Today I’m excited not only to share my thoughts on A Worthy Heart by Sara Beth Williams, but I’ve got an excerpt too!! I love getting sneak peeks at books, don’t you!?
Joel Bennett has always known Serena Hayes as his sister’s gregarious best friend. In the three years since Lacey began college, Serena became a regular house guest, but lately, she’s absent more than not. When Joel discovers she’s in an abusive relationship, protectiveness from within roars to life.
With only a part time job to support her and nowhere to go, Serena fears leaving her current relationship would jeopardize her chances of graduating college. After a brutal attack leaves her no choice, she courageously moves out. On her journey toward regaining confidence, self-worth, and independence, Joel falls in beside her, encouraging her. The way he emulates Godly love and compassion draws her close—not just to him, but to the God who can satisfy her longing for love better than any man,
Attraction sizzles between them, but events from their pasts cast shadows of doubt.
When the unthinkable happens, can Serena open her heart to a second chance at love, or is she destined to be alone?
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Sara Beth Williams has given readers a story that will absolutely touch their hearts. In a powerful story of fighting for yourself, relying on a God who is big enough to get you through anything life throws at you, and how second chances can sneak up on us during the times we are least expecting it, Williams shows readers that you really can get out of a tough situation.
There is no denying that abuse is a hard topic. It’s tough to write, it’s tough to read, and even watch in real life if we know someone who suffers from it. And while Williams doesn’t get gruesome with her details, she writes enough for readers to know exactly what is happening. It absolutely broke my heart, and the way Serena dealt with it for so long, it just made me angry. Here’s the thing – there are so many women suffering from this very thing that do not feel like they can escape either. Or they tell themselves it won’t keep happening, their boyfriends/husbands love them, etc… But this book, well it gives these women hope. Hope that there is people out there who can help them. If for nothing else, read this story for that!
Aside from that, it really is a well written story. The characters are wonderful – especially Joel. What a caring, protective hero that readers will most likely swoon over. He doesn’t judge, and sometimes he doesn’t ask – he just takes action. I love seeing a man’s protective instincts, and Joel certainly shared his throughout the story. At one point I thought those instincts would get him in a bit of trouble – I guess you’ll have to read for yourself to see if he did or not!
At the end of the day, Williams reminds readers of God’s ability to turn something horrible into something good. This is a story that will stay with me for a long time, and I hope to share it with others who could benefit from its powerful message. I encourage you to do the same! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Excerpt from A Worthy Heart
Joel gently tagged Serena’s wrist, without actually holding her hand. Part of her wondered why he hadn’t tried to hold her hand yet tonight. Did she actually want him to?
Yes! No. Maybe? No, not yet.
Would that be crossing a line? She’d left Chris only two weeks ago.
Get it together. This is a group event. He’s not here for you. You’re not here for him.
She glanced up at Joel as he pocketed his phone before speaking. “Got a text from Matt. Time to go, if we want to make it down to the Tower Bridge for the fireworks.”
Once they removed and returned their skates, they retrieved their belongings from the lockers and met the rest of their group just outside the gates of the rink.
On all the local radio stations, DJs had warned that several roads in the area, including Capitol Avenue, were closed to vehicle traffic in anticipation of the large crowds planning to attend the fireworks display. Though the group of twenty or so college students attempted to stay together while they trekked toward the Tower Bridge, it was near impossible to keep everyone together in the crush of people moving like a school of fish down the center of the road. Voices all around them rose over the dull roar of rock music coming from somewhere in the distance.
Lacey melded into the crowd ahead of them, fingers entwined with Jay’s. Tara disappeared, strolling alongside Matt and a few others. That left Serena walking shoulder to shoulder with Joel.
For the first time in several weeks, she felt none of the awkward tension in her stomach or jittery nerves at being alone with him. Being alone with him felt…safe and peaceful. Natural.
Sara Beth Williams is a wife, mother of two daughters, and temporary caretaker of a lovable old lady pit and a spunky Pomeranian-Shih Tzu mix. She lives in Northern California. When she’s not held hostage by the keyboard, she enjoys music, teaching, reading and spending time with her family. She is all about connecting with readers! Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Bookbub and AllAuthor.
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