Friday, June 5, 2015

Book Report & #Giveaway: Together With You, by Victoria Bylin


I'm always leery of Sophomore books from new authors. Especially, when I so thoroughly enjoyed their debut. Sort of like a sequel for a move--nothing ever quite surpasses that first. BUT! Victoria Bylin did herself proud!

Magnificant Sophomore Novel
I thoroughly enjoyed Together With You, her latest novel. A contemporary romance chalk full of far more than just romance. I always appreciated the other threads in romance novels, you know, the kind that really get you invested into the characters and even teach you something.

Victoria takes the reader not only into a romance between a caregiver and the children's father, but she also takes you deep into the heartbreak of the after-effects of extramarital affairs, the children scarred by the parental action, and the pain of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Her way of approaching these topics is sincere, authentic, and while she writes about some very gritty topics, the reader doesn't walk away feeling scarred. Instead, redemption and healing is an enormous part of this entertaining read.

Of course, it doesn't help the hero is stinkin' gorgeous. And I loved the contrast between a Southern girl meets a boy from LA. Because, those are naturally cohesive personalities and cultures - not. :)

The kids in the book are so realistic it killed me. I have to admit, I love the fact the little one with FAS wasn't super cute. I mean, she was in a way, but she wasn't written with the typical child colloquialisms that endear a natural mother heart. Instead, she was difficult, irascible, problem causing, and written in a way that you loved her, but she exhausted you because of the high maintenance of a child with Fetal Alchohol Syndrome. The older boys were well written too. Not super gentlemanly or stereotypical Christian boys. Instead, the impacts of a dysfunctional household were stark and realistic.

This is fiction, but it is also very poignant and relevant to today's family units. I loved how the author wove brokenness and dealing the hardness of life and consequences with peace, healing and ultimately love.

WAY TO GO, Victoria. Where's book #3?

Enter to win your copy....ummm...which I have, but my three-year-old decided to read, so there is a slight bend in a few pages ... :P ... what can I say? It's well-loved.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Jaime Wright -
Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader.Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)


- Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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"The Cowgirl's Lasso", Coming 2016, Barbour Publishing

16 comments:

  1. Hey Jaime! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on Together With You. I love to read books that give hope in the midst of trials. I look forward to reading this one.

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    1. I WANT TO HEAR FROM VICTORIA. I LOVE ERICA. I subscribe to both newsletters. ;)

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    2. You'll really enjoy it, Caryl!

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  2. Thanks for the review and giveaway, even if it's a little slightly used=)

    I want to hear from Victoria!
    I love Erica!

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    1. Thanks for understanding quick little fingers ;)

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  3. Oh my so many problems to overcome....but God can if they rely on Him :-) This sounds like a great book and I'd love a chance to find out how God works all this out. Thank you for the chance. Slightly used is still good in my book ;-)

    I subscribe to the newsletters already :-)
    I want to hear from Victoria!
    I love Erica!

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    1. I really hope you get a chance to read this!! It's SOOOOO good

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  4. I WANT TO HEAR FROM VICTORIA. I LOVE ERICA.
    What a fun review. Thank you for it.
    Deanne Patterson
    Cnnamongirl(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. THank you, Deanne! Love having you here!

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  5. Hi! Great review! I was surprised that you considered this her sophomore novel since she's written books for Harlequin's Love Inspired line. Purely out of curiosity, do those shorter length books not really qualify when considering an author's body of work?

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    1. You know what?? That was a poor assumption on my part. I assumed because it was her second book with Bethany House Publishers she was a debut author. I didn't realize she was published by Harlequin and YES they DEFINITELY count!!! Thanks for letting me :) I may need to check those out too! :) :)

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  6. Hello Everyone!
    First, a big thank you to Jaime for such a wonderful review. I'm one of those authors who reads reviews with the idea that I can learn something. It's nice to know the story is resonating with readers. Frankly, it's one of my favorites, mostly because Carly and Ryan are in such an impossible situation :)

    About my previous books . . . I started with the Harlequin Historical line in 2003. Those six books are mainstream and don't meet CBA standards, but they *do* have themes that reflect my Christian faith. When the Love Inspired Historical line opened up, Harlequin asked me to move over there. I wrote eight books for LIH and enjoyed it, but I couldn't stretch the way I wanted. It was time for a big change, so I decided to do a contemporary inspirational. That book turned into Until I Found You for Bethany House. Definitely a thrill!

    Good luck to everyone in the drawing :) And another big thank you to Coffee Cups & Camisoles for having a giveaway.

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    1. So cool, Vicki! I'm glad you clarified your Harlequin novels. SO cool!!! Thanks for being here :)

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  7. Love books filled with dysfunctional relationships - can't wait to read "Together With You"!! Thanks for the wonderful review, Jaime.

    I WANT TO HEAR FROM VICTORIA
    I LOVE ERICA
    JAIME'S COFFEE CHATS

    I am already signed up for all 3 newsletters.

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. BONNIE!!! I haven't seen you here for awhile! We missed you!!! <3

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    2. Thank you, missed you too!! Was out-of-state for 11 days and offline - for the most part. Took a while to physically recupe, now trying to get caught up online & with emails - I did respond to the posts for this week, last night!! Hugs!!

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