoint. Jessica is grieving the death of her husband and six year old daughter, while also trying to work through the betrayal, which her husband confessed just prior to their deaths. Slso, there is guilt due to an argument between she and her husband which proceeded the accident which took their deaths. And...she is pregnant with the child conceived just before her husband's confession, news that he's leaving her and the death of her family in more ways than one. Then, there's Ridley, a most likeable character, who has came to his parents 'one day' retirement home in Hope Springs to get away from the media following a scandal. He was an IT specialist for a political campaign when damaging information was leaked to the opposing party. And...his neighbor is none other than Jessica! They both have trust issues and have wandered from God. Jessica was giving a Bible by her mother that had been passed down through the years. The story flows back and forth from her great grandfather's days in the Great Depression to Jessica's world. I was amazed how at the ease in which the two worlds flowed. A very beautiful story in which I could easily feel empathy for Jessica and her situation. The author has the ability to make the characters come alive to the reader. I highly recommend this book! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I’m going to admit this was my first time to read a book by author Robin Lee Hatcher. And it won’t be my last. I loved it! The characters are well developed and believable. They have issues and doubts just like we do. Well written, there is a thread of hope and forgiveness all the way through. We see that even though we may turn our backs on the Lord due to hurts in our lives, He always welcomes us back. But the story in no way is preachy. It’s simply a story of faith. Who I am With You will pull you in as you read about Ridley and Jessica in a modern day setting, and the story of Jessica’s great grandparents woven through out. I really enjoyed the backstory of Jessica’s family and how it helped her to find her way back to God. If you enjoy a mixture of genres, women’s fiction, historical fiction, clean romance, and Christian fiction, then you’ll enjoy this book. I highly recommend it! I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
I am so happy to have read another great book by Robin Lee Hatcher. She never disappoints and, in this new series, she has given me characters to love and care about. This book is set in two time periods, and while some authors have trouble pulling this off, it's done very well here and never confusing. She uses a family Bible to pull the two generations together and it's done so beautifully. I came to care about the people in both generations an enjoyed going back to the 1920's and 30's throughout the book. Jessica and Ridley are the characters in the here and now. They are both broken people because of circumstances in their lives and coming to terms with the fact that life hasn't turned out the way they had hoped. I especially felt Jessica's brokenness as she learns to navigate life as a widow after losing her husband and child. Ridley has been accused of doing something less than honorable and he is hiding out in Hope Springs in hopes of avoiding the media and gossip. He is broken in so many ways, as well, because he's not sure how to get his good name back or if he even can. I really loved seeing the relationship blossom between Jessica and Ridley. It was a friendship first and I like that Robin Lee took this slow and we saw them grow as individuals, as well. I loved how faith was a central theme to this story and that we saw some struggle in this area. We all go through this and it was well written yet lovely when we see these two people grow in this area. This was a book I read in a very short time as I just couldn't bear to put it down. I wanted to see what happened to all these people in different generations. I loved everything about this book and highly recommend it! I give it 5 stars. *This book was provided to me by Audra Jennings PR. I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.
I love how the author takes readers on a journey traveling from the depression era to the present. It flows so easily and I had a hard time wanting to leave each time period. I would get so engrossed in the story, I didn't want to travel to the other time period. I did wonder how I would be able to read quickly enough to get back to the other couple. The author sure had me hooked on the characters. Jessica is trying to deal with a big loss in her life while pregnant. She had a great marriage until her husband shocked her with words she never expected to hear from him. Have you ever had an argument and then the person walked away? That is just what happened to Jessica, only tragedy struck and she finds herself grieving the loss of two very special people. Can she learn to trust again? Ridley has moved next to Jessica for the summer to get away from the medial. He is hurt and trying to grasp the lies that have been told about him. What would you do if someone was spreading lies about you? Ridley is a very caring person and I liked how he reached out to Jessica with no expectations. Two lonely people dealing with forgiveness and trust will take readers on a journey that touch your heart. I can't forget to mention Andrew and Helen. We meet them slipping back in time to the depression era. I loved how the author described the time period and how hard it was during that time for people to find work and food. Andrew will be faced with a hard truth that will find him asking for God's help. Andrew was my favorite character in the book because he has such a compassionate heart and forgives easily. He reminds me so much of my grandfather and it made me smile to have that memory of such a great man. The story is strong in faith and scriptures that helped pull the story together in a beautiful and seamless way. The author writes with eloquence and her characters are very easy to relate to. Its a strong lesson in faith, trust and forgiveness. Everything happens for a reason, and in this story that statement is very true. Four people looking for guidance, forgiveness and happiness. This is one story that you will need to have tissues handy. I loved every minute of the story and hope you will too. Come take a journey and find out if these people will trust God. The title is perfect for this story because it made me think of who I am with my husband. With him beside me I am content, secure and know I am loved unconditionally. He is a great example of being Christ-like. I received a copy of this book from Read with Audra Blogging Program. The review is my own opinion.
