Becky Wade. Falling for You: A Bradford Sisters Romance. Bethany House, 2018. See here to purchase the book.
Falling for You is the second book of the “Bradford Sisters Romance.” There are three Bradford sisters. The first is Nora, who was the subject of the first book of the series, True to You. The second is Willow, who is the subject of Falling for You, the second book of the series. Amazon says that these are the only two books of the series, but I wonder if a third book will be written about the half-sister, Britt, since aspects of her romantic life were left unresolved in Falling for You.
Willow was a famous model, but she is now living a quiet life in her hometown, tending the family bed-and-breakfast. She is dealing with issues. First, there was the break-up with her boyfriend, Corbin, who had been an NFL quarterback. Second, her mother left her family when Willow was young. Third, Willow is a Christian who tries to be perfect and feels guilt over a mistake that she made.
Corbin Stewart is a happy-go-lucky fellow, though he was devastated after breaking up with Willow. He has become a Christian since then. He takes care of his father, Joe, a crusty man with manic depression. Corbin has a teenage niece, fun-loving Charlotte. Charlotte is wondering something. Decades before, Charlotte’s great aunt, Josephine, went missing. Charlotte wonders where she went, since that has left a hole in the life of her grandmother, Josephine’s sister. Charlotte admires Willow, who has publicly promoted a charity that helps kids, and she would like to ask Willow to help her find Josephine. Willow takes a liking to Charlotte but is initially reluctant to help her because she does not want to get involved again with Corbin, due to their bad break-up. At the urging of her two sisters, Willow agrees to help.
There are two mysteries that the author strings out. The first mystery is why exactly Corbin and Willow broke up. We learn the details of that in the first half of the book. Another mystery is what happened to Josephine. That gets answered much later. The sense of mystery in the book made it a page-turner.
The characters are likeable. Willow is famous, yet humble and level-headed. Corbin is a good man; he can be corny, but he had some funny lines. He sincerely loves Willow and seeks to protect her when she is in danger. Willow’s grandmother is a cranky Christian, complaining about the world. Corbin’s father Joe is crusty. Corbin tries to persuade Joe to become a Christian, with little success through much of the book, until Joe finally becomes a Christian for his own crusty reasons.
There were notable scenes that I enjoyed. Corbin’s reflections about how his Dad lovingly put him over his shoulder when he was a kid and called him a sack of potatoes was one. The time when Willow’s sisters encouraged Willow to help find Josephine was another. Corbin’s internal annoyance at Willow’s family at a party was rather humorous. Widow thoughtfully reflects about the positives and negatives of modeling, wondering if God wants to embark her on a new path.
The book had quite a bit of reflection. That added to the book, giving it some depth. There is reflection about spiritual topics, psychological topics, and even characters; the kindly-appearing Senator with eyes of steel comes to mind in terms of the reflection on characters. The book strikes a decent balance among the reflections on healing, the intense moments, the romance, and the mysteries. It does not dwell on anything so much that it becomes boring, but it also does not present too many events going on, confusing the reader.
The author won a Christy Award for another book that she wrote. That is not surprising. She is able to craft a book that has charming characters, yet characters who have problems. I am interested in reading more of Becky Wade’s books in the future.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My review is honest.