Published by Orange Grove Press
Publication Date September 9, 2021
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Written for: Adults
Social worker Alli Johnson has built her identity around helping foster kids navigate the system she grew up in. But when one of her clients is placed at a religious group home, she’s forced to face the trauma that robbed her of her sense of self. And a too-hot pastor who sees through her mask.
Delivered from years of pent-up rage, youth pastor David Porter wants to help others find the sense of peace God’s given him—especially the hurting seven-year-old and his spirited social worker. But he’s out of his depth with one, and dangerously attracted to the other.
As Alli and David’s mutual concern for the boy’s well-being draws them together, their differences—in background, perspective, and faith—tear them apart. They’ve both been shaped by terrible pasts. When pain has eaten away at a soul, is there hope for healing the emptiness left behind?
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Deep. Tender. Thought-provoking. Emotional. I will remember this brilliant story for a long time. I found myself holding back tears in parts, smiling at others as I binge read, not wanting to put it down.
Alli’s and David’s childhoods were filled with pain and abuse. Alli ran from God; David ran to Him. Both had committed their lives to work with children, to provide them with stability and care.
I love the way Michelle Massaro approached the challenging subjects with such sensitivity. Her apt presentation kept the story from overwhelming darkness and despair. Alli struggled – she wanted to accept that the things David shared about God were really true and yet harbored feelings of abandonment from her past. David fought the unforgiveness related to his abusive past.
I cared so much for each of the characters. Each situation was well crafted, as if from personal experience! I wanted to jump into the story to pull them out of their pain – especially Thomas. Yet if I had, the necessary growth and heart changes wouldn’t have happened as they needed to.
In addition to hope, many warm moments filled the pages, while others simply made me grin. I loved the Thanksgiving events at the group home!!