Review by: Lisa Lickel
For a girl who powers heedlessly through life, striving after things of this world, blaming God for bad things that happened, scarred by parental bitterness and determined not to date or have a relationship like her parents’, Nicole Turner has more than a chip on her shoulder. It takes the love of Christ and a former nemesis secretly attracted to her since high school to help her understand there is more than frantic busy-ness to life.
Orphaned “Niki” Turner goes to live with her older brother Jack on an Air Force base in Germany where she develops a close friendship with Marcy Jacobs, who unfortunately has an older brother who makes life incredibly miserable for Niki during high school. Niki and Marcy attend college together back in the states and become housemates afterward. After Jack’s battlefront death, Niki turns inward and throws everything she is into her computer programming career and refuses to have anything to do with church or dating, despite Marcy’s best attempts.
The story switches to Kyle Jacobs, Marcy’s brother, now home and discharged after a terrible helicopter accident in which he, the pilot, was the only survivor. He’s recovering not only from the physical wounds, but spiritual and emotional pain, as well as the very real consequences of a former wild lifestyle.
Marcy invites her church guy pals over, along with Kyle. As the group becomes better acquainted, Niki begins to have questions about their life of faith and inner peace. Kyle and Niki meet when Niki lands her dream job. As Niki’s pride wears away, she realizes the great hole in her heart can only be healed by faith in the only One who will never desert her or let her down. But Kyle’s secret nearly destroys Niki’s newfound joy.
Baney’s beautifully fluid story and characterization have stayed with me long after I finished the story, which I read nearly nonstop. The incredible details of the programmer life, Niki’s very real pain, determination to stand up for herself, and tender psyche touched my heart. Kyle was a little too good until we understand where he came from, and then I rejoiced in his determination to keep the faith, do the right thing and stand like a man. Readers who appreciate highs and lows and all the twists and turns of contemporary full-length romance will find much to enjoy about this great-paced, well-written love story.