After the death of his parents, Jake Samuels has enough on his plate—including a fledgling church to lead and a mischievous younger brother to raise. The last thing he needs is a rambunctious woman to contend with.
Carin O’Malley is dealing with the death of her brother and a new job as an English teacher at East Ridge Middle School where Corey Samuels reigns as King of Chaos. The last thing she needs is to fall in love…especially with a handsome and complicated preacher like Corey’s brother Jake.
But when Corey’s antics toss Carin and Jake together, the two must draw from God’s wisdom to find refuge in His perfect plan.
I immediately connected with Jake, understood his frustration and foul mood. After all, he’s raising his teen brother. It’s hot outside, and he’s mowing the church yard because somebody has to do it. He’s running late to pick up Corey from football practice. Toss in a new slasher, er…teacher, who shows up unexpectedly and assumes the worst of him, and Jake hits the overload button. He acts out a little himself, not unlike his brother, which I enjoyed. He showed a little weakness, which endeared him to me.
I love the conflict between Jake and Carin, and it’s not the arguing kind. No, Ms. Manners creates plenty of internal/external conflict as the characters head towards their happily-ever-after, and she’ll tickle every one of your senses along the way.
This story involves a teenager, dealing with grief. Ms. Manners wrote teen angst in a realistic way without making me, as a reader and a parent, want to fling my e-reader at something…or someone. I think parents will appreciate some of the wisdom on dealing with teens imparted in this book.