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Haven Seekers #3

Take and Give

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Austin Delvecchio has tried to use his Constabulary resources to track down his missing girlfriend Violet. He finds a stranger instead, held illegally and mistreated. Rescuing the man will make Austin's boss an enemy, but ignoring the situation will mean the man's death.

Lee Vaughn has lost the most important person in her life. She continues his work her way, providing black market medical assistance to Christians and allowing fugitive Violet to live with her. Then she learns what really happened to Marcus, and the danger following him leaves them all with only one option: to flee.

To make it to freedom, all four will have to rely on their traveling companions. But that's not easy when confronting past hurts, fear, and distrust.

352 pages, Paperback

First published August 15, 2015

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About the author

Amanda G. Stevens

8 books335 followers
Amanda G. Stevens is the author of the Haven Seekers series and the No Less Days series. A voluntarily transplanted Yankee who lives in the South, she loves acoustic music, Pre-Code/Golden Era films, and super-sweet iced lattes.

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Displaying 1 - 23 of 23 reviews
Profile Image for Sarita.
1,144 reviews638 followers
February 20, 2017
Series to be read in order.

This is one series which grows stronger with every book. Book 3 was another strong plot in the series, with characters dealing with trust, healing, finding the truth and realising no matter what their past says, they have a great future. There was also a few unexpected struggles for the characters. I found myself also mistrusting everyone they are encountering, due to how this plot was introduced in the ending of book 2.

This book focused more on Lee and Austin and their past and struggles to find and accept the truth. Lee's story was heartbreaking and as reader I understood more why she was so weary in believing in God. Austin also has a sad history, a history which contributed to me as reader to feel compassion for this con-cop.

I'm enjoying this series and getting to know each character.
Profile Image for Loraine.
3,022 reviews
February 28, 2016
SUMMARY: Austin Delvecchio has tried to use his Constabulary resources to track down his missing girlfriend Violet. He finds a stranger instead, held illegally and mistreated. Rescuing the man will make Austin's boss an enemy, but ignoring the situation will mean the man's death.

Lee Vaughn has lost the most important person in her life. She continues his work her way, providing black market medical assistance to Christians and allowing fugitive Violet to live with her. Then she learns what really happened to Marcus, and the danger following him leaves them all with only one option: to flee.

To make it to freedom, all four will have to rely on their traveling companions. But that's not easy when confronting past hurts, fear, and distrust.

REVIEW: When I didn't think this series (Haven Seekers) could get any better, all I can say is WOW! This book is so powerful with characters who begin to realize that the only truth is the truth of God. Doesn't matter what the government or other people tell them, God is there and is guiding and caring for them. This book will make you think and feel as well as entertain you. It seems especially appropriate as we deal with current times where Christians are minimized and made to feel their beliefs are outdated and unreal.

The main characters in this book have to deal with the fact that being Christian doesn't "promise you a rose garden." That life is sometimes difficult for even Christians and that evil is in the world because God gave us the freedom of choice. But that evil can lead to something better if God's plan is allowed to come to fruition.

There are so many times in this compelling novel when Stevens prose makes you stop and ponder what the characters are saying against your own beliefs and suppositions as a Christian. I highlighted many places that I know I will want to return to and reread and reflect.

The conclusion leaves questions unanswered and definitely left me wanting "more." Can't wait to read Book 4: Far and Near.

FAVORITE QUOTES: (Too many to include them all)
"God didn't want us to be unaware, Lee. He wanted a relationship with beings that could comprehend their own multifaceted existence. And He gave us free will knowing what that gift would do but alson knowing how He would redeem it all. Our depraved choices put His mercy on display, when we accept it."

"If God has to justify Himself to you, then why bother calling Him 'God'?"

"Just because God would forgive me...doesn't mean it would be okay."
Profile Image for Karen Collier.
98 reviews16 followers
March 9, 2016
As I finish reading Book 3 in this series, I am thrilled that the fourth book will be available soon [edit: yes, it's already available as I'm posting this review] because I can’t seem to get enough of these characters. The fascinating premise – What if Christianity were illegal? – drew me in to this series initially. But it’s been the characters and their true-to-real-life struggles that have stuck with me and keep drawing me back for more.

This book picks up where the last one left off, continuing the tale from the viewpoints of Lee and Austin, two characters who appeared in previous books, but that we get to know much better over the course of this one. I have to say I was surprised by some of the details we learn of their motivations and backgrounds – Austin’s in particular – but the details fit and give me a whole new perspective on them. That’s one of the beautiful things about this series. As we look at things from different characters’ viewpoints, we get a multifaceted view that broadens and deepens our understanding of the characters and situations.

