Who I Am With You – Robin Lee Hatcher – Thomas Nelson – Published 11 December 2018
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 wronged them, they must decide if the past will define them or if they will choose to love again.
Who I Am With You is a charming and touching story of forgiveness and recovering from great loss. It’s about love and family and commitment and finding a beautiful connection with someone. Thoroughly enjoyable, it’s guaranteed to bring a tender smile to your face.
It has only been a few months since the tragic death of her daughter and husband, but Jessica’s family was falling apart long before that fateful car accident. Now a few months pregnant, Jessica has isolated herself from her friends, running her art and design business from home, until Ridley Chesterfield moves into the house next door. Ridley, too, had has his life shaken when his reputation was tarnished across national media. Ridley and Jessica find common ground and they start to develop a sweet friendship that helps them each rebuild faith in themselves, God and the people around them. But as their feelings grow, neither is sure if the timing is right for something more than friendship.
I really enjoyed this first book in a new series by Robin Lee Hatcher. What the synopsis doesn’t allude to is the dual stories included within this book. At the start of Jessica’s story she receives a bible handed down from her great-grandfather to her grandmother to her. Interspersed with Jessica’s story are sections from Jessica’s great-grandfather, Andrew Henning, as he faced the challenges of the Great Depression, starting a family, loss, and family breakdown and how he kept his faith through all trials. While Jessica doesn’t learn of these stories, his bible gives her the same strength and support to rebuild her faith and continue on through everything she has to face.
I loved Jessica and Ridley’s relationship. What starts as a simple acquaintance slowly grows into a beautiful friendship, and, through shared understanding, patience and a little attraction, something more. The peaceful setting and charming small town of Hope Springs is the perfect backdrop for their story of renewal.
I am eagerly awaiting the second book in The Legacy of Faith series, I Cross My Heart, which continues the Henning family story as they face the looming Second World War and a new contemporary story as Jessica’s cousin takes the lead role in what is sure to be another charming and beautifully crafted story of love and faith.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Genre: Christian contemporary.
Themes: Romance, family, pregnancy, marriage, adultery, relationships, faith, history, family legacy, politics.
Published: 11 December 2018 by Thomas Nelson.
Format: Paperback, ebook, audiobook. 320 pages.