At first glance, Last Chance Wife may look like any other mail-order-bride romance, but it’s so much more. This novel touched my real-life struggles at the soul level like only excellent Christian fiction can.
I sat on the couch reading while my boys and husband watched Harry Potter. The character’s plights left me swiping an occasional finger under my eye. My sweet little boys surrounded me, and reassured Harry would be fine.
But I was in a totally different world. I was in the Black Hills of North Dakota at the site of a gold mine.
Ewan and Winifred’s initial chemistry was so fun to read. They weren’t at all interested in a romance with each other. Ewan was sure she was all wrong for him. Mainly, because she reminded him of an ex-fiancé who rejected him. He wanted someone sensible and dull not a beautiful, vibrant woman who might impact his heart and leave him vulnerable.
(1) Others, like me, who have struggled with wanting control will understand Ewan.
While Winifred just desired to return home and lick her wounds over yet another failed mail-order bride connection. She sought to wallow a little in the disappointment.
(2) Yes, Win, I’ve been there, too.
All the while, unknowingly, Ewan and Winifred had found solace and friendship with each other through letters. Under the guise of anonymity, they revealed deeper aspects of themselves and began to fall in love.
Winifred was rejected six times by potential husbands! She struggled to not let the failures become her identity, to remind herself not to be defined by how others see her, and not become discouraged, or lose faith over setbacks.
(3) These powerful messages spoke directly to my writer-heart. After all, being a professional writer isn’t a career for those who give up easily.
Winifred made some poor choices, one landed her alone in a gold rush town at the mercy of a stranger, and another blunder could have resulted in death if Ewan hadn’t saved her.
(4) These mistakes could have sent Winifred down that black-hole of regrets we all visit on occasion.
But I loved how she put her mistakes behind her and kept trying to find new ways to serve, to be a blessing to those around her. And she never lost her joy through it all. I want to be like her. Isn’t that what we are all really here for—to serve and bless others, to glorify God?
Ewan struggled to please his father and to measure up to his brother.
(5) Being a people-pleaser myself, I’ve wrestled with this my entire life. By basing his worth on others’ opinion, Ewan measured his own value by his accomplishments. Which was a major struggle for me following my cancer diagnosis when I was forced to think about death and what I would leave behind.
I begged God to give me the opportunity to do more, to have more impact for the Kingdom.
But time and again, I heard Him whisper, “It doesn’t matter.”
Which at the time, I found somewhat offensive, as though I didn’t matter. Surely, I had more to offer, something only I could accomplish?
It wasn’t until I really understood that I have value because of what Jesus did—not because of anything I can do to earn a place in heaven—that I found real peace. And it’s out of that gratefulness we are able to whole-heartedly serve others.
It was so heart-twisting to see Ewan feel the sting of failure and so rewarding when he overcame it by changing his focus to helping others.
Can you believe all these powerful truths are woven into a swoon-worthy romance?
This novel is You’ve God Mail and Shop Around the Corner, meets mail-order-bride. If you enjoy stories relating to any of the above, you will love this book, too!
About Janette Foreman:
A former high school English teacher, turned stay-at-home mom, I’m passionate about inspirational, God-centered romances and teaching people to see themselves as having worth in God’s eyes.
I am a proud member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), secretary of the ACFW Dakotas chapter, and am represented by Tamela Hancock Murray at the Steve Laube Agency.
When I sneak in time for my extra hobbies, I love to read, quilt, make cloth dolls, and draw. A graduate of York College and Black Hills State University, I make my home in the northern Midwest with my amazing husband, polydactyl cat, bird-hunting dog, and the most adorable baby twin boys on the planet.
Connect with Janette at http://www.janetteforeman.com