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When He Found Me

(Road to Refuge #1)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Love Discovered . . . Hope Renewed
Once a strong Christian, third baseman Shane Riley lost his faith the night he injured his knee in a freak car accident. Determined to return to professional baseball and to find the sister he treated badly, Shane retreats to Refuge, Wyoming. There he meets Melissa June “MJ” Townsend, a single mom battling the virus that causes cervical
Kindle Edition, 381 pages
Published March 18th 2019
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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Victoria Bylin
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: 2019
Book No. 3 for 2019 . . . Yes, it's one of my own--my newest. I had to proofread it, so I'm counting it :) Actually, I read it twice. Can I count it twice? No, that would be cheating :)

Yes, I love this story. If it eases one woman's heart and gives one man courage to live his convictions, even when it's difficult, then the story has succeeded. If it brings one person back to a place of peace, even better.

I hope you enjoy it :)
Insightful, raw and thought-provoking. When He Found Me is a beautifully, poignant story that illustrates God’s presence in our lives when we feel alone in our circumstances, and how His grace covers all of our failings and replaces them with life, love and freedom. Bylin handles tough issues and questions with honesty and vulnerability, creating a powerful emotional impact and an uncertainty in the direction the story will take. The multiple POVs added depth and layers to the plot by creating ...more
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-indie-books
Baseball player Shane Riley is on his way to Refuge, Wyoming, to take a teaching job while he recovers from his recent injury. On the way, he meets a woman in a laundromat who reminds him of his estranged sister, Daisy. The woman turns out to be Melissa Townsend, his new landlady.

MJ has nowhere to go. So she’s returned to Refuge with her son, Cody, because she’s recently inherited her grandparent’s house … and because she has nowhere else to go. She wants to sell the house, because her health
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shatter the Glass Balls and Set the Seagulls Free!

I wasn’t ready for this book to end! Great character development, I felt like I really got to know MJ inside and out. And Shane, what a special man he is, fighting his own battles, yet able to humble himself and pour out his love to MJ and Cody. Through a series of letters MJ discovers in the attic, she finds a renewed faith which leads to reconciliation with past family issues. And the story of Daisy, Shane’s sister and her abusive
Caitlyn Santi
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what an incredible story! I was sucked in from the first page and hated to put the book down! This review may be a bit on the short side, simply because I don't know if I can find the words to do this beautiful book justice. This story is told in alternating POV from the perspectives of MJ, her mother Olivia, Shane, and his sister Daisy, and I was captivated by all of their stories! This book has it all, tremendous depth, a lovely romance, forgiveness, reconciliation, characters that become ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book and learning the story of each character. They felt well fleshed out, I felt a connection to each of them even though I might've not gone through a similar situation as they were going through. I am looking forward to the other books in this series.
Astrid Pizarro (Book Lover's Book Reviews)
This book will grab your attention, you won't want to put the book down. Shane has an injury that causes him to be unable to play baseball which also results in him distancing himself from God. MJ travels to Wyoming alongside her son Cody to sell her grandfather's house and use that money for herself and Cody. She has a virus that causes cervical cancer which will change her future. Shane rents MJ's garage and teaches in the school, MJ's mother is the principal there. Each character has a ...more
Susan Snodgrass
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
'Why did people have to hurt? Why did Almighty God make dreams come true and snatch them away?'

Victoria Bylin has written a book that will grab your interest and cause you to become deeply invested in her story. Shane Riley was once a strong Christian. Then an injury to his knee resulted in him not being able to play professional baseball anymore and he drifts so very far away from God. He is trying to find his little sister who was removed from the foster home that sheltered them both. He has
Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)
Have you ever read a story that grabbed your attention from the very beginning, and you found yourself longing for more each time you had to put it down because real life got in the way? That is exactly how I felt reading this. Bylin writes a beautiful story about realistic situations. There is sin, pain, forgiveness, mistakes, and yes even topics that some readers may gasp at because it is found in Christian fiction. But this is real life people. Mistakes are made in the real world - we're only ...more
Suzie Waltner
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you’re looking for a book with real characters who have made real mistakes and struggle with the consequences, sometimes years later, look no further. In When He Found Me, Victoria Bylin delves into the messiness of poor choices, of bad and difficult things happening to good people, and questions about why God doesn’t take those hard things away from his children.

