Last week I was just tooling through my neighborhood Meijer's store (kind of like a Super Walmart here in the Midwest) when I decided to take a look at their book section. Imagine my surprise and delight to find some familiar Christian books in the romance novel section. Yes, the whole line of Love Inspired novels for October were there, including Soldier Daddy, the latest in Cheryl Wyatt's series about USAF pararescue jumpers and their families. Since I wanted this book, I bought it and set out to read it almost immediately. It did not disappoint.
This story centers on Aaron Petrowski, the fearless and capable commander of the PJ's (pararescue jumpers) stationed in Refuge, Illinois. Since the tragic death of his beloved wife, Donna, Aaron has been struggling to be a good father to his rambunctious twin boys and at the same time lead his team as he should. The only answer seems to be hiring a perfect nanny for the three-year-old dynamic duo. Since Mary Poppins isn't available, Aaron prayerfully searches for just the right person to take on the task.
Enter the eager and vivacious Sarah Graham, a surprisingly young and pretty lady who immediately bonds with the twins. Sarah seems to have everything Aaron is looking for, and after much prayer, he decides that she was God-sent. Even her Christian values are in line with Aaron's, and he knows she intends to help instill those values in Bryce and Braden. Yet, while Aaron believes Sarah is the right one to care for his boys, he has an uncomfortable feeling that she's hiding something. The more he is in contact with her, though, the more he struggles to keep everything at an employer-employee level.
As for Sarah, she is certain that God wants her to help this particular family. She is in constant fear, however, that her past will catch up with her. Whatever secret shame she is hiding, she is always in penance mode, unable to forgive herself or walk in freedom from the punishment she feels she deserves. Hopelessly in love with her two little charges, almost from the beginning, Sarah also finds herself extremely attracted to her boss.
Like all of Cheryl Wyatt's other books in the Wings of Refuge series, this is a very heartwarming and beautiful story. The characters are, for the most part, very endearing and real. At times there are humorous incidents and banter that seem quite realistic. Without being heavy-handed, Cheryl works in many Christian values and spiritual truths that add precious depth to the story. In all of it's Christian morals and values, though, there are serious issues the characters must deal with. It isn't all pie-in-the-sky, but the author makes a point of demonstrating how Jesus deals with hard questions and how Christians should react as well.
In a note at the end of the story, Cheryl writes:
"This story speaks of loss and hope. Loss touches each of us in this life. There's no escaping it. If you have not gone through something hard in your life, eventually you will. But likewise, hope does not disappoint. We have the God of all hope who loves us and is intimate with our pain. He also knows our dreams and hopes. I pray that hope touches your life and heart profoundly, even in the face of any loss or heartache you face. May you always seek Refuge in the haven of His wings."
As I understand it, this book and other Love Inspired titles for October will only be on most shelves until the end if the month, but you will still be able to buy it at Christianbook.com, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.com. Right now you can pick it up at many stores, not just the Christian bookstores. I saw the Love Inspired line at Walmart as well as Meijer's. The suggested retail price is only $5.50 U.S., but I bought it for a dollar less at Meijer's. I think this cozy romance is well worth the price.
Cheryl Wyatt has a website at Cherylwyatt.comShe also keeps a blog at Squirrel's Treehouse. I hope you will visit these sites and come to know more if the heart of this genuinely sweet and talented author. She's the real deal.