True To You – Becky Wade – Bradford Sisters Romance #1 – Bethany House – Published 2 May 2017
After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.
Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he’s diagnosed with an inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.
The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John’s already dating someone and Nora’s not sure she’s ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they’re seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.
True To You was part light and whimsical romance and partly a story of serious adversity and hard-hitting secrets that force the characters to be honest with themselves and God as they search for answers and love.
Nora Bradford is a historian. A researcher. Someone who enjoys all things past. But her own past, particularly her romantic past, has left her slightly jaded, more than happy to remain safely single, and determined to rely on no one but herself for success. John Lawson knows what it’s like to test himself and push himself to the very limits. Being a Navy SEAL ensured that. But a medical diagnosis has rocked him and driven him to uncover his own past and the story of his adoption. Nora and John are brought together by the past and enticed by a chance for the future.
True To You was light and whimsical and fluffy. A delicious book to enjoy. It felt the littlest bit silly and wholly charming. And then, with a quarter of the book to go, a huge bombshell is landed. Wow!! I did not see that coming. Nor did the characters. But that’s exactly when this book digs its heels in and becomes so much more than a fluffy romance – nothing wrong with those, of course – but with that twist this book looks deeper at God and accepting God’s plans for one’s life even when there seems to be only hurt and pain ahead.
I really enjoyed True To You. I loved the way everything, from the romance to the family banter and secrets, is all handled. I was intrigued with the way the romance was developed and the choices the characters made. John is in a relationship when he meets Nora. Nora has been spurned by her fiancé for another woman so both she and John know that their relationship is purely professional and that of friends. And that’s the way they keep it. But neither can deny their chemistry or the brilliant joy that comes from spending time together – it just seeps from the pages. Both are human. Both are Christian. Both want desperately to do the right thing by all involved. That doesn’t prevent them from wanting, and I liked how that part of their relationship was not ignored. The characters are realistic and flawed, right down to their mistakes, selfishness, and judgements.
For readers who have already read the prequel novella, Then Came You, they will know a little about Nora’s history and the story she shares with John as he shares with her his story of sacrifice while in the navy and his search for his birth family.
True To You perfectly sets the scene for the next books in the Bradford Sisters Romance series. Both stories are poised and ready to go but I secretly hope that Britt’s story will be first. I think her best friend has suffered in silence long enough. But then there is a certain NFL player who aggravates a certain other Bradford sister, so either way will be fine with me.
One again, Becky Wade has crafted a story that is delicious to read, handles tough themes with grace and poise, and weaves God’s love and truth together with scintillating romance. I can’t wait to follow the Bradford Sister through the remainder of this series.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Genre: Christian contemporary.
Themes: Romance, family, genealogy, family history, heritage, military, dating and relationships, family secrets.
Advisory: Reference to sexual assault.
Published: 2 May 2017 by Bethany House.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 368 pages.