Even though Shane is struggling with his faith, it’s obvious from the first pages that this man has a good heart. MJ is a brand-new
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I honestly have no idea what to say without giving away any spoilers! This book was hands down one of the most real, honest, and heart-felt contemporaries I’ve read in a while. I can’t even begin to explain all the emotions I experienced while reading it, but I can say this: I laughed, I cried (a lot), and a little bit of everything else in between. This book hits you THAT DEEP. You go from heartache, shame, guilt, pain, unworthiness, doubt, and fear to: forgiveness, love, grace, acceptance, ...more
Victoria Bylin’s When He Found Me is a powerful and emotional read that will hit readers square in the chest. Throughout the story, perspective alternates between of several different characters, mostly women. This is a story about hardship, heartbreak, personal struggle and growth, forgiveness, family, friendship, and love. It’s filled with so many emotions that will leave readers grinning for one moment, takes them to angry in another moment, and brings them to tears in yet another moment. ...more
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
When He Found Me by Victoria Bylin is such an incredible story, but it isn’t for the faint of heart. If it was a movie I’d rate it PG-13 because it has mature themes, frank discussion of adult desires and the main characters’ sexual pasts, and derogatory language in reference to someone’s morals. There are also descriptions of assault that could be a trigger for some readers. All of this makes for a very raw, very realistic story about the ways that we struggle with life choices.

Single mom MJ is
Beth Erin
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bylin's raw authenticity gifts readers with genuine and honest characters who encounter realistic struggles and conflict. Faith plays an important role in the story without resorting to a sterile, predictable plot. Many readers are sure to learn something new as I did.

This isn't a "feel-good warm and fuzzy" read but it is a "you ought to read it because it will help you grow" kind of read or maybe even an "if you're going through tough stuff, know you aren't alone" kind of read. Regardless,
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2019
When He Found Me is one of those rare books that touched me to the core. It's an emotional love story on a number of levels, between a man and a woman, a brother and sister, a mother and child, but overall it's the story of God's love for all of us.

When He Found Me doesn't shy away from exposing the reality of modern day issues, alcohol and domestic abuse, unwed pregnancy and abortion, STI's and their treatment, but Bylin handles them all with a delicate hand of honesty and grace always pointing
Teresa Snyder
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book. I was so invested in the characters that I felt their emotions. My only disappointment — there wasn’t an epilogue!
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
WHEN HE FOUND ME is one of those stories that is poignant as it touches on difficult life lessons and the faith, hope, and love that can carry us through. Readers will fall in love with these characters, cheer them on, cry with them, and wish for them. A heartfelt read from the first page to the last.

From the first page I knew that this story was special. It begins with these characters at a point when they're struggling to figure out their lives. That struggle continues throughout the book as
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019, book-tours
"Like Humpty Dumpty, he'd had a great fall. Unlike Humpty Dumpty, God had put him together again, albeit with a few cracks to keep him humble."

This is the first book by Victoria Bylin that I have read and I am berating myself for having missed such heart-wrenching, emotionally raw, yet so spiritually uplifting writing until now. The author tackles some serious issues in this book by honestly looking at addiction, self-worth, broken marriage, and being fatherless through the eyes and hearts of
Beckie Burnham
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A pure case of judging a book by its cover. That’s what I encountered when I picked up When He Found Me by Victoria Bylin. The catchy font, title, and colorful graphics led me to believe this book would be a fun chick lit/romance. Oh, I got women’s fiction and a love story alright, but the real prize was finding a thoughtful portrayal of life in all its ugliness . . . and beauty. When He Found Me is raw in its emotions and candid in its exploration of the consequences of our choices for ...more
Connie Saunders
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are many sensitive subjects mentioned in When He Found Me and this certainly can't be labeled as chicklit but it is a story that will touch your heart and remain in your memory. Shane Riley and Melissa June "MJ" Townsend have both suffered deep hurts and they both feel like they have failed. Shane's successful career as a baseball player has been cut short by an injury, he's lost touch with his younger sister Daisy and he has basically turned his back on God; MJ is struggling to make ends ...more
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Refuge, Wyoming, a small, close knit town where Shane Riley retreats to heal from an injury that sidelined him from professional baseball, hopefully temporarily. Using a real estate agent, Shane rents a house, sight unseen, for six months while he works at restoring and repairing his injured knee. It is a beautiful home, well taken care of and fully furnished, all he needs is food.

