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Review: Shaken

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Review: Shaken

03 Jul Posted by in Reviews | Comments Off on Review: Shaken
Review: Shaken

Shaken by Kariss Lynchshaken
Reviewed by: Meagan Williford
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Realms
Publication Date: February 4, 2014

On the day of her graduation from the University of Alabama, the last person Kaylan Richards expects to see is Nick Carmichael. Nick, her brother Micah’s best friend, broke her heart two years ago when he abruptly ended their relationship over the telephone. Kaylan feels the stress from dealing with Nick’s return, coupled with anxiety from making a major life decision. Kaylan and her best friend Sarah Beth plan to volunteer at a clinic in Haiti because they both feel like that is where God is leading them. Kaylan, who trained to be a dietician, has a passion for helping people plan healthy meals and learn about nutrition. Teacher Sarah Beth has a passion for sharing God’s love with the Haitian children. However, Kaylan struggles with following the path of the unknown to Haiti versus the more predictable, safe path waiting for her at home.

For Kaylan, convincing her loving and concerned family of her need to go to Haiti is no small feat, but they soon realize that she is following God’s calling. Although he knows he will miss her, Nick admires and understands Kaylan’s calling to help the people of Haiti. He feels that same sense of calling in his career as a Navy SEAL. Ever since he broke up with Kaylan, Nick has regretted it. He knows that God has changed his life, and he believes that he and Kaylan are meant to be together. Nick tells Kaylan that he will wait for her while she is in Haiti and they agree to write letters to each other. For her part, Kaylan never stopped caring about Nick but she isn’t quite sure if she can trust him not to break her heart again.

Kaylan and Sarah Beth journey to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where they volunteer at a clinic run by Rhonda Ames. Rhonda trains Kaylan to perform basic medical procedures and Sarah Beth bonds with the Haitian children. They immediately fall in love with the Haitian people and make friends. In the clinic, Kaylan sees many heart-rending cases: child abuse, malnutrition, malaria and dehydration. The reality of life in Haiti – the extreme poverty, prostitution and rampant Voodoo influences – threatens to overwhelm her. Soon Kaylan feels like she is fighting a losing battle. When Rhonda and Kaylan argue about Kaylan’s motives for being in Haiti, Kaylan has a wake-up call. Rhonda challenges her to truly have a heart for the Haitian people and not to try to be a superhero.

Soon, devastation hits Haiti in the form of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Kariss Lynch masterfully weaves the story together as she captures the raw emotions the characters experience as they live through this tragedy. I was literally in tears while I read the account of the earthquake and its aftermath.

When Micah and Nick rescue Kaylan from Haiti to take her back to Alabama, she is but a shadow of her former self. Broken in body and spirit, her faith has been shattered and her life has been forever changed. Will Kaylan realize that God is faithful and trust Him again? Will Nick be able to support Kaylan as she deals with this difficult season in her life? Will they both gain a deeper understanding of God’s love?

I am not sure if I can adequately express how much I loved this book! I am a big fan of Dee Henderson’s Uncommon Heroes Series and Ronie Kendig’s Discarded Heroes Series, and this book is written in the same tradition as those stories. The characters were among the strongest I have read about in a long time. There was just something authentic about their interactions with each other and their struggles with their faith. Honestly, the last few books I have read, I felt as though the relationships were a little bit shallow. When I was reading Shaken, there was a depth to the characters that spoke to my heart. No one in the book was perfect. They questioned God, argued with each other and expressed honest emotions like anger, hurt and doubt. Ms. Lynch really writes the characters like they are real people. I am very excited to read the other books in this series. I hope there is a book about each of Kaylan’s brothers! I would love to read Micah’s book next.

Rated PG: The issues of Voodoo and prostitution are dealt with in this book.

Reviewer’s personal copy.


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