Thursday, October 17, 2013

Beloved - by Robin Lee Hatcher

Beloved is the third book in Robin Lee Hatcher's Where the Heart Lives series.  Dianna Brennan has been living in Idaho with her adoptive mother, waiting for her husband Tyson to be declared dead so that she may move on with her life and marry Brooke Calhoun.  However, on the evening of their engagement party, instead of being presented with a death certificate, Dianna is confronted with Tyson himself, not only alive, but desiring for Dianna to stand by his side as his wife during his campaign for Senator.  Can she pretend to be the happy, smiling wife required for a candidate's appearances?  Can she live in his home and continue to hate him?  Or will she be convinced that he's changed and allow her heart to be open to possibilities she'd thought gone forever?

When I requested this book, I didn't realize it was part of a series I'd read and reviewed before.  I read the first book Belonging, which focused on Dianna's sister, Felicia, and reviewed it here, but never read book 2, Betrayal, which follows the story of their brother, Hugh.  Even with not having the complete story to this point, this book read well as a standalone novel.  I just found myself wishing I knew what had happened to Dianna's siblings along the way.

Tyson Applegate had a lot of reasons to ask for forgiveness, and was determined to not only tell people he'd changed, but also to demonstrate that the change went deeper than appearances.  While he worked hard to show Dianna and his father his remorse, they were also forced to look within and examine their own hearts and motivations.  I enjoyed that, while all of the characters were flawed in their own way, the growth that occurred was neither quick nor easy.  Each character had to make their own decision whether they could actually change, or whether they would remain mired in the mistakes of their pasts.  As Diana remembered her adopted father asking her, "Do you want to be right...or would you rather be righteous?"

I enjoyed this book, and while I wish I had read book 2 as well, the characters and story in this book were enjoyable on their own.  I give this book 3.5 stars.

You can find Beloved HERE.
You can find the author's website HERE.

I received a copy of this book from Zondervan, in exchange for my honest review.

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