Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wish You Were Here by Beth K. Vogt

Instead of ending with a wedding, this novel begins with one. Except that, as Allison walks down the aisle, she realizes she just cannot marry Seth. Sure, they had been dating for six years, since high school. Yes, she was comfortable with him. She felt safe with him. But Seth was the only man she had ever dated. What if... Allison bolted and left Seth at the altar.

And so begins the journey of Allison trying to find herself in the aftermath of having run out of the wedding so elaborately planned. She had grown into adulthood as the girlfriend of Seth. Who was she really? He had always planned their dates, ordered the meals for her, took her to the movies he wanted to see. Who would she be if she went where she wanted to go, order the food she really wanted to eat, and went to the movies she liked?
There was also Daniel, Seth's older adventurous brother. There had been an attraction between Allison and Daniel before the wedding day. What did that mean?
Seth is convinced he can persuade Allison to come back to the altar. Daniel struggles with his feelings for Allison and tries to handle it by setting up date for her with his guy friends. The situation gets tense when Seth becomes pushy and Daniel becomes protective.

I was pleasantly surprised with this novel. I didn't know how the plot would go, starting out with a runaway bride. But Vogt held my interest throughout the novel. She added some back story to Allison and her relationship to her estranged father. The characters are well developed. I felt like I was on the journey along with Allison as she tried to understand who she was and what she should do. I loved her best friend Meghan and the snappy dialogue she and Allison have. I also appreciated the spiritual struggles the characters go through and their maturing in faith and character.
All in all, a good Christian romance from a debut fiction author.
A reading group guide makes this novel a fine choice for groups reading Christian romances.

I am taking part in a blog tour and you can read other reviews here.

Beth K. Vogt earned her journalism degree from San Jose State University and met her husband Rob when he knocked her down at a karate studio. They have been married for 31 years and have four children, ranging in ages 28 to …10. She is the author of Baby Changes Everything: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood after 35. She is a consulting editor for MomSense, Mothers of Preschoolers International's magazine for moms, as well as a columnist for their e-zine for moms of school-age children. She has been published in a variety of magazines. She and her family enjoy hiking and camping in Colorado. Find out more at http://bethvogt.com.

Howard Books (a division of Simon and Schuster), 316 pages.  To buy this book, please visit your local Christian bookstore.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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