My Hope Next Door – Tammy L. Gray – Waterfall Press – Published 13 September 2016
Former bad girl Katie Stone can feel the weight of her reputation settle over her as she drives home for the first time in years. Feeling deeply guilty about her past mistakes, Katie wants to do the right thing for once. But the small town where she grew up is not nearly as forgiving as she’d hoped. Despite it all, she’s determined to help her parents cope with her mother’s recent illness, and Katie finds a surprise ally in the man next door.
Asher Powell never minded being the son of a small-town pastor until a recent breakup leaves him wounded by lifelong members of his church. He remembers his new neighbor as a mean-spirited high school troublemaker, but he senses that her newfound faith and desire for forgiveness are sincere.
Through an unexpected friendship, two people from different worlds find peace, hope, and a second chance they never dreamed was possible.
My Hope Next Door is a sweet and heartfelt story of second chances, regrets, guilt, mistakes, finding peace and starting again.
Katie never thought she would come home. She left town four years ago after making some of the biggest mistakes of her life. But a new-found faith and her mother’s declining health give her a chance to face her mistakes and maybe find some peace to start over. But she never expected how her next-door neighbour, the paster’s son now all grown up, could make her want to look more deeply at her life, fall in love and maybe even stay.
Katie is a flawed and realistic character. Headstrong, fiery, beautiful, stubborn and deeply troubled by her past. I loved how realistic this book is, especially on the topic of mistakes and the guild one feels. Katie has a big reputation in town, and certainly not a good one, so returning home is hard. I felt her guilt, anger, fear and sorrow pour through the pages. I also thought the way that her pathway to peace and understanding forgiveness was realistic and never rushed.
Asher, the boy next door, is also a wonderful realistic and relatable character. He has lived a very different childhood from Katie. He grew up in a loving, Christian home, but in the last year has felt the sting of disappointment in himself and those he loved. He too wrestles with guilt and anger, and is the perfect sounding board for Katie.
I enjoyed the chemistry between Katie and Asher, loved how they value honesty and never brush over their passion. But most of all, I loved their friendship. Their journey starts off tentatively, as they start to confide and lean on one another. It makes for a beautiful relationship and perfectly compliments this story of second chances, forgiveness and love.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Christian contemporary.
Themes: Second chances, guilt, family, romance, home towns, forgiveness, faith, church, past relationships.
Advisory: Sexual references. References to drug and alcohol use and addiction.
Published: 13 September 2016 by Waterfall Press.
Format: Paperback, ebook, audiobook.