Welcome to the Prism Books Tour for Stay with Me by Becky Wade. Stop by each blog on the tour to read our reviews. Be prepared. I got a little carried away, but this book is just so wonderful and inspiring that I couldn’t stop!
On Tour with Prism Book Tours
I received this book free to review; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive compensation at no cost to you.
Stay with Me (A Misty River Romance #1)
By Becky Wade
Christian Contemporary Romance
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
May 5th 2020 by Bethany House Publishers
Loving her is a risk he can’t afford . . . and can’t resist.
When acclaimed Bible study author Genevieve Woodward receives an anonymous letter referencing her parents’ past, she returns to her hometown in the Blue Ridge mountains to chase down her family’s secret. However, it’s Genevieve’s own secret that catches up to her when Sam Turner, owner of an historic farm, uncovers the source of shame she’s worked so hard to hide.
Sam has embraced his sorrow, his isolation, and his identity as an outsider. He’s spent years carving out both career success and peace of mind. The last thing he wants is to rent the cottage on his property to a woman whose struggles stir his worst failure back to life. Yet, can he bear to turn her away right when she needs him most?
My review of Stay with Me by Becky Wade
When you think of a well-known Christian woman, one who writes devotionals for women and travels around the US speaking to women about faith, who comes to mind? Maybe Jennie Allen or Lisa TerKeurst or maybe even Candace Cameron Bure. They’re women we look up to and search for spiritual guidance from.
In Stay with Me by Becky Wade, that woman is Genevieve Woodward. She’s got a huge following of Christian women who buy her books and attend conferences she speaks at. On the outside, she looks like she’s got it all together. Gen never goes out without looking completely put together right down to her earrings. And, really, she does have it all together…at least she thinks she does. However, when she wakes up in a stranger’s guest house, she realizes that maybe she doesn’t. She has a secret that is literally killing her. Gen doesn’t want to get professional help because she doesn’t want her “followers” to find out about her secret.
Sam Turner is a loner, and he likes it that way. After a devastating loss, he’s decided that shutting himself off from close relationships is the way to live. If you don’t care, you don’t get hurt, right? Welp, sorry Sam. There’s a stranger in your guest house who desperately needs your help. Sam determines that there is no way he can be the one to help Genevieve with her secret. He’s done this before, and it gutted him. It brought him to this place of isolation. He’s happy running his farm and “farm to table” restaurant. God cannot be asking him to help Gen. But He is, and Sam reluctantly does.
Stories within stories within stories
Several stories weave together in Stay with Me and create an extraordinary novel. Becky Wade makes her characters “real.” The people in your life have real stuff they’re going through; the characters in Stay with Me do too.
Genevieve and her sister Natasha, along with three boys, miraculously survived a catastrophic event when they were teenagers. The event unfolds through the five’s flashbacks between the chapters. You can’t go through something that they went through and come out unscathed. I really loved how Becky added this because past traumas affect us whether we believe they do or not.
Genevieve and Natasha’s mom, Caroline, didn’t come out unscathed either. Can you relate? If our kids go through any kind of trauma, it affects us! Caroline reminds me of me in several ways. I have a shirt that says, “So apparently I’m dramatic.” Caroline is dramatic. Not only did her daughters’ trauma make her into who she is, but also a secret from her past. Now someone is threatening to reveal it. And the letter implies that their dad has the same secret that their mom does. This secret has affected their family for years in small ways, like this, for example; “Life had made her (Caroline) nervous, which had prevented her from experiencing…undiluted happiness…”
And Sam has a huge backstory (no spoilers) that is utterly heart-wrenching. Sam’s heart heals when he finally clings to the promise that in his weakness, God is strong.
Themes and other stuff I have to say
In my opinion, Stay with Me doesn’t just have one theme. I think that the themes are related though. Of course, holding on to secrets is a big subject in the book. So is guilt and how it affects our relationship with God. Being transparent with people…being open and honest…not putting on a happy face when we’re crushed inside; these are all united themes in Stay with Me.
As someone in the public eye, Genevieve feels like she cannot be transparent about her secret. I’m not so much in the public eye, but as a blogger, I have felt the need to “stage” perfect photos. You’ve gotta show them what they want to see. “She’d (Genevieve) spent more time crafting social media posts to make it look like she was flourishing than she’d invested in actual flourishing.” Just let that sink in.
The secret that Gen’s parents had kept created a feeling of guilt that their dad had “been carrying”… Guilt and shame are not something that we need to carry. We have to take it to the cross and leave it there. No, that absolutely doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences to our actions that caused the guilt and shame in the first place. But it does absolutely mean that we can be absolutely forgiven.
So, about those women of faith we look up to; they aren’t perfect, and we cannot expect them to be. Whenever we find out that someone we’ve admired for years, someone whose spiritual guidance we depend upon, someone whose music has led thousands to follow Christ, etc. we gasp! And it’s a huge scandal. We. Judge. Them. Whoever is without sin, cast the first stone. Mic drop.
Stay with Me has so much more wisdom in it than I can ever share (even though I can’t seem to stop typing). You have to read it. Oh, and I know. I didn’t talk about the romance! It’s there in abundance, and I’m sure another reviewer will tell you more about it!
I can’t recommend this book enough (as if you couldn’t tell). Grab your copy ASAP!
Prequel to Stay with Me
Take a Chance on Me
(A Misty River Romance #0.5)
By Becky Wade
Christian Contemporary Romance, Novella
ebook, 97 Pages
February 25th 2020
When baker Penelope Quinn steps in to help her brother’s family through a medical crisis, she’s forced into close proximity with charming Air Force fighter pilot Eli Price.
Penelope has one iron-clad dating rule—she does not date airmen. Months ago, she relaxed her rule with Eli and immediately lived to regret it. After a long deployment, he’s now back in Misty River and, to her dismay, she finds him just as tempting as always.
Eli’s spent months thinking about funny, feisty, creative Penelope. He once leveraged his focus and drive to become a pilot, his childhood dream. Now he’s set on leveraging that same focus and drive in order to convince Penelope to give him one more chance.
This romantic prequel novella introduces readers to the quaint mountain town of Misty River and a brand-new series from Christy award winning author Becky Wade!
About the Author
Becky Wade is the 2018 Christy Award Book of the Year winner for True to You. She is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. Her humorous, heart-pounding contemporary romance novels have won three Christy Awards, the Carol Award, the INSPY Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award for Romance. Becky lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and three children.
There is also a bookstagram tour with its own giveaway. Follow on Instagram.
Enter the giveaway
This giveaway is hosted by the author! Head to the link below to enter her giveaway. It ends June 4.
One winner will receive:
– A $100 gift card
– A paperback copy of Stay with Me
– A hand-knit scarf
– A pair of earrings
– A package of “Georgia Blues” coffee
– A package of apple oatmeal muffin mix