Title: A Gift to Cherish
Author: Victoria Bylin
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Christian Fiction
Synopsis: When Daisy Riley arrives in Refuge, Wyoming to live with her brother and his family, she intends to stay forever. A victim of violence in Los Angeles, Daisy craves stability, peace of mind, and safety. Her hope comes true when she lands a job as a personal assistant to Miss Joan Prescott, the owner of Cottonwood Acres, a historic ranch that once served as the set for a famous TV show. A retired college professor, Miss Joan has secrets and stories of her own, including a very unusual project that requires Daisy’s skills.
Rafe Donovan, a cop from Cincinnati, is haunted by a recurring nightmare about the death of his high school sweetheart and his failure to save her. Because of the nightmares, Rafe takes leave from the police department and seeks psychological help. He finds shelter in Refuge, where he pounds nails for his brother’s construction business. But he has no desire to stay in Wyoming and plans to return to Ohio as soon as possible.
When he finds Daisy Riley stranded late at night with a flat tire, Rafe is impressed by her courage. Daisy is equally impressed by him. Together they navigate the road to love—one complicated by the arrival of Daisy’s troubled best friend, online dating, and the impossible obstacle of 1,600 miles between her home and his.
AUTHOR NOTE: “This story contains mature subject matter. It’s about our current dating culture, including the risks of online dating. It also looks at the social mores of 1970s and how those values impact today’s women.”
Love the colors used in this cover! They really caught my eye. I do want to let you know that this book is the second book in a series. It can be read as a stand-alone though, as the characters from the previous book are just mentioned in passing.
I read Victoria Bylin’s first book back when it released and loved her edgy writing style. Victoria Bylin tells real-life stories and she does not shy away from the facts. The main characters in this book were easy to follow and get invested in. I loved their teasing (Flirting) back and forth, it was very sweet. Daisy shows remarkable strength in picking herself up after all that has happened to her and she keeps a very positive outlook on life. Plus, she is brave and ends up learning to trust God fully with the changes that life unexpectedly brings. Rafe is also a character of great strength, and someone I’d like to meet in person. Rafe has a good sense of humor and is honest with himself and others about his struggles. The optima of a tough cookie, Rafe may be tough on the outside but inside he is sweet.
The storyline kind of has a dual timeline in it, vague flashbacks to a different era that was quite interesting. The flashbacks I think, taught some valuable life lessons and were very enhancing to the overall story. Victoria Bylin worked in quite a few realities of life into this book, things like physical abuse, alcohol recovery, loneliness, and dealing with life when things do not go your way. Through it, all Victoria Bylin brought everything back how God is always there for us always no matter what situation we may find ourselves in. I truly appreciated how Victoria Bylin shared the gospel in this book.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars for the vivid portrayal of everyday life, the great characters, and the theme of God overcoming all. I recommend picking this book up!
*I volunteered to read this book in return for my honest feedback. The thoughts and opinions expressed within are my own.
About the Author
Known for her realistic, likable characters and vivid writing, Victoria Bylin writes both western and contemporary inspirational romance. Together With You, a story about family and forgiveness, won the FHL Readers Choice Award for Best Contemporary, and her historicals have finaled in the Carol Awards, Rita Awards, and RT Magazine’s Reviewers’ Choice Awards. Her most recent book, The Two Of Us, was a “Target Recommends” selection in August 2017. She and her husband currently live in Lexington, Kentucky and have two grown sons, two beautiful daughters-in-law, and three adorable grandchildren.