Who I Am with You, is a novel that tackles some very difficult life situations. Widowed and pregnant, Jessica Mason has lost both her husband and daughter in a tragic accident and before that she had also lost her marriage due to her husband’s betrayal. Now pregnant and alone she has shut herself off from the world as much as she can. Ridley Chesterfield knows something about betrayal in a different way. His life has been tossed upside down as he has been blamed for a political scandal and his name has been dragged through the mud by the media twisting the truth and lies. Needing to get away, he escapes to his parent’s vacation home which just happens to be next door to Jessica’s. Ridley and Jessica find themselves in similar situations; both trying to hide from the world and go it alone. However, we and they were never meant to be alone so what we have is a tender story full of heartbreak of two people finding their way back into life, friendship, and love -a bit wiser, wearier, but also stronger and more hopeful. I enjoyed how their relationship unfolded and hurt for both due to their circumstances and cheered when they decided to trust each other. The backdrop of this story has to do with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s Bible and the many scriptures underlined and the notes taken. We see Andrew’s story unfold in the late 1920’s and 1930’s and his memorable story is not without heartbreak either. This story has strong themes of love and forgiveness, in particular learning the hard lessons of forgiving and loving no matter what, taking marriage vows seriously, and trusting God to hold you in His hand no matter what life throws at you or who betrays you. I look forward to more of this series as the Bible continues to be passed to those who need it the most. I received a copy of the novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and the barrage of false media headlines that have tarnished his good name. The last thing Ridley wants is a relationship—but when fate leads Ridley to form a friendship with his reclusive and pregnant neighbor, he wonders if this small-town hideout might be more of a long-term destination. When Jessica begins to read her great-grandfather’s Bible, she finds a connection with a man she never knew. Somehow the verses he marked and the words he wrote in the margins open her heart to healing. And as Ridley and Jessica help each other forgive the people who have wronged them, they must decide if the past will define them or if they will choose to love again. Who I Am With You weaves together a modern-day romance with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s story from the 1930s, reminding us that some truths can cross generations and that faith has the power to transform families forever. My thoughts: Somehow I missed that this was a cross generations story. I probably would've passed on it as I'm not a fan. However, Jessica is in mourning. Her husband and six year old daughter died in a car accident after a big fight wen her husband announced that he was leaving her. She was pregnant with her second child and life skidded to a halt. She stayed home, lived in her pajamas, and didn't brush her hair. What was the point of even trying? Ridley, on the other hand, is hiding. His face is plastered on the news, he's made a fool of himself, and he is hanging his head in shame, hiding at his parents' vacation home. Andrew and Helen are newlyweds when the stock market crashes, he losses his job and home and is forced to move in with his in-laws. On a farm, no less. Full of shame and regret he struggles to keep going. But he learns a valuable lesson. Will he be able to share the lesson years later with a granddaughter he's never known or met? Fans of Robin Lee Hatcher, women's fiction, romance, historical fiction and cross generation fiction will love this book. Something for everyone - almost. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
Who I Am With You by Robin Lee Hatcher is the first installment in the Legacy of Faith series. It's a dual timeline novel with one story in present day and one story in the late 1920s/1930s. The author made both settings feel authentic to their respective times while binding them together with a well-loved Bible and its handwritten notes. Timeless Biblical truths about forgiveness, prayer, and love echo throughout both stories. To me, Who I Am With You felt more like a fiction novel than a romance novel. While there was some romance and tension, it wasn't a main focus of the story, as is the case in some Christian fiction. Still, I enjoyed watching Jessica and Ridley's relationship grow in spite of the difficult circumstances in both of their lives. Both characters learned the necessity of forgiveness and faith. I especially liked Ridley's character development and the changes he embraced throughout the story. I recommend Who I Am With You by Robin Lee Hatcher to readers looking for a faith-filled heartwarming story. I enjoyed it while I was reading it, but I'm not sure if I would read it again. If you have read and enjoyed books by Robin Lee Hatcher in the past, you'll probably enjoy this one! