Until next year . . .
Merry Christmas, dear friend.
Until next year . . .
Merry Christmas, dear friend.
Author: Dawn Kinzer
Book: By All Appearances
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
Publishing Date: November 25, 2019
Length: 300 pages
An attractive special events planner is determined to keep her distance.
A disfigured musician struggles to guard his heart.
By all appearances, both are destined to fail.
Liana Tate, a special events planner grew up in a high-profile family. No matter what she does, Liana feels she never measures up.
Bryan Langley, a talented musician, was close to signing a recording contract when a barn fire left part of his face severely burned. He survived, but his career did not.
When Liana’s father hires Bryan as a caretaker on the family estate outside of Seattle, Liana’s and Bryan’s lives become entangled. He risks public humiliation for Liana’s success, and she encourages him to use his musical gifts, despite his reluctance. Thrown together, will they achieve their elusive dreams? And will the two find the love and acceptance they yearn for, or will their actions only drive each other away?
This year I’ve met some “forever” characters that will remain nestled in my heart. Bryan Langley is one of those characters. Dawn Kinzer did an excellent job describing his day-to-day struggles as a burn victim. Another reason why I love this character is that he’s based on a real person. That bit of information made me question what it would be like to go through a tragedy like Bryan and deal with the aftereffects for the rest of my life. Would I be as accepting of the situation? Could I deal with cruel people? Could I trust another person with my heart? Would I be courageous, or would I hide from the rest of the world?
On the other side of the story is Liana Tate, a gorgeous event planner who has everything she wants, but nothing she needs. The exact opposite of Bryan. Through her character, I learned about the pressures an event planner faces with every job. And let me say, the description was fantastic. Kinzer loved tormenting her little darling. 🙂 I fought the urge to skip ahead to see if she would fall on her face or pull it off! Liana also reminded me that everything isn’t as it seems as she struggled with low self-esteem, feelings of being less than perfect, and family issues.
By All Appearances is a well-written story from a Christian and secular worldview. Something to remember if you prefer not reading a non-Christian view. However, I found nothing offensive. Bryan is a believer who depends on God while Liana questions God’s love for her. So imagine my joy when her character arc changed from heart-wrenching to uplifting as she discovered the truth of God’s unconditional love through her circumstances and finally believed the truth. God is love!
However, I felt she never made it past the head knowledge of God’s unconditional love. I really wanted to see her come to the end of herself and accept His gift of salvation provided by His Son. I wanted to hear it from her lips. I wanted to celebrate that moment with her because her problems had become my problems.
Now with that said, I know that not everyone comes to that decision within six months, which is the time frame for this story. I’m also aware every story is different. So, I did take that in mind when rating the book. And although I was a little disappointed, I still had to give By All Appearances 5 stars for all the reasons above. It is an unforgettable story of life’s disappointments, hope after tragedy, second chances, and sweet romance. Don’t miss it!
This week is the last week for the pre-order price! So grab your copy here.
“Sometimes it’s easier to hear God’s whisper in the mountains, in the midst of his creation, than in the city where we’re easily distracted by people or things.” By All Appearances ~ Dawn Kinzer #bookreview @GailJohnson87Tweet
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (Malachi 4:2 KJV).
I had a plan this year, but I watched helplessly as it caught the fluttering breeze and flew away. But to my credit, I didn’t panic. I knew things would eventually get back to normal, and I would be back on track the following week. (You know where this is going, don’t you?)
That didn’t happen. As one month turned into two, and then two months turned into six, I struggled to keep the same schedule while juggling more responsibilities. I grew angry with myself for not being able to do it all. Add health issues that left me with debilitating fatigue and memory lapses, and you have the perfect storm.
I fell so far behind, I felt as if I was drowning. One afternoon, I stared at my computer and made the decision to close the office until life settled down. I walked away from both manuscripts for ten weeks and accepted my situation for what it truly was, an opportunity to serve. Suddenly, my schedule didn’t look so important. The stress of trying to do it all gradually fell away, and I found peace.
I no longer worried about keeping up. Instead, I turned my attention to the sunrise and gave thanks for a new day.
Each morning held a wondrous gift. Some mornings, it looked as if the pine trees were on fire. Other mornings, the first glimmer of sunshine turned windswept gray clouds into pink cotton candy strands.
One foggy morning, I could barely see the cars in front of me (the perfect metaphor for my current season). But then, fifteen minutes before I reached my destination, I peered out the window facing the eastern sky. Amid the gray expanse were three minuscule streaks, here and there, just above the tree line. Suddenly, that ugly gray sky held a beautiful truth:
Yes, the days were dark and scary. But no matter how gray the skies looked, the Lord was there, just like the sun was still there, hidden behind the fog and rain clouds. All I had to do was not give up, but chase the sunrise.
And chase, I did!
My friend, I don’t know what your year has been like, but I know we serve a Savior Who hears His children’s cries. We are not alone. Look up and keep chasing the sunrise!
I no longer worried about keeping up. Instead, I turned my attention to the sunrise and gave thanks for a new day. #hopeTweet