Sunday, 12 April 2015
Together With You - Victoria Bylin
Tremaine's five year old daughter Penny, runs off while they, along with her two older brothers, are out shopping. Finding refuse with stuffed animals in Carly's store, the young assistant manager immediately recognizes that something is wrong with the little girl. She's far too trusting of strangers.
It turns out that Penny has FASD - fetal alcohol spectrum disorder - a disorder that unfortunately, as an ex-social worker, Carly is all to familiar with. It's also a condition that Ryan takes full responsibility for, after all it wasn't just Penny's mother that was drinking.
On his forth nanny, Tremaine needs help to look after a 15 going on 16 year old boy, a sullen 13 year old (both from a previous marriage) and of course Penny (the outcome of an affair). He boldly requests Carly to interview for the position.
Quashing past regrets, Carly seeks the advice of her preacher father who bluntly tells her she has stopped fighting. But the guilt the pretty young woman carries for becoming attached to a teenager suffering with FASD, echoes in her memories. And then there is that annoying aspect that she finds Ryan Tremaine attractive.
Tremaine is desperate for Carly to accept the job. It's not often he meets someone who can understands Penny's needs, emotional state and outbursts. Can he convince her to help him not only with his daughter but also how to reconnect with his sons? Is it too much to ask of a nannie? And let's not mention that he is attracted to her. He doesn't need the complication.
Neither want the complication of love. Yet, when she finally accepts the position, can Carly bring together a dysfunctional family? And as much as she's attracted to the respected doctor, he's agnostic. Can Carly find happiness with a man with no faith in her God? Will Ryan be able to find inner peace with his past and God.
Bylin's romance is filled with anxiety, hope, faith and yes love. As the blurb states, its reminiscent of 'The Sound of Music', Carly enters a home where there is chaos and tries to bring some sort of order. Breaking down the tough exterior of Ryan is possibly harder than being able to communicate effectively with Penny. But Carly knows there's a softer, gentler side to the stoic doctor.
With an important message in the story about the damaging effects drinking alcohol can have on a fetus, the author has carefully dealt with a sensitive subject matter. Whilst she doesn't delve into the nitty gritty of such a condition, the temperament and the occasional viewpoint of Penny adds a meaningful insight.
The ease of which this story flows makes it a quick and compelling read. Bylin's characters are real and all the emotions met throughout are just as real. Heartwarming, sad, funny and spiritual it's a highly recommended read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of the Bethany House blogging program. The opinions expressed are my own and I am not expected to give a positive critique.