A Gift to Cherish (2020)

About the Book

Book: A Gift to Cherish

SeriesRoad to Refuge #2

Author: Victoria Bylin

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction

Release Date: March 3, 2020

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.”

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My Thoughts

I struggled to read this book. It made me angry. To be fair, I’ve been angry for a while, but this story fanned the flames of my anger. Before I explain why this story made me angry, I want to be clear — A Gift to Cherish is an excellent Christian Contemporary Romance. I will always love a good, clean Romance that’s replete with substance. I hate fluffy books. This is no fluffy read. I found the plot thoroughly engaging. I enjoyed how Daisy and Rafe’s contemporary love story is interwoven with Miss Joan’s past. I found the juxtaposition of the two love stories compelling and it definitely kept me turning pages well past my bedtime. The characters are well-written. They are some of the most life-like characters I’ve read in a long time. I like how the contemporary characters and Miss Joan fit their time periods, but never feel type-casted. Daisy and Rafe are good, well-meaning characters who want the best for each other, but are Millenials in every sense of that word. They annoyed me at times, but overall, I found them to be super endearing, and I did cheer for their happily ever after. Miss Joan is without a doubt a product of the 1970s feminist movement, but she is also a bit old-world genteel. There is grace and wisdom and nostalgia that surrounds her character. Simply put, she’s lovely and she’s my favorite character in this story. And, if this is not enough to make you want to read this book, I also found the many themes and topics discussed to be thought-provoking and weighty. A Gift to Cherish is definitely a book that will stick with readers long after the final page has been read.

As a woman, I feel betrayed by my own kind. To be specific, I feel betrayed by my mother’s generation. A woman is many things for sure, and a woman should have the right to figure out what those many things are just like any man, but the women of my mother’s generation single-handedly laid the foundation that brought about destruction. I know — harsh words, right? In my opinion, nothing has been more dangerous to the family unit and to women than the Feminism that sprang from the 1970s. I want to be clear — women have the right to be free, independent thinkers and doers. NO ONE has the right to tell a woman what she can and cannot do. However, when women fought to become “equal” to men, they destroyed everything. Men and women are not equal. They never have been and they never will be. Men and women are different and that is OK, that is good. In fact, that is how God wants it to be. Men are capable of doing things women can’t and women absolutely do things men will never be able to. There is power in our differences. But women screamed — “I want the right to kill, I want the right to have equal pay, I want the right to never have a family, I want the right to have sex when I want and how I want it, I want what HE has and I want it now!” All this did was create very dark and very dangerous consequences. It was a Pandora’s Box of evil, and as a woman today I don’t know how to put the evil back in the box. I don’t know how to protect my daughter from the ugly, sinister consequences of her grandmother’s generation. The power they screamed for has come with a truly terrible cost. I am angry because the people who should have been looking out for the future of women didn’t. The Nurturers of my kind turned on us for selfish pleasure and gain. They were like King Hezekiah from the Bible — when he was told that bad was going to come upon his grandchildren, he didn’t care. In fact, he felt relieved because he was going to get the benefits and be spared from the evil consequences of HIS dumb actions (2 Kings 20:16-19). A Gift to Cherish made me angry, but I LOVE that Miss Joan wrestles with everything I am angry about. She recognizes how damaging her fight for “equality” was to future generations and to her own self. Because of her feminism, her fight for her SELF, she is the last in her family. There will never be another Prescott from her family line ever again. How sad is that? I wish people would stop and think more about others and less about themselves. We’d live in a much better world for sure if people did.

A Gift to Cherish is a good book. It’s a book that will get readers to wrestle with a lot of tough topics. It’s a book that gets readers to think. I love that, and because of that, I think this book is an absolute must-read.

I borrowed a copy of this novel in eBook form from my Kindle Unlimited subscription on March 8, 2020, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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