All that aside, the thing that really stands out about this series so far, and that I’d love to see accomplished more often in Christian fiction, is the way it grapples with challenging theological and relational issues. There are no straw-man arguments or easy answers. Nothing feels preachy or clichéd. Rather, some very difficult questions are addressed, gradually, within the fabric of the story and arising from who the characters are. It’s really quite elegantly done.

I want to read more books like this one.

Highly recommended. Just be sure to read this series in order. First is Seek and Hide , followed by Found and Lost , Take and Give and the recently released Far and Near .

Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes.

This review appeared first on my blog at karencollier.com where I review a variety of Christian fiction books and audiobooks.
Profile Image for Bethy.
5 reviews
June 15, 2017
If you’ve seen my reviews on the first two, you’ll know that I judge the “greatness” of a book on whether (1) it entertains me, (2) it makes me think, and (3) it makes me feel. Again, as with the first two, Take and Give fulfill all three in spades.

I’m not going to analyze those three again – the story is entertaining, this future landscape makes me contemplate our freedoms and my own relationship with God, and I freely admit to crying more than once.

Instead I’m going to tell you that this is, hands down, the best Christian fiction I’ve ever read. It’s not whitewashed everybody’s happy and even the unbelievers have become Christians by the end. No, this reflects the real battle that takes place on earth every day until the return of Christ, individually and on the corporate level. On the individual level, we get to see both point of view characters, Austin and Lee, questioning their firm opinions and what they’ve been taught – questions with no easy answers, but they struggle along anyway. On the corporate level, we get to see the clash in the world of the power of God and the power of sin. The eternal outcome is certain, but what comes next for this particular cast of characters is still the height of the battle.

Plus, the prose is beautiful in a way that’s rare to find in fiction period, let alone the Christian genre. I tend to be a fast reader, caring most about what’s going to happen to the characters with whom I’ve become friends and willing to tolerate all levels of writing quality if the people are compelling enough. Here, the people are most *definitely* compelling, but so are the words. There’s not a wasted syllable in this book, with each word chosen to evoke just the right emotion at just the right time. Descriptions are vivid and make you feel like you’re right there with them.

By the end, I felt wrung out and exhausted from the adventure I’d just shared but also elated at the beauty I’d taken in, through words, through people, and through the glimpses of God in my own life that somehow managed to be caught in these pages with all the rest. My heart broke for Marcus, Lee, Austin, and Violet, but I also rejoiced in the victories God brought along the way. From beginning to end, five stars.
Profile Image for Kelly Bridgewater.
1,032 reviews43 followers
August 13, 2015
I have read the first two books in this series by Amanda G. Stevens, and I couldn’t wait to get my hand on the third edition. Since I was familiar with the first two, I expected Stevens to completely engross me in the action on the page. Take and Give picked up where the second one, Found and Lost, left off. I jumped right into the action and allowed my imagination to carry back to this dystopian society where Christians are considered dangerous.

One of my favorite parts of Stevens’ books is the way she approaches the external and internal conflicts of each character. She does a great job at reaching down into the soul of each character and spilling their problems on to the pages. Lee has been a reoccurring character since the first book, Seek and Hide, but Stevens never approached the story from her perspective, but in Take and Give, Lee finally is allowed to have a voice. Boy, do I get a chance to learn and understand more about Lee. I empathize with her struggles about Marcus and God. It was heart-wrenching. The transformation of Lee and Austin is deeply impacting. While Stevens allows the conservation about God to flow from a number of external characters, it is never preachy and condemning to unbelievers. The discussions about God was the voice of reason. It allows even me, who has been a believer for twenty years, to ponder why I believe in God.

Like I already stated, the story picks up right where the second book left off. I returned to the story world without so much as a glitch in my imagination. I loved following Lee, Austin, Violet, and Marcus as they flee to Texas. The story does not drag at all. I anxiously turn the pages, waiting breathlessly for them to be caught by the Constabulary. The dialogue enhances the story with no repetitive jargon. I felt like I was there, hiding in the truck’s bed or in the church, listening to all their conversations.

The conflict is very internal. Each individual has to decide whether to believe the current government who spills lies about Christians and their plans to re-educate the citizens or follow the rebels to Christ, which could cost them their life. In the same vein, the romantic tension lies just below the surface for Austin and Lee. Austin wants to pursue a relationship with Violet while Lee, however, struggles with allowing Marcus fully into her heart.

