~ About the Book ~
Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she’s pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. As Brooklyn wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake, she can’t bring herself to tell him the truth. To make matters worse, if the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake’s coffee shop has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both. Can Jake and Brooklyn overcome the obstacles thrown in their path, and finally find the truth in God’s love and in each other?
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release date: 9 March 2018
Publisher: White Rose Publishing
~ Excerpt ~
How could she admit she took a gamble and lost so much?
Brooklyn ran her fingers over her scarf. During her sleepless hours last night, she’d read online that fifty percent of the women in her situation lost their primary relationship. Maybe she could keep them from the wrong side of the statistic. “You know it was on the trip, in New Wilshire.”
He rubbed his hand over his mouth as his jaw flexed.
“It’s not that I didn’t want to tell you sooner.” As if the delay were the problem. “I can’t even tell you what the guilt has been like. You have to know this isn’t what I had planned.”
He sighed as if he was too tired to put up a fight.
“Yeah? What did you have planned?”
She dropped her gaze. “Even I’ve had a hard time thinking of myself the same way since. Everything’s different, but I liked the way things were. I liked the way they were headed.”
“What are you saying, Brooklyn?”
Hadn’t she been clear? This was torture. Maybe he meant it to be. “I’m saying I’m sorry. I know why you broke up with Sarah.”
“That was months ago. Sarah and I are done because we want different things. She’s moving out of state, and I’m not leaving.”
As if she couldn’t recognize that for a lie, but she couldn’t blame him for the dishonesty after she’d lied about being fine for so long. “Would it be any better if I told you it wasn’t Caleb?”
“I think I deserve the truth.”
Watching him date Sarah had been a struggle. How much harder was it for him to think she and Caleb had been intimate? “You mentioned him yesterday, and I didn’t set that straight, but I couldn’t let you go on thinking it. Caleb’s not the father.” She scooted to the end of the booth to escape before he asked the obvious questions.
The skin under his eyes shivered with tension. Whatever happened in the coming months, he would want nothing to do with her. They’d landed on the wrong side of fifty percent.
“I don’t know what I was hoping that would change, but I thought you should know.”
“Someone else.” She braved one last look. He was too angry to risk the whole story, but this, he had to believe. “It’s not Caleb. And I’m sorry.”
A customer pounded up the stairs.
Jake looked that way.
She took the opportunity to get out before the whole thing came tumbling down.
~ Review ~
Emily Conrad has chosen an emotionally charged premise for her debut novel, and it’s one that cannot help but engage the reader—all the more so for the way in which she handles it. Pregnancy is life-changing no matter how or when it occurs, but Brooklyn’s circumstances take life-changing to a whole new level. Add a bitter and competitive business owner into the picture and you have a situation ripe for character growth and meeting some of the big challenges to living out your Christian faith head-on.
One of the things I appreciated about this story was that it didn’t just focus on Jake and Brooklyn but took in the wider impact on their church and community. This was partly a result of action taken by the aforementioned bitter business owner, but appearances and rumours don’t have to be true to cause damage, particularly when you work with impressionable teenagers.
The other thing that struck me was the maturity of these characters, Brooklyn in particular. They’re dealing with some pretty intense emotions—and misunderstandings—and as we all know, emotions can cloud logic; can even override head knowledge or blind us from seeing things clearly. There’s a lot for them to work through, but the underlying maturity of Jake and Brooklyn made it a rewarding journey for me as a reader and as a Christian, rather than a soap-opera type melodrama.
To top it all off, there is a beautiful love story here, and I use that term advisedly as this story goes deeper than mere romance in way that was thoroughly authentic for these characters.
This is a strong debut from Emily Conrad, and I look forward to more to come.
I received a copy of this novel from the author. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
~ About the Author ~
Emily Conrad writes Christian fiction. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two 60+ pound rescue dogs. Some of her favorite things (other than Jesus and writing, of course) are coffee, walks, and road trips to the mountains. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she is an ACFW First Impressions winner (2015) and finalist (2014) and an ACFW Genesis semi-finalist (2012, 2015).