by Carolyn Astfalk
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REVIEWS “This is a warning: the book you hold in your hand is compelling and well-written and you may find it, as I did, impossible to put down. It’s a romance that’s not trashy in any way, one that illustrates what a novel of this sort should inspire in its reader. You’ll also be sharing this book with every woman you know!” Sarah Reinhard, author and blogger at “A romance of rare quality. It takes you to the heart of passion, through various trials of a real life relationship, and into the power of sincere love. And it’s hilariously funny!” A.K. Frailey, author, The Deliverance Trilogy   “… a beautiful Christian love story that will put a song in your heart. It will make you hungry for Rebecca’s bakery but also hungry for true love that can best be understood in light of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.” Theresa Linden, author The Liberty Trilogy   “… a poignant and believable love story about two young adults from very different backgrounds. The characters are richly depicted and memorable, including the secondary characters. The story is sprinkled with humor and contains the perfect balance of reality and sweetness and her writing entertains while radiating substance and depth. Stay With Me is a journey of discovery, forgiveness, and redemption—a beautiful journey of two hearts that long to beat as one.” Therese Heckenkamp, award-winning author, Frozen Footprints   “A tale packed with desire and determination, pain and longing, healing and hope, not to mention peopled with flesh-and-blood characters who sweep the reader away into a world we all know with struggles so much like our own, Stay With Me delivers the very best of the inspirational romance genre.  Highly recommended!” Erin McCole Cupp, author, Don’t You Forget About Me  
EXCERPT Chris drove them to the battlefield. His knowledge of its topography and history impressed Rebecca. No matter how many times she’d been there, she’d get all balled up not knowing which way to the Peach Orchard, Devil’s Den, or anything else. The narrow, one-way lanes always made her feel like a rat in a maze. Chris knew every entrance and exit, where the major monuments were located, which roads went which directions, and where you could find a quiet spot away from all the tourists. That’s where he took her. They sat in the high grass beneath a smallish monument topped by an eagle, frozen in its majesty, and spent the next two hours mending their hearts. The late summer moon loomed large and orange over the horizon. Wisps of smoky clouds floated above and beneath the giant, luminous orb. Crickets and katydids hummed and chirped from the thickets and trees, their chorus lending a soothing undercurrent to the heartfelt whispers and professions that passed between them like a zephyr snaking a path through the wild grasses and sedges. Rebecca plucked a long blade of grass from the hard earth and slid her fingers up its length. The sharp edge caught the tender skin of her fingertip, and it bled. She pressed her finger to her lips, and the pain subsided. She didn’t think she’d ever forget the aching, bone-deep hurt she’d felt since she’d walked out on Chris. In some ways, she didn’t want to. He was a precious gift to her, and she never wanted to take him for granted. She had feared that even if they reconciled, that hurt would never fully heal; it would fester beneath the surface. But when they climbed back onto his bike and she wrapped her arms around his waist, she realized the fissure was already being soothed and filled, that love was spilling into all the brittle cracks and crevices that the pain had etched. Love really did cover all offenses. It was okay. They would be okay.                        


read by Patricia Santomasso