Love Lifted Me by Sara Evans

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Title: Love Lifted Me
Author: Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck
Series: Songbird Novel
Genre: Christian romance, contemporary fiction
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, 2012
Source: NetGalley

Jade's husband, Max, is back after a stint in rehab, recovering from his addiction to pain medication. Shortly before he went into rehab, Jade discovered that he had a secret son by his former fiance, Rice McLure. Jade has come to love Asa, but it seems that other people who have a claim to Asa want him back in their lives. To complicate matters, Max has been suspended from his law firm and offered a job as a football coach in Texas -- a job that he desperately wants to take. Jade and Max need to decide what they should do and how to overcome the challenges facing them.

I have to start this off by saying that I am usually not into Christian romance at all. I am a Christian, but usually the stories run together for me, and the religious element usually feels cheesy and contrived to me, preachy rather than natural and believable. I also had some skepticism due to the fact that the book was by Sara Evans. This was actually my motive in requesting the book because I was curious, but I think in general celeb-novels are pretty painful (not that I've ever read any, but from what I see around the blogosphere). However, I was pleasantly surprised on both counts with Love Lifted Me. It is actually the third book in a series. I was able to follow the story without problems despite the fact that it had books before it; however, I enjoyed it so much that I plan on going back and reading the other books.

First of all, I was impressed by the writing. Sara Evans wrote this with Rachel Hauck, a popular Christian romance writer who I haven't read before. I'm not sure how much each writer contributed, but I felt like the story was well put together. The writing was straightforward and plot-focused, but the details of the story really came alive for me as I read. I had a much more pleasant experience with the writing in this book than I do in many other "fluffy: books. I loved the vivid descriptions of the food, the clothing (Jade runs a vintage shop in the story, so the clothing is an important element), and the scenery. I loved the southern setting and the way the small town was described.

I also enjoyed the story itself. It was definitely dramatic, with issues and plot twists galore, but I liked them. And I liked the way faith was woven into the story. When Jade and Max had issues in their marriage, they prayed; when they were trying to figure out what they needed to do or how they would get through a problem, they prayed. Often this feels shoved in a story to me, but it felt very natural and believable here. I could relate to Jade and Max, not in the problems they faced, per se, but in the way they handled them.

Was the story a still a little cheesy? Of course. Were the events themselves always believable? Not always -- there was quite a bit of drama, and I at least hope I never have that much drama packed into just a few months of my life. But as a former nay-sayer of Christian romance, I have been amazed and surprised by this book. Does this mean I am going to seek out Christian romances? Probably not. I might read possibly one more this year. But I loved this experience in part for the light and interesting story and in part because it showed to me that once again, there is usually something for me to love in almost every genre.

3.75 stars

Warnings: drug use


  1. I agree with your comment on typical Christian fiction. I am usually hesitant as well, but I'm glad this one was good! One of my favs is Dee Henderson's O Malley series. If you can get past the fact that they all have fabulous professions and are all gorgeous (as per the covers), I find their struggles with Christianity much more realistic.

  2. @Lindsey -- Thanks for the recommendation!


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