Before I Called You Mine – Nicole Deese – Bethany House Publishers – Published 31 March 2020




Lauren Bailey may be a romantic at heart, but after a decade of matchmaking schemes gone wrong, there’s only one match she’s committed to now–the one that will make her a mother. Lauren is a dedicated first grade teacher in Idaho, and her love for children has led her to the path of international adoption. To satisfy her adoption agency’s requirements, she gladly agreed to remain single for the foreseeable future; however, just as her long wait comes to an end, Lauren is blindsided by a complication she never saw coming: Joshua Avery.

Joshua may be a substitute teacher by day, but Lauren finds his passion for creating educational technology as fascinating as his antics in the classroom. Though she does her best to downplay the undeniable connection between them, his relentless pursuit of her heart puts her commitment to stay unattached to the test and causes her once-firm conviction to waver.

With an impossible decision looming, Lauren might very well find herself choosing between the two deepest desires of her heart . . . even if saying yes to one means letting go of the other.

My thoughts

What a heartwarming story about international adoption and God’s timing. Before I Called You Mine will delight and entrance Christian romance readers. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable book that is at times uplifting as it is bittersweet.

Lauren longs to be a mother. She has been waiting for her international adoption application to go through for over a year. She has closed the door on dating and marriage, knowing she must remain single for her adoption options to be finalised. But just when a possible adoption match finally appears, she meets Joshua – a substitute teacher at her school, a tech whiz and son of the man who started her teaching career. He is funny, kind and she can’t help but be drawn to him. But if she follows her heart with Joshua, she will loose her chance to adopt a child who needs her.

This book it utterly beautiful. It is bittersweet. Just when one of Lauren’s greatest desires seems set to come true the other is taken from her. There is no right answer and we readers are easily drawn into Lauren’s dilemma.

Joshua is the perfect guy for this role. He is perfect for Lauren – funny, kids around, good with children, and really sweet. He is there for her, even when she has to be honest about their lack of a future. And he continues to show up for her. There are magical Christmas scenes, sweet not-dates, and family dinners.

This book will have you crying, as well as laughing. And maybe even wiping away happy tears. And for those wondering, there is a happy ending. It’s hard won, but very happy none the less.

My only complaint: the school librarian cameo. Seriously!?!?! We school librarians are stereotyped and abused in pop culture, are ignored and removed by governments and principals. As an author, please, I beg of you, please make any school librarian characters reflect the more accurate and wonderful role they play in school libraries, the colourful and fun joy they bring to the school library rather than casting them as outdated and bad at their job!!! That put me off the first part of the story. Once I got over my ire and sunk into the story, I really enjoyed the book, the characters and the heart this book has.

Before I Called You Mine is a delightful, heartwarming story about the power of your calling, the importance of family and accepting God’s timing.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

More information

Category: Adult fiction

Genre: Christian – contemporary.

Themes: Romance, family, adoption, teachers, school.

Published: 31 March 2020 by Bethany House Publishers

Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 368 pages.

ISBN: 9780764235580

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