Feeling a lull in her life and tired of waiting on her prince charming, Mia Robinson decides to make a major change in her life by applying for a position with an international relief organization. If she lands the job with Mission Medical, she will not only get to put her skills as a nurse to good use, but will also see a tangible difference in the lives of those she serves in impoverished areas overseas. Her plans are abruptly interrupted, however, when her young and immature 18-year-old sister calls to inform her that she is not only pregnant, but that she and her boyfriend Sam are eloping. Although Mia is not happy with the news, she travels to Las Vegas to support Lucy and Sam only to meet Sam’s mentor and friend, Jake Tanner. After Lucy accepts a job caring for Jake’s ailing mom and also experiences complications from the pregnancy, Mia decides to take over the small rural medical clinic in Jake’s hometown in order to be closer to Lucy and to gain more experience for her Mission Medical application. Along the way, Jake and Mia’s friendship begins to develop into something more leaving Mia with the difficult choice of continuing down the path of pursuing her dream job with Mission Medical overseas or bravely exploring her new feelings for Jake.
Bylin tackles the often perplexing situation of trying to discern God’s best when multiple opportunities are presented. Mia’s struggle to find clarity and purpose is a universal occurrence at some point for us all and sometimes the answer isn’t clear as was the case with Mia. Consequently, readers can definitely identify with Mia’s plight. Bylin also seemed to interject an underlying theme of sexual purity versus caving to the culture. Although I feel like Bylin’s intent was to undergird Mia’s choice to remain pure, I unfortunately cannot say that with certainty because of how the characters’ views on the subject were portrayed. Mia seemed actually embarrassed that she was a virgin, and although Jake validated her past decisions and scolded her exes for not valuing such a “precious gift”, earlier in the novel Jake flat out stated he thought it was “unrealistic” for men and women in their twenties and thirties to continue to wait until they were married. Likewise, Sam basically stated that he and Lucy would continue to have sexual relations regardless, so they should go ahead and get married since God meant sex to be within marriage. Perhaps Bylin did not intend for such a weak message to be delivered about sexual purity, but it came across as such. What a shame! I had hoped that the message would eventually become very clear that sex is a beautiful gift from God to be experienced in marriage only and that there is great joy in waiting, but instead I felt that Bylin’s characters unfortunately caved to the culture on this one. Disappointed to say the least.
This review contains my own thoughts and opinions. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.
Victoria Bylin writes contemporary and historical romances acclaimed for their true-to-life characters and stories. Her work has finaled in contests such as the Carol Awards, the RITAs, Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards, and the 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.
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