MJ, Melissa June, Townsend is traveling to Refuge, Wyoming with her young son after losing her job and inheriting
Noemie | allmybookthoughts
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books, 2019-arcs
Thank you to Victoria Bylin and Just Read Tours for this book! #partner
Shane Riley is a baseball player who lost his career (and faith) during a freak car accident. He is motivated & driven to return to the game that he loves, but decides on a change of scenery for a semester and takes a job teaching in Wyoming. On his way, he meets Melissa June "MJ" Townsend, a single mom with a lovable and wild son, Cody. MJ is fighting her own demons - she is battling the virus that causes cervical
Judy Gerlach
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With captivating characters and amazing story lines, this is one of Victoria Bylin’s best books yet! The characters and the story drew me in from the very beginning. These people are real, with real issues, struggling to make sense of their lives, failures and relationships with family, friends and lovers, past, present and whatever lies ahead. All of the main characters have, at some point in their lives, strayed away from the straight and narrow of Christian living and suffered the ...more
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
When I picked up When He Found Me, I thought I was going to be reading a light, fun, and possibly funny romance. (This is because I obviously paid more attention to the whimsical cover than to the book's description .) What I found, though, was a surprisingly deep and heartwarming story about love, forgiveness, and faith. It also made me do the ugly cry at one point, so there's that ...

The story is told in alternating points of view between MJ, Shane, MJ's mother Olivia, and Shane's sister
Kristie Ingerto
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-books-read
Victoria Bylin is an author who has become a must-read author for me, as soon as I see that she has a new book out I have to read it!
Victoria's latest novel, "When He Found Me," is the start to a brand new series, Road to Refuge, and it was an excellent start and I am ready to read more! MJ is moving back to her hometown to get her grandfather's home which was left to her ready to sell as she needs the money as a single mother. As if this was not enough she is also dealing with the possibility
Debi Lantzer
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rating 4.5 stars!

The protagonist, Shane Riley was a professional baseball player until his knee was injured in a car accident. Shane has lost contact with his sister, Daisy, and has no idea where she is or what kind of life she's living. He feels like he has failed... that he should have been watching over his sister but he didn't.Shane feels like God has failed him by allowing his accident to happen, which then caused him to be knocked him off of the baseball team. He's going to leave Los
Joan Arning
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When He Found Me is a touching story with real people, their problems and mistakes! Shane is a wonderful protagonist who was a professional baseball player until his knee was injured in a car accident. Shane has lost contact with his sister, Daisy, after he lost his temper the last time he saw her. MJ is almost down to her last dollar when Shane sees her and her young son with his worn out shoes in a laundromat during a road trip. Your heart will go out to this single mother as you admire her ...more
Patti Whitson Stephenson She Lives to Read
This is the first time I’ve read a book by this author, and I was impressed by the way she told this story. The characters are wonderful. I had a hard time putting this book down because I was so invested in the lives of Lyn, Daisy, and Shane.

There’s some difficult themes throughout this story, and the author handles each of them in a grace-filled and compassionate way. Lyn, who is single, becomes pregnant and decides to raise her son on her own, even though it means giving up her own dreams.
Denise Hershberger
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sometimes in Christian Fiction you only find perfect characters, but in this book you'll find more realistic characters. I appreciate authors who allow characters who sin and have flaws.

Shane and MJ's meet cute was one of my favorite parts of the book. I honestly fell for him almost right away! I loved how he handled many difficult moments in this book. He wasn't perfect, but he was quite discerning.

I'll admit that at times MJ drive me crazy, but I could never fault her love for her son! She is
Kendra Neal
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christian Fiction readers
WOW, what a POWERFUL book! I began reading it and could not put it down. I finished the book in record time. The storyline and characters flow well together and make the book a "keep reading" book.

The main characters, MJ a Single Mom and Shane, met when MJ moves to Wyoming. The 2 didn't expect to have a wonderful relationship, but God does some amazing things for them. They both have some struggles and that is why they both came to Riley, WY. The way God moves in them as the relationship grows,
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Known for her realistic, likable characters and vivid writing, Victoria Bylin writes both western and contemporary inspirational romance. Together With You, a story about family and forgiveness, won the FHL Readers Choice Award for Best Contemporary, and her historicals have finaled in the Carol Awards, Rita Awards, and RT Magazine’s Reviewers’ Choice Awards. Her most recent book, The Two Of Us, ...more

Other books in the series

Road to Refuge (2 books)
  • A Gift to Cherish (Road to Refuge #2)
“Why did people have to hurt? Why did Almighty God make dreams come true and snatch them away?” 0 likes
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