Book Review: When He Found Me

29 Apr

Love Discovered . . . Hope Renewed

Once a strong Christian, third baseman Shane Riley lost his faith the night he injured his knee in a freak car accident. Determined to return to professional baseball and to find the sister he treated badly, Shane retreats to Refuge, Wyoming. There he meets Melissa June “MJ” Townsend, a single mom battling the virus that causes cervical cancer.

MJ wants nothing to do with the handsome athlete — no doubt a womanizer considering the stories in the news. But when a mistake results in Shane renting her garage apartment, they become friends. That friendship blossoms into something deep and pure, leaving MJ with a painful secret to tell. Even more complicated, she discovers an unexpected tie to Shane’s missing sister — a wounded woman who wants nothing to do with the perfect brother who scorned her.

Victoria Bylin is known for tackling tough subjects with great compassion. In 2016, Together With You, a story of grace and healing, won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award for Best Contemporary Romance. Her other books, including historical westerns, have finaled in the Carol Awards, the RITAs, and RT Magazine’s Reviewers Choice Award. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky. Learn more at victoriabylin.com.

 

My Impressions:

A pure case of judging a book by its cover. That’s what I encountered when I picked up When He Found Me by Victoria Bylin. The catchy font, title, and colorful graphics led me to believe this book would be a fun chick lit/romance. Oh, I got women’s fiction and a love story alright, but the real prize was finding a thoughtful portrayal of life in all its ugliness . . .  and beauty. When He Found Me is raw in its emotions and candid in its exploration of the consequences of our choices for ourselves and others. I rate this well-written story highly recommended.

There are a couple of story lines that are woven together in When He Found Me. The relationship between baseball player turned history teacher, Shane Riley, and single mom MJ forms the foundation of the book. Their romance is complicated by a number of obstacles that are not the run-of-the-mill problems most often found in Christian fiction. Shane has given up on God and is ready to embrace some of what he thinks he has been missing, and MJ, a new Christian, is finding her way with a potentially heartbreaking diagnosis. Running parallel with the main story line, Olivia, MJ’s mother is looking for a renewed relationship with her daughter. And Shane’s sister Daisy’s story — alcoholism, abuse, and abortion — is one not often found in CF. God’s healing, restoration, and redemption shines bright in the true-to-life circumstances all of the characters face. This book is REAL! I loved that about it. No sugar-coating, just life in all of its sordidness and a God Who continues to surprise with his mercy and grace . . . and miracles. The author doesn’t shy away from the reality of human relationships, but neither does she downplay the impact of straying from God’s plans. A packet of letters and a diary from the past play a large role in the faith journeys of the female characters — I loved how the story of a woman from long ago taught faith, hope, and salvation.

When He Found Me is book 1 in Bylin’s Road to Refuge series. It is an excellent start and points to more great books. I can’t wait!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: young adults to adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

6 Responses to “Book Review: When He Found Me”

  1. pattymh2000 April 29, 2019 at 8:03 am #

    I pre-ordered a copy for $.99 for my Kindle, but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.

    Like

  2. susiesellnergmailcom April 29, 2019 at 8:30 am #

    Victoria Bylin is a new author to me. This sounds like a great book.

    Like

  3. Susan (Bloggin' 'bout Books) April 29, 2019 at 5:03 pm #

    I like a Christian novel that doesn’t sugarcoat life’s hardships and keeps things real. I’ll have to check this one out. Thanks for the heads-up!

    Like

    • rbclibrary April 29, 2019 at 6:39 pm #

      Then I encourage you to check this book out!

      Like

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