Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: "Family By Design" by Heather Justesen

I'll start off with my disclaimer: I did receive a "free copy" of this book in exchange for my honest review. Really, it was a pdf of a previous version, so if Heather was trying to bribe me for a favorable review, she'd have to try a little harder. But she didn't need to bribe me, because her writing is good enough to stand alone.

First things first, I must admit, I love this cover. I love the colors and the feeling of home. I think I'd buy this one in paperback, just to have the pretty color (or maybe I need to buy a color eReader).

Here's the back cover blurb:
Before he could think better of it, he blurted out, “I understand your concerns. I’m going to speak to my commander about getting an early discharge. My girlfriend, Rena, and I have talked about getting married. There just hasn’t been any rush.”
As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he wondered what he was thinking. Yes, they had discussed marriage, but not to each other! He and Rena had never even dated.
Tucker’s on his way to the biggest challenge of his life. Rena already has it all—except a family of her own. But neither one expected their friendship would take such a dramatic turn.
When Tucker becomes the guardian of his newly orphaned niece and nephew, he knows he can’t handle them alone, not when he might be shipped out with the Marines at any moment. Desperate, he turns to Rena for a major favor. His marriage proposal would give her everything she wants, but can she learn to live without the romance she’s always dreamed of?
As time, prayer, and a life-changing kiss work a little magic in her heart, Rena wonders if someone up there has a plan for her that’s better than anything she could’ve come up with on her own. And though it seems crazy at first, this could become her chance for a marriage that will last for eternity.
My thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, in fact, because I wasn't reading anything else at the same time (which is unusual), I tried reading slower so it would last--but it didn't work. I had to finish it. However, there is a companion novella that allowed me to continue reading about the characters I'd made a connection with.
Family By Design had an interesting premise which lead to a logical conclusion. It was filled with funny kid stories, real feelings, and lovable characters. Part of me had wanted things to play out a little bit differently, but the turns Heather took it through made the book work. In addition, though I have no family experience with the military, I enjoyed that aspect of Tucker's character and the patriotic sentiments. I am grateful there are people in this country who are willing to sacrifice the way Tucker and Rena do in this book. It almost makes me want to wish this little family well, but they are, after all, fictional.

Also, as a special promotion for anyone who buys a book before January 31, you can get a free ebook for her companion novella, “Shear Luck.” Once you buy a copy of her book go here to get your free copy. I read the novella before I read Family By Design and enjoyed it just as much, so this is a fabulous deal!

As if that weren’t enough, Heather’s holding a host of giveaways on her blog throughout the next few weeks, see the rules at the bottom of this post to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway