Monday, March 13, 2017

"Restoring Love" by Jennifer Slattery

If you like to read books about people who seem like they could be your neighbors, the Restoring Love is the book for you!

Restoring Love, a contemporary novel, offers readers a beautiful picture of God's restoring love. Mitch, a restoration-contractor, and Angela, a wacky neighborhood transplant, find they are both compassionately drawn to helping an abandoned young neighborhood mom. But will their regrets hold them back or unite them and bring redemption?

Author Jennifer Slattery has a knack for writing about characters and situations in a way that makes them feel real. It's a "warts and all" look at life, and, while Christ's redemptive power is fully on display, characters still face consequences for their actions, and everything isn't tied up into a neat bow at the end of the novel ... just like real life!

Restoring Love is the story of three people: new believer Angela, a middle-aged woman trying to make a new start in a new city after years of living solely for herself; contractor Mitch, a divorced man trying to follow Christ while dealing with his drug-addicted adult son, his bitter ex-wife, and his increasingly hostile business partner; and poverty-stricken Bianca, desperate to make ends meet while balancing her responsibilities to her three children, her demanding job, and her not-afraid-to-do-something-illegal-for-a-quick-buck husband. Their stories intertwine when Angela moves into Bianca's Omaha neighborhood, where Mitch (Bianca's landlord) is renovating a house. Mitch and Angela both feel God calling them to help Bianca; as they get to know each other, they realize God's plans for them may include more than helping Bianca...they may include each other.

Restoring Love is an easy read with a compelling plot. While the question of whether Mitch and Angela would end up together was never in question, the plot did take many turns I didn't anticipate as all three characters faced their problems and found themselves on different paths than anticipated. I also appreciated that the characters were older—Bianca had to be around 30, and Mitch and Angela were much older than that. It's nice to read about characters that have a little life behind them. Mitch and Angela's romance was pleasant enough, if not toe-curling, and I definitely bought them as a couple.

While Restoring Love isn't an "unputdownable" book, it is enjoyable. And as a Nebraska girl, I definitely loved the inclusion of places I recognized!  4 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Slattery's  Intertwined (3 stars), When Dawn Breaks (4 stars), and Breaking Free (4 stars).

Jennifer Slattery writes missional romance novels for New Hope Publishers. Her debut, Beyond I Do, released in August 2014. She also writes Christian Living articles for and devotions for her personal blog, JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud; Internet Cafe Devotions; and Takin' it to the Streets', a ministry serving Omaha Metro's working poor and homeless.

When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, hanging out at the mall with her teenage daughter, enjoying her real-life hero husband, or serving in her church or community.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review 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."

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