A Moment of Weakness by Karen Kingsbury
Jade and Tanner are childhood friends and Tanner always believed he and Jade would be married someday. But when Jade's family unexpectedly moves away it seems that dream is not to be. But Tanner has never forgotten Jade, even as he is in school pursuing the dreams his Mother has for him of a political nature. When their paths cross again while Tanner is doing a practicum for school, they fall back into their friendship of years past much to the shock and horror of his mother. Soon it becomes more and once again Tanner is determined to marry her. But first he wants to go on an extended mission trip to Hungary to see for himself what religious oppression does to people. But before he leaves, in spite of being so careful over the whole summer, they get themselves into a situation and Jade finds herself pregnant. There is no way to reach Tanner while he is on the mission and so Jade turns to his mother for advice. What she tells Jade changes the course of their lives. Jade goes on to marry a young man from high school and Tanner returns from the mission trip to find this out and spends the next 10 years confused and grieving the loss of Jade even as he pursues becoming a legal religious freedom fighter in America. But their paths cross again when Jade finds herself in the kind of trouble that only Tanner and his law firm can get her out of.
I found that while the story was really good, this installment in the series didn't grab me quite as much as the first book. But that is my head space as I've always had a place in my heart for the MADD organization and those families who lose loved ones to drunk drivers. This book was no less thought provoking or important in it's content, however, as it examined the eroding religious freedoms of some individuals in America. It also continues with themes of redemption and forgiveness that were part of the first book. Matt and Hannah are reintroduced into this story as Matt becomes Tanner's partner in the law firm fighting religious freedom but their story is really kept to a minimum as it is really focused on Jade and Tanner and what is happening to them.
"Halfway to Forever" by Karen Kingsbury
In the last installment to the series, Jade and Tanner have now married but Jade still feels insecurities of whether they had done the right thing. Matt and Hannah have finally decided to adopt and both families are now very close friends. Just as their lives seem to be really going along with a little girl coming to Matt and Hannah and Jade finally after years of trying has become pregnant. But things take a huge downturn for both families and they must draw on every bit of faith they have to make it through.
This last book of the series delves into what we believe about God's forgiveness and God's plan and goodness in our lives. It explores marriage, friendship and faith in the most trying of circumstances. This was a story that was just as good as the first two though I did find the author made a lot of background info and references to what happened in the first two books all throughout this story. Which was okay if you didn't read the first two installments but because I did read them I found myself scanning a lot of pages because to me it was redundant. I know a lot of people find the happy outcomes to this author's books frustrating but I find sometimes one just needs that. I like the positive outcomes to battles fought in faith. It lifts my own faith as I find the not so perfect characters making mistakes and struggling through their own trials coming to good resolutions so I find this series was well worth the read.
Review for Waiting for Morning, the first in the series, is here. Or here (scroll to #26)