A news anchor intern has it all planned out, and love isn't on the agenda.
Brooke Endress is on the cusp of her lifelong dream when her younger sister persuades her to chaperone a mission trip to El Salvador. Packing enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to single-handedly wipe out malaria, she embarks on what she hopes will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
But Brooke is blindsided by the desperation for hope and love she sees in the eyes of the orphans she encounters. And no less by the connection she feels with her handsome translator. As newfound passion blooms, Brooke wrestles with its implications for her career dreams.
Ubaldo Chavez, teacher and translator, knows the struggle that comes with generational poverty. But he found the way out – education – and is determined to help his students rise above.
When he agrees to translate for a mission team from the United States he expects to encounter a bunch of "missional tourists" full of empty promises. Yet an American news anchor defies his expectations, and he finds himself falling in love. But what does he have to offer someone with everything?
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She writes missional romance novels for New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for , Internet Cafe Devotions, and oversees the social media and blog for Takin’ it to the Streets, an Omaha Metro ministry that serves Omaha’s working poor and homeless. She co-hosts Living by Grace, a modern-day “meet at the well” Facebook community. As a content editor for Firefly, a southern fiction imprint for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, she loves working with writers to help them strengthen their manuscripts and grow in their gifting. When not writing, you’ll likely find her at one of Omaha’s many coffeehouses.
Keep up with Jennifer at Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud
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Jennifer is a great author. I've really enjoyed reading her books and this one was not exception. Except it did take me a while to read through it, but mostly because I received and E-copy and I do not read as quickly on an e-reader.
I think one of the things I really enjoyed about this book was the missional feel. I could relate because I grew up on the mission field, have seen poverty first hand, and enjoyed ministering to those in need of the Savior and His love. I have felt the disappointment in seeing people have it all, but not seem to be thankful or realize how blessed they truly are. That's a feeling that Brooke Endress discovered first hand, after spending two weeks on the mission field, then returning to do a news special on the rich. It didn't take her long to recognize what had true value. Jennifer does a great job of getting the reader to feel a burden for those less fortunate, look for ways to help, and create an awareness of the needs in third world countries based on her own mission trip.
She also brought to life legitimate fears and concerns a person may feel when going on a mission trip, as well as, how God can create a burden in a person's heart that may cause them to seek ways to serve Him better, and the struggle between what we want and the greater need to surrender our personal desires to His will. Brooke was a girl with a potential news career. She has dreams and hopes for her future. For a while, after going on the mission trip - albeit a bit forced - I might add, she tried to fit God's plans into her box. But only when she truly surrendered to His will did she find real peace.
There were a few things about this book, I had a hard time with. At the beginning there was a lot of flip- flop back and forth between countries, characters, and I had a difficult time getting them all straight. Possibly part of that was due to reading it in e-book format and at times not getting back to the book for a couple of days. I also struggled with the romance part of the story. In and of itself, the concept was good, and I liked how it turned out. I just felt like it was too rushed. I would say it is a bit unusual for two people from different countries to literally fall in love in a matter of days. A spark, or an attraction would be natural, but I just felt like it moved too quickly.
Overall though, this story is inspirational and moving. It has a heart for missions and ministering to people. There was a bit of suspense wondering what would happen to two little girls who had escaped a difficult home life, and yet seemed to be even worse off on the streets. You kind of wondered how it all would turn out. I would recommend this book.
I received a free e-copy of this book from the author to read. I was not asked to review it positively and all opinions are my own.