About the Book
For these two broken hearts, the first step toward love will be a huge leap of faith.
Jessica Mason isn’t looking for love when she meets Ridley Chesterfield. Instead she is still reeling from the tragic, unexpected loss of her husband and daughter—and awaiting the arrival of her unborn child. Harboring the secret of her husband’s betrayal, her pain is deeper than anyone knows.
Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and the barrage of false media headlines that have tarnished his good name. The last thing Ridley wants is a relationship—but when fate leads Ridley to form a friendship with his reclusive and pregnant neighbor, he wonders if this small-town hideout might be more of a long-term destination.
When Jessica begins to read her great-grandfather’s Bible, she finds a connection with a man she never knew. Somehow the verses he marked and the words he wrote in the margins open her heart to healing. And as Ridley and Jessica help each other forgive the people who have broken their hearts, they must decide if the past will define them or if they will choose to love again.
Who I Am with You weaves together a modern-day romance with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s story from the 1930s, reminding us that some truths can cross generations and that faith has the power to transform families forever.
Who I Am with You is the first book in Robin’s new A Legacy of Faith series.
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About the Author
Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 75 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Robin is an ACFW Carol Award winner and an eight-time finalist and has won two RITA Awards and been a finalist eleven times. Her numerous other awards include the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. She is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.
When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. A mother and grandmother, Robin and her husband make their home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.
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One of the coolest ideas in this novel is the notion of leaving a Bible legacy. I am a BIG annotator. My Bible is covered in highlights, notes, ideas, and random in-the-moment prayers. I believe with my whole heart that God wants a real relationship with me, so He meets me where I am through His Word. I meet Him back through my prayers and annotations. Opening my Bible to be present in the Lord is as close as I can get on this earth to Yeshua. For me, it’s a very real experience. But I have to admit that I have never considered what my Bible could do for my progeny. After I die, will anyone open my Bible and read through God’s Word and my notes? Will something I have penned in the margins help a future great-granddaughter or son? Could I be a seed planter even after my death? It’s a truly remarkable thought that my study and relationship with God today could reach into the future and spark change and/or encouragement. I very much enjoyed watching as Jessica comes to some really good understanding of God and life as she goes through her great-grandfather’s much loved, highly annotated Bible. This idea has definitely left me putting a little more thought and effort into my Bible study annotations and prayers.
In Who I Am with You Jessica and Ridley are a little more mature than the average Christian fiction hero and heroine as they are in their early-mid 30s. Both Jessica and Ridley have experienced a great deal of life at the start of this novel, and their faith has been tested. When something seriously bad happens to Jessica, she temporarily closes herself from God and her community. To me, Jessica’s reactions are completely realistic and understandable. After a reasonable amount of time, Jessica starts to open back up to both God and her friends. She is able to do this because she has a mature foundation in God. Jessica knows that to get back to herself she needs to get back to God. In Ridley’s case, his foundation is so strong in God to begin with that he never lashes out at God. He’s upset and distrustful of people, but he’s so mature in his faith that he knows who to be mad at. I appreciate this maturity from both Jessica and Ridley because it makes their actions and thought patterns seem so real; and, ultimately, I am able to buy into their friendship and romance. Instead of raging hormones, Jessica and Ridley’s romance is real and sweet, and it feels like it has a good chance of lasting a lifetime.
I love the discussion of forgiveness that weaves its way throughout Who I Am with You. Each main character in this novel is betrayed in a pretty horrific manner. As the injured party, I believe each character has the right to be severely hurt and angry, yet each character longs for forgiveness. While each character deals with forgiveness in his/her own way and time, they all do forgive. What I love the most is how they each came to a place of forgiveness. No human is strong enough to forgive on his/her own. We need God to help us get to the place of real forgiveness. Each character eventually brings his/her desire to forgive to God. They talk to Him about how hard it is to forgive, they discuss their hurt, pain, and inability to trust. They admit they want to forgive, but aren’t sure how to do it. By going to God, each character finds success in being able to forgive, and they are healed of their hurts and disillusionments. I found the illustrations of each character taking his/her issues to God a great reminder of how I need to act every time I find myself in a hurting place.
Who I Am with You is a great read. I found the writing to be fast-paced, the plot to be thoroughly engaging, and the characters to be realistic and endearing. I am going to miss my time with Jessica and Ridley. If you are looking for a really good, heartwarming contemporary romance with thought-provoking themes then I highly recommend Who I Am with You.
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via Audra Jennings at I Read With Audra and through NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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