I want to thank R&R Book Tours and Janell Butler Wojtowicz for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate this opportunity and all views and opinions expressed are my own.
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Take a poignant look into the broken heart and daily struggles of Christian college dean Drew McKinley. The story chronicles the turbulent first year in his desperate journey to understand God’s motives for the sudden death of his wife and his quest to find hope in his future.
Crossing his perilous path are Allison, a graduate student and new employee in the dean’s office, and Chris, the handsome but egotistical student senate president.
The road Drew must navigate is fraught with career upheaval, a reawakening heart and the struggle for forgiveness and restoration. Will Drew finish his journey to embrace the hope God offers, the love Allison shares and the guidance Chris needs, or will he turn his back on all three with catastrophic consequences?
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I give this book 5 out of 5 Hope Driven Stars! Okay I am going to start out saying, this book was just sweet and amazing! I personally have faith and I am an open minded Christian but I was still a little skeptical at first with this book. I thought I hope it’s not a book where it has those judgemental kind of Christians or that it would be your generic boy meets girl. I am telling you I couldn’t have been more wrong. This book was intense at moments and had so much depth to it. This book was also so realistic.
Drew and Allison were both broken people and they felt hopeless and at times they even blamed God for it all.
Seeing how the story ended up and how intense things got, I personally felt more hope with my circumstances. I have been asking God “Why???? Haven’t I suffered enough?”. Well reading this story it truly helped me see that I shouldn’t give up hope. This book also showed that people shouldn’t judge and we are good enough.
This story was well written and I loved the romance. There wasn’t instant love. It took Drew time and it showed his grief. I’m glad the author decided to show that someone just couldn’t instantly fall in love after losing their spouse because grief just takes time.
All around, I couldn’t recommend this book enough. The passion and depth that is woven through these pages created a masterpiece and will surely give you hope. This was one of those books that will stick with you long after reading it.
I hope everyone has a blessed holiday weekend!📚💖🎁🎄❄🎀
Janell Butler Wojtowicz, born and raised on an Iowa farm, was one of those kids who loved to write the dreaded “What I did on summer vacation” essay. She wrote stories for her own enjoyment, including a short story about a teenage drug addict—something of which she knew nothing about. Her cousin illustrated the cover using Halloween orange paper featuring a hypodermic needle.
Janell attended the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota, earning a bachelor’s degree in, naturally, Written Communication, adding a Journalism Emphasis. She returned to Iowa where she worked as a reporter/editor at three small town newspapers for 10 years.
Janell left the small town Iowa life when she married, Frank Wojtowicz, a family friend who lived in Minneapolis. (By the way, her Polish last name is pronounced “Why-tow-vitch.) She worked in public relations at her alma mater, the University of Northwestern; Leadership Foundations, a nonprofit organization supporting inner-city Christian ministries; and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Today, Janell owns a freelance service, A Portrait in Words, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.
Much of Janell’s writing has been the “people stories” of trial, tragedy and triumph, which are reflected in her debut novel, “Embracing Hope.” The idea for the novel came after watching a BBC version of “Jane Eyre” in 2007. That night she dreamed the beginning, pivotal scene in the middle and the ending of “Embracing Hope”, and began writing it the next day. Unlike her first story, she was very familiar with the setting of “Embracing Hope”: a Christian college campus.
She and Frank, live in New Brighton, Minnesota, a pleasant suburb of the Twin Cities. She has two step-sons, a step-daughter-in-law, and three step-granddaughters.