~~~~ Reviews from my jumbled perspective. ~~~~
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**I apologize for the poor grammar in the earlier book reviews.
Magnolia “Maggie” Marovich had much taken from her when the unladylike Katrina passed through their Mississippi town. Since then, maybe it was Maggie who took more from herself when she moved further inland. Leaving behind her family, her love, and perhaps even some of her faith.
Josh Bergeron loved being a bar pilot. Guiding ships to safety. Saving lives. Knowing he had to stay safe because another life depended on him. After Katrina, he had chosen this life over love. The past was behind him and he had moved forward. Staying in the place he loved even after it had been so destroyed.
When Maggie's sister has a freak accident...Maggie has to make a choice. Will she go back to the Coast and help her family—or will the storm that is brewing keep her away? She knows she only has one choice. To face her fears and return...even if she's driving into the eye of a storm that could take more from her.
Sarah Beth LeClair has a problem. She lives in Oxford, Mississippi and can't leave. She is held a prisoner there by her own fears. She has returned to her Christian faith and struggles with the question of why faith isn't enough to help her break through her fear.
Coach Jess McCoy is intrigued by Sarah from the first time he runs into her at the college they both work at. She's a bit quirky...but something about her draws him. Unfortunately, he may be drawn, but she seems to push away.
There are secondary stories going on as well. Jess's friends in Oxford and Sarah's friends back in LA. As God works in Sarah's life, He is also working through her. I really enjoyed this story and I'm looking forward to more from this author. I loved the real issues the characters face in their lives. This is a sweet inspirational story. Book two is Going Up South.
Cassie Brooks lives a fairly quiet life in Oxford, Mississippi with her teenage son. The past two years had been rough after the embarrassment her ex-husband put her through, but she survived. When she sees her friends could use her help, she puts on her lawyer hat and offers to help.
Dylan Conner is angry. He has a son that he wasn't told about. A son who has another's man's name and is being raised by that man. He never wanted a family—or so he thought. One time holding that tiny bundle of baby boy changes everything.
This group of friends from the small town are doing their best to live Christ-like lives. And being humans—they trip and fall often. Nothing like a mission trip to a third world country to show this group how minor their issues are. I really enjoyed both of the stories in this series so far. Book one is called Leaving Oxford. The third book is Cole and Audrey's story; Tackling the Fields.
Cole Sanders' life changed after a mission trip. It took that trip for him to see he needed God in his life. And it opened his eyes to the girl who had been tutoring him for a few years. Up until then, Cole had lived life as he wanted—mostly in worldly ways. Once back in Oxford, he found his newfound faith and his old life would take some adjustments.
Audrey Vaughn was used to being in the background. Invisible. Three years ago her life changed and she battled the past every day. And now she was dating the star quarterback. How could someone like Cole really like someone as plain as she was? And for how long would he want to be around her?
I just love this series. Real life situations are written into these fiction characters. Real life struggles that even Christians face. Being saved does not mean life gets easier, sometimes it's harder. I really loved watching Cole's life change—even as his world as he knew it was changing.
Sam Conrad has had enough. He gave up his dreams long ago when his ex-fiance and father had convinced him how he had to live his life. Working for his dad—always under his thumb. No more. The final stick has broken the camel's back. Sam is leaving town and starting over.
Elinor Elizabeth Bosarge seems to attract disaster. She hates snakes—and the experiences to be hateful of them. She chooses bad men to date which equals very bad first dates. And her allergies and asthma add to her troubles. And now—now her dad has taken on another mentee. Yes...they are disasters for her too!
I loved this story. I've enjoyed the entire series but this book has laugh-out-loud humor and yet, keep the tissues handy as it draws tears, too. Both characters have backgrounds that makes it hard to trust new relationships. The reader can first meet Sam in the first book; Leaving Oxford. Cassie's story, Elinor's sister, is book two; Going Up South.