Title: Meant to Be Mine by Becky Wade
Porter Family Series Book Two
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Ty Porter has always been irresistible to Celia Park. All through high school–irresistible. When their paths cross again after college–still irresistible. This time, though, Ty seems to feel exactly the same way about Celia. Their whirlwind romance deposits them at a street-corner Las Vegas wedding chapel.
The next morning they wake to a marriage certificate and a dose of cold reality. Celia’s ready to be Ty’s wife, but Ty’s not ready to be her husband. He’s a professional bull rider, he lives on the road, and he’s long planned to settle down with the hometown girl he’s known since childhood.
Five and a half years pass. Celia’s buried her dreams so that she can afford to raise her daughter. Ty’s achieved all of his goals. Or thought he had, until he looks again into the eyes of the woman he couldn’t forget and into the face of the child he never knew he had.
How much will Ty sacrifice to win back Celia’s trust and prove to her that their spontaneous marriage can still become the love of a lifetime?
Meant to Be Mine is a heartfelt addition to Becky Wade’s appealing Porter Family series. In this outing, Ty Porter is in for the shock of his life when he decides to track down his long abandoned bride, Celia.
Celia’s teenage crush on Ty is still alive and well when she meets him again in Las Vegas several years after they have both gone their separate ways. Ty is now a champion bull rider who travels the rodeo circuit while she is finally beginning her career as a sous chef. They find themselves caught up in the bright lights of Vegas and Ty convinces Celia to marry him. However, the next morning, he breaks her heart when he has second thoughts about their nuptials. Unbeknownst to Ty, their one night marriage results in an unexpected pregnancy and Celia gives birth to their daughter, Addie. Five and a half years later, Ty meets with Celia to make amends before he ends their marriage. But when he learns about Addie, he is determined to be a part of her life but Celia is equally determined to protect both herself and Addie from future heartache.
Celia has willingly put all of her dreams on hold to raise Addie and although they are struggling financially, they are happy. She is strong and independent but sometimes these traits do not work in her favor as she stubbornly refuses Ty’s offers of assistance. She is a bit overprotective of Addie and very reluctant to share her with Ty. While her reasons for keeping him at arm’s length are understandable, Celia is guilty of using Addie as her excuse for keeping their relationship casual.
It would be very easy to dislike Ty based on how badly he dealt with his marriage, but his infamous charm really is impossible to resist. It also helps that he truly regrets how badly he hurt Celia and his need to express this remorse in person shows maturity. Ty is a good-hearted, stand-up guy and despite Celia’s fears to the contrary, he keeps his promise to stay involved with Addie despite the fact his his bull riding career keeps him on the road much of the time.
Ty and Celia’s relationship is quite flirtatious but their unresolved history is always hovering in the background. The underlying themes of trust and forgiveness are keenly felt, but it is not until the later part of the novel that they become the focus of the story. Celia clings tightly to her hurt and anger and even as she regains her faith, she has a difficult time letting go of past resentments. Ty finds it easy to forgive Celia but his reluctance to give up his plan to reconcile with a woman from his past plays a huge role in her inability to trust him. It is incredibly satisfying and heartwarming watching them find their way back to each other and God.
In Meant to Be Mine, Becky Wade puts a fresh spin on the popular secret baby plot device and the resulting story is a moving journey of faith, trust and love. The writing is superb writing, the characters are appealing, and the storyline is realistic. The conflict is believable and the novel’s resolution is delightfully unexpected. The intriguing glimpses of Jake, Ty’s taciturn brother, leave me hoping his story will be the next installment in the Porter Family series.