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Two Neighbors. Both alone and with secrets. Both hiding from the world. A stray dog decides to adopt Ridley, and because of this dog, the neighbors slowly begin to interact. Eventually, they become friends although misunderstandings get in the way at times. There’s also a backstory woven in that’s just as intriguing as Jessica and Ridley’s present day relationship. These two stories show that two together are much more than each alone. Thank you, Ms Hatcher, for the two-in-one experience in this book. ***Book provided without charge by Audra Jennings PR.*** Submitted by sunny island breezes
A story within a story, Robin Lee Hatcher’s Who I Am with You weaves the tale of a patriarch’s faith within the modern story of his great granddaughter’s journey. Betrayed, pregnant and widowed, Jessica Mason struggles between her grief and anger at both her husband and God. Unwittingly drug into a politic scandal, Ridley Chesterfield escapes to Hope Springs, Idaho eager to put the past to rest. Neither expects to find love in the midst of their darkest trials. Who I Am with You is an endearing story of faith, forgiveness, healing and the natural love flowing out of those intangibles that readers are sure to enjoy. ***The publisher provided a free book. However, all opinions included in this review are entirely my own.
Deb’s Dozen: Pregnant Widow and Disgraced Man Search for Healing with Faith and Honor Robin Lee Hatcher’s Who I Am with You is a sweet story of faith and forgiveness. Jessica Mason’s husband and child died in an auto accident the day he asked for a divorce. After their deaths, she discovered her pregnancy. Jessica, heartbroken and bitter, isolates herself in her rural home and finds solace through her art. Ridley Chesterfield, an IT specialist accused of leaking a candidate’s secret to the press, hides away at his parent’s home in Hope Valley. He meets his next-door neighbor, Jessica, while trying to determine the owner of a stray dog he found. Because of the dog, who Jessica helps names Kris, the two become friends—isolated in a rural area. Both of them feel an attraction to the other, but both, uncomfortable about letting themselves feel anything more, push the feelings aside. Jessica’s bitterness and sorrow still curtail her emotions—and she needs to consider the baby. Ridley knows his innocence, but the media feeding frenzy gives him a bad reputation. He’s not sure if he’ll ever be able to work in the city again. Both have faith but focus on their losses. I loved this story. One can surmise from the beginning that Jessica and Ridley will get together, but Hatcher writes the process of their relationship tenderly and with empathy. I loved the two characters. Jessica struggles with forgiveness and faith in God, and Ridley struggles with career decisions and his attraction to Jessica. Because of the sweetness of their relationship, you will love the story and the characters too. Four stars. Robin Lee Hatcher is an award-winning author with over five million copies of her books in print. Wow! She has won just about every award possible, some multiple times, and has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from Romance Writers of America and the American Fiction Writers Association. She and her husband live in Idaho and enjoy being outdoors. A mom and grandmom, Robin does Bible journaling, attends BSF, and does decorative planning among other activities. She says they also live with “a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.” Thomas Nelson gave me a copy of Who I Am with You, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.
Believe it or not this is the first book I have read by Robin. She has been on my list to read and I just have never gotten around to one of her books. This is a beautiful story of forgiveness, God restoring and redeeming. Jessica and Ridley are drawn together despite their efforts to avoid people. As God heals them individually they find hope for a future in Him and in each other. I loved the time hop to the past to Jessica's great-grandfather. He had his own share of pain and brokeness and again we get to see how God worked in his life. Overall, an engaging story full of hope and beauty from ashes. A copy of this book was given to me. All opinions are my own.