Take and Give is an original and unpredictable book for fans of any age. There is no questionable content, and it would be a good discussion piece to start a discussion about why Christians should stand strong on their faith in every day circumstances. Take and Give is a great book to join the dystopian genre, but also, I believe fans of the popular Left Behind series would find this series enjoyable. I can’t wait to see if there is a fourth book!

A book for the masses, Amanda G. Stevens’ latest installment, Take and Give, is a thrilling story about what could happen in America if the government takes away the freedom to worship and serve God. I loved Stevens ability to confront the difficult ideas that keep a lot of naysayers away from following God. Her dystopian society is realistic and rememberable.

I received a complimentary copy of Take and Give from David C. Cook Publishing and the opinions stated are all my own.
Profile Image for Charity Tinnin.
Author 1 book28 followers
July 29, 2017
I can't remember the last time I cried my way through an entire book because I cared so much. Until tonight/this morning I mean. I cried and sighed my way through Haven Seekers #3 and wrote love to Marcus, Lee, Violet, Austin(!), and Heath (who? ;)) in the margins in one sitting. I love these people, these couples, this book, and the hope we have to look forward to in #4.

And honestly? I'm giving Take and Give 5.5 stars (seriously I know that's not a thing, but I can't think of a single way to improve this book experience, not a one).
Profile Image for Stephanie Roberts.
32 reviews2 followers
August 16, 2015
This book was the best book of the series and I loved the first two! The author outdid herself on this book. Everything came together beautifully like pieces of a puzzle. The author dives much deeper into philosophical ideas in this book dealing especially with the problem of pain and suffering, truth, and free will. The best part is that she wove them into the story so well that you didn't feel as though she was preaching or arguing a point just for the sake of putting an opinion out there. It is all wrapped up in a very exciting story with twists and turns that you don't expect. We get so much more of each of the characters' back stories and lovely POVs. I especially connected with Lee. I love her story and I love her character. The characters are all easy to connect to and get wrapped up in because just like us they are all broken and all dealing with their separate issues while working towards one goal that brings them together. I could go on and on about the book but I won't because you should read and it and see for yourself how wonderful it is! Make sure to read the first two books though so that you really see the full story unfolding. I will leave this with my favorite quote from this book, "She could steal a car without a prick of conscience, but she couldn't steal his choice."

I received an advance copy of this book for review purposes.
Profile Image for Melissa (Semi-hiatus Very Behind).
4,649 reviews2,114 followers
June 6, 2019
The third book in Stevens’ exciting Haven Seekers series ratchets up the action and the suspense. It’s necessary to read the series in order to get the full picture of events. The prose will cause readers to examine their own faith and to consider what might happen if the Bible and Christianity were truly banned.
Still reeling from the loss of Marcus, Lee and Violet have started an underground medical practice to care for Christians seeking help. Austin continues to work for the Constabulary, looking for Violet and helping to ferret out those who don’t follow the government-approved way of worship. When the truth about Marcus comes out, the group of believers must flee to the newly-seceded Texas in order to stay alive, but they encounter more danger and surprises along the way.
Profile Image for Terry Conrad.
292 reviews18 followers
August 26, 2015
I was trying to wait patiently for this 3rd book in this series. I stayed up until 3:45 to finish it. this book is the best yet. As I read I cried and prayed. I loved the characters, especially Marcus. I hope if it ever happens I have the courage to suffer for my faith as he did. This book has kept me thinking. I have a feeling of urgency to pray more for our Country, to be able to stand blameless before the Lord.
Profile Image for Robyn.
68 reviews22 followers
June 6, 2015
A fantastic third offering from Amanda Stevens. If possible, this was the best book yet!
580 reviews5 followers
July 27, 2019
The girls in my book club were right. These do get better as they go. Not only were the two main characters in the first one very annoying, Marcus and Lee. Neither one of them would talk bout their issues, they just stewed in silence and that bothered me. But book two you get to know them a little better, the ice starts to thaw a little. Then you get even more annoying characters added to these. One very stupid girl that has been brainwashed and thinks she is doing the right thing by turning in innocent people. And the end to that one, the second book, this guy again thinks he knows best and sacrificed a good character for a lie someone had told him. Third book some of these characters, I’m not naming names now in case you decide to keep reading. You start to see reasons why they did some of the things they did. And you start having more feelings for these very unlivable people. I’m glad I have kept going. Only one more book left now!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Hope.
1,320 reviews100 followers
May 4, 2017
This is my favorite in the series so far. It cannot be read as a stand-alone novel since most of what the characters do is only understood from the previous two books in the series.

I liked this one because people ask hard questions about faith and don't get easy answers or platitudes. And because the characters keep growing.

