Title: A Reason to Stay by Kellie Coates Gilbert
Texas Gold Series Book Three
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, Women’s Fiction
Length: 337 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
As the host of her own television news show, Faith Marin works to expose the truth for her viewers. But in her personal life, she’s anchored her world with firm boundaries in order to hide a family history she’d like to forget.
Her pro bass fisherman husband Geary’s life is an open book, and unfortunately his busybody family doesn’t know the meaning of boundaries. Deception and crippling differences soon derail their tender relationship, leading Faith to believe her only option is to end the marriage. But while Faith considers whether divorce is the only answer to their issues, tragedy strikes and her heartrending decision is interrupted. With her life in the balance, Faith finds that the one she has been shutting out may be the very one she cannot bear to lose.
Kellie Coates Gilbert takes readers on an emotional roller coaster as she weaves themes of unexpected trial, self-discovery, and forgiveness in this profoundly honest portrait of the tensions that can break a marriage–and the ultimate healing power of love.
In A Reason to Stay by Kellie Coates Gilbert, a career driven television reporter and a family oriented bass fisherman’s marriage is threatened by their fundamental differences. This beautiful journey of self-discovery and healing is the third book in the Texas Gold series but can be read as standalone.
Faith Marin is a rising star at a local television station when she marries professional bass fisherman Geary. Soon after they say their “I dos”, this once happy couple finds themselves drifting farther and farther apart due to their career demands but it is their conflict over Geary’s extended family and Faith’s career that takes the greatest toll on their relationship. On the brink of divorce, a sudden tragedy brings them together but will Faith allow the unresolved issues from her past drive Geary away?
Faith’s ambition has its roots in her dysfunctional childhood and her attempts to leave her shameful past behind have been largely successful. She has worked hard to achieve her dream of becoming an news anchor, but instead of being content with each promotion, she sets her sights higher and takes on more responsibility at work. Unfortunately for her, these career aspirations lead to heated disagreements between her and Geary since he expects her to put family first. As their arguments escalate, Faith uses their differences to push Geary away instead of talking things through and as they begin leading mostly separate lives, she decides it is time to end their marriage.
Geary is from a close-knit, loving family who welcome Faith with open arms. Although he recognizes Faith’s discomfort with his family’s lack of boundaries, he does little to restrict their involvement in their personal life. Geary’s belief that she should always put family first is a little unreasonable but when Faith sees her relationship taking the same tempestuous path as her parents’, she shuts down. These misunderstandings erode their relationship to the point that when disaster strikes, their marriage is in serious trouble.
Although there are romantic elements to the storyline, A Reason to Stay focuses mainly on Faith’s journey to make peace with her unresolved past. When it appears she is going to lose the one thing that validates her self-worth, Faith is finally forced to face the lingering effects of her troubled childhood. She also must examine her reasons for trying to distance herself from Geary. As she confronts these issues, her priorities begin to shift and in order to save her marriage, Faith is forced to have an honest discussion with Geary about her turbulent family history.
A Reason to Stay by Kellie Coates Gilbert is an emotionally compelling novel. The story is well-written and fast paced with a cast of well drawn, sympathetic characters. Faith and Geary’s struggle to balance family and work is realistically portrayed and will resonate with readers. It is a heartfelt and engaging novel with a gentle undercurrent of faith that old and new fans of the Texas Gold series are going to love.