Oh wow! What a wonderful beginning to a fascinating series! I absolutely loved and devoured this novel! Who I Am with You is a dual timeline novel and I can easily say that both the present and the past timelines equally captured my interest and kept me turning pages to find out what happened next. The development of the love story between Ridley and Jessica was heartwarming. Both of these characters had trust issues because of betrayals they had recently endured. The circumstances were different and both Ridley and Jessica had to work through their emotions in their own ways. I loved the way their friendship turned into more, and all while Jessica was preparing her heart and home for a new baby. It was so precious. What Jessica had endured prior to Ridley’s arrival was so sad, making her journey of forgiveness and happiness and love that much sweeter. There was a beautiful faith message and focus on forgiveness woven throughout the entire book, in both the present and the past stories. I loved the way Andrew, in the story from the past, dove into God’s word and applied it to his life through some extremely trying experiences. God called him to love and forgive, even when it was hard. It was a touching story. I am excited to read more books in this series. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
In the past, I really liked Robin Lee Hatcher's books, in fact, I have several in my bookcase. But, the last few years her writing didn't have the same type of enjoyment I was received when reading them. This book restored my faith in her writing. This book is the reason I will look forward to reading other books in the future by Robin Lee Hatcher. The story is about Jessica and Ridley. They both have issues and are wanting to hide from the world, but in a slow fashion over time they become friends. They both learn to accept and trust God, while at the same time their appreciation for one another grows. This book is a story of love, forgiveness and has a second story intertwined within, of Jessica's great, great grandparents. The weaving of that story in addition to Jessica's was a true pleasure to read. The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through BookLook Bloggers.
This novel contains a dual time both contemporary and historical. Jessica, a pregnant widow, is the main character in the contemporary time line; and Andrew, her grandfather, is the star of the historical period. Both characters are strong, realistic people while caught in the midst of major problems with their spouses. This is definitely a character drive story filled with pain, difficulty, and heartache for each of them. It shows tremendous growth in each of their characters as their faith grows and they learn to trust God more. Both love stories are driven by faith. It is a journey to love, healing, and forgiveness for each of them. Ridley played the perfect role in the contemporary love story as he developed a friendship first with Jessica before ever moving further towards a relationship. I fell in love with "Kris" the adorable dog that brought Jessica and Ridley together. An enjoyable and uplifting story that makes me anxious to read the second book in this series. ** I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
I loved this incredible time-slip romance novel! The two time periods in this book are contemporary and Depression Era. The main characters in each period are fantastic. Their depth pulled me into both stories and captured my interest and emotions. I was caught up in their difficulties and heartaches. I was rooting for all of them to sort out their problems and move past them as they matured because of them. They grew in their faith and learned to trust God more. The journey to forgiveness was wonderful. It is something that we all struggle with at some time in our lives. We can learn from seeing how these characters progress on their emotional journeys. I was captivated by the idea that Jessica was led through her journey partially by reading notes that her great-grandfather had written in his bible. I don’t write many things in the margins of my bible, yet when I received my father’s bible the first thing I did was to look and see if he had. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion. Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
This is a sweet dual time line story that covers two generations many years apart. Jessica Mason is dealing with losses-her husband and daughter were killed in a wreck a year ago and then her grandmother Frani died a few months ago. Shortly after her husband and daughter died, she found out that she is pregnant. In addition to mourning their death, unknown to anyone else, she is also living with the knowledge that her husband was angry with he left that morning. He had asked for a divorce and they argued. Did she contribute to the wreck? She dearly misses her young daughter. After her grandmother's funeral, Jessica's mom gave her a Bible that her grandmother Frani had that had been her father's. Great grandfather Andrew Henning was a young college graduate when the Great Depression hit. Andrew had just been married and started a new job at a bank at the time but unfortunately lost his job. He and his wife had to move in with her parents on their farm while he continued looking for a job in a bank. During this time, his wife had a miscarriage that devastated the couple. Eventually, he found a job in another town as a teller but the separation caused problems in his marriage. Ridley Chesterfield worked for a political candidate in Boise, Idaho as an IT specialist. When rumors started about the candidate, he was accused of leaking the rumors. To escape the media circus, he moved to his parents' newly purchased vacation/soon to be retirement home in a nearby small town for the summer and wound up living next door to Jessica. There are similarities in the marriages of Jessica and her great grandfather. They both had to deal with hurt from the spouses and had to overcome pain and disappointment. Ridley is reeling from the unfair accusations and where to go from there. Who would hire him in the future? He is only at the vacation house for the summer. Ridley and Jessica develop a friendship that helps them both heal and move on. Jessica finds comfort in Andrew's Bible and his notes in the Bible. This is a sweet story of romance, forgiveness, healing, faith and courage to move forward from a painful past. I received a complimentary ARC from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. The thoughts and opinions expressed are mine only.