Congratulations Amanda Stevens for another winner.
752 reviews4 followers
July 11, 2017
This series has really drawn me into it and can't wait to get to the next one. It picks up very close to where we left off. There are real people trying to stay on course and do what they believe is right regardless of the consequences. The struggle for some the characters to see things differently is very believable.
Profile Image for Ntebogeng Archer.
110 reviews
September 4, 2018
Given that I've read all four books, I understand why Book 2 and 3 were necessary. I just struggle with series' to the extent that they move from the person I'm initially captured by. In this case - Marcus and Lee. I truly would have been happier had the series continued from their perspectives.
53 reviews
June 21, 2019
Good Book

Great imagination & great character profiles with deep traumatic experiences without any knowledge to overcome. Still they were able to support one another during their great escape from unrighteous persecution to freedom.
1 review
May 17, 2021
I loved this book. The romance, the edge of your seat thrill, the journey of friendship and the challenge of standing up for what you believe in a difficult time. Very real and relevant to life for many people in today's world. Thank you.
Profile Image for ANNETTE.
806 reviews5 followers
January 1, 2023
Loved it ! This is the 3 Rd book in series and I couldn't wait to start it. This story flowed together nicely and really drew me in. Well done! Looking forward to book 4.
Profile Image for Vera mallard.
458 reviews11 followers
August 7, 2015
This is the 3rd installment of the Haven Series by Amanda G. Stevens. This was the first book of this series I have read. I read as many reviews of the first two books as I could, to have a sense of the issues and back story in the books. I still felt I was missing something as I started this book, however I was soon caught up in this story.

Ms. Stevens story of government religion and Christian persecution continues in this book, the original Bible is condemned, hatred for Christians abounds, and Christians are sent to centers for reprogramming. This is also the story of redeeming love, forgiveness, deep abiding love for God, and understanding. As this story begins Texas has declared itself a separate entity from the USA, Violet, Lee and Sam are running an underground medical clinic, and Marcus is believed dead and as such is mourned by all, especially Lee. Unbeknown to any of the group, Agent Jason Mayweather of the Constabulary held Marcus and tortured him for four months.

Agent Mayweather has kept Austin Delvecchio from investigating the disappearance of Violet, and has made a deal with Violet’s father. Austin rescues Marcus when Mayweather revealed his torture of Marcus and he saw the inhumane conditions he was kept in; Austin was brought to the safe house clinic, as he must disappear before Agent Mayweather kills him for helping Marcus escape. Violet, Lee, Marcus and Austin are on the run to Texas. All the players in this story have deep emotional scars from the past that impact their life. Ms. Stevens has created a horrible world of intolerance, prejudice and horror. It really makes you think about could happen in the not to distance future. She also showed Gods grace and love through the Christians strong beliefs. As in the real world, even in Texas Christians face the specter of persecution.

Ms. Stevens ended this book on a positive note, but leaves open the door for a lot more conflict and persecution in the life of our main characters.

I look forward to the next in the series. I would recommend this book to anyone that like a good solid Christian story of what could happen in the future.

I received this book from the publisher and Netgalley in return for an honest opinion.
97 reviews
August 16, 2015
Take and Give by Amanda Stevens: A Possible Glimpse to Our Future?

Amanda Stevens writes a very interesting and thought provoking story line in Take and Give. The story revolves around the United States and what happens when the country as a whole decides that Christians are intolerant terrorist and need to be either "re-educated", imprisoned or worse.

There are several main characters in the book, some of them are Christians and others who are still on the fence. I did find it a bit difficult at the beginning of the story to really get an understanding of what was happening; I felt like I had missed a few pages of important information but I learned that as you get further along in the book, you start to get more answers and pieces begin to fall in place. However, my recommendation is that you read the whole series from the beginning, not jump in half way.

I am assuming there will be at least one more book in the series as the ending left some unanswered questions, for example I am really unsure why Amanda felt it necessary to burden Violet with a dark secret, this seemed really unnecessary for this particular character. The book does leave you wondering, how prepared are you to defend your faith and belief in Jesus Christ and to what extent?

I received this book in an EBook format from NetGalley for my honest review. The publisher is David C. Cook. Visit my blog,Blessings N Bloggings for more reviews.

5,536 reviews
August 10, 2015
Take and Give is the third installment of the Haven Seekers series. This book is the best of the series. More interesting, more action, and more suspense. Four stars
Profile Image for Dawn Traylor.
228 reviews1 follower
April 4, 2017
Best in the series

Wow! This was a fabulous read. You feel the emotions of each of the characters and understand and relate to the life they have. Don't miss the opportunity to read this!
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