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First Love and Forever (Byrnehouse-Davies & Hamilton Saga, #4)
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First Love and Forever (Byrnehouse-Davies & Hamilton Saga #4)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  2,690 Ratings  ·  189 Reviews
Emily Hall has not seen Michael Hamilton since the day she told him she'd decided to marry another man. Ryan Hall's membership in the Church was enough to make Emily's decision clear, and she married Ryan in the temple. A decade and three children later, she finds herself enduring marriage to an inactive and insensitive husband. She relies on the Spirit to help her cope, b ...more
Paperback, 236 pages
Published August 1st 1994 by Covenant Communications (first published January 1st 1994)
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Cheryl Callahan
Apr 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
I read this book years ago and just re-read it this morning, I dunno why. I was avoiding the laundry, maybe? It wasn't much of an escape, however, since the main character is mentioned to be doing her laundry no less than 470 scintillating, page-turning times.

This book has a very important lesson to impart and that is: you'd better keep your rich, Australian boyfriend around in case you some day become a financially-destitute and helpless widow.

With the inclusion of the always-convenient neigh
Feb 15, 2009 rated it liked it
For those of you who know my (not so great) love of LDS lit, it should surprise you that I gave this book a three. It was pretty good as far as LDS romances go. Perhaps it was too much of a chronology as opposed to a story. Things I despised...Emily gave herself two choices...Marry the guy she loved heart and soul but was not LDS or marry the guy she had luke-warm feelings for and was LDS. She chose the latter. Nevertheless, there was a third unspoken choice never even mentioned hold out for an ...more
Apr 15, 2011 rated it liked it
This was definitely written for an LDS audience. The storyline was universal. Who among us has not had to make decisions between what we want and what we think God wants us to do? The female lead, Emily, did get a little irritating at times. In the end, it was a nice romantic LDS fiction that is an easy and fast read.
Aug 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
At first I was not sure about this book. I don't normally do romances, but I enjoyed that this was a clean read. Took me awhile to get invested in the main characters lives, but I'm hooked now. LOL I just ordered books 2 & 3. Can't wait for book club to discuss!
Aug 12, 2010 rated it liked it
I'm a tad embarrassed to admit I read 5 of these. Its kind of like getting into a Lifetime movie that you just have to see through to the end. Anyways, books 2-5 were 2 stars, but this very first book was the best one, in my opinion. She brings up some good points.
Jul 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in high school my first time and then a few years ago again. I really liked the book. I really like Anita Stansfield. I love that her books wrap you into the characters.
Amy Keeley
Feb 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: LDS housewives who aren't disappointed in their husbands
This is an okay book. As another reviewer mentioned, she bypasses the third choice (wait for a guy she can love who is also LDS) and that's a bit irritating, but I remember being at that age (Disclaimer: I'm LDS). A lot of LDS folk get married in their early twenties, so the pressure can be pretty intense from a social aspect. (The LDS church itself doesn't put any pressure on women to get married as soon as possible. The focus is more on finding quality men than get-married-now in their advice ...more
Shanee VonStrahl
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is the first Anita Stansfield novel I have read. I doubt I will read another. I was really in the mood for an escape romance novel, which is rare for me, so the story-line proved enough to keep me turning pages. But the writing wasn't great. Certain words and phrases were overly used ("tersely," "poignant," "touched his/her face," etc.). Some of the dialogue was corny. It seemed like the author couldn't think of anything else for the main character to do other than laundry--constantly! She ...more
Mar 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Apzmarshl by: me
Now and then I just like to revisit this book. I know I've complained about some of her later writings, but this one still makes me cry.

Read Dec. 2, 2009

This was the first book I ever read by Stansfield and that is when I fell in love. After my last read of hers, I was feeling a little sentimental so I reread First Love and Forever.

Emily is in an unhappy marriage to the man that she felt compelled to choose after much prayer. Ryan was able to give her the one thing that the 'other' man couldn't,
May 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!!!! I love Anita Stansfeilds writing!!! In all her books the conflict comes up right off the bat and gets you wrapped into the story.
"Emily Hall hasn't seen Michael Hamilton(Her colledge sweet heart) scince the day she told him she'd decided to marry another man. Ryan Hall's membership in the church was enough to make Emily's decision clear, and she married him in the temple. A decade and three children later, she finds herself enduring marriage to an inactive and insensitiv
Emilee O. 1 Owens
First Love and Forever by Anita Stansfield is about Emily who gives up marriage to Michael for religious reasons. Years later they come across each other. The book relates their long conversation as they catch up on their lives since they last saw each other. When he finds out her current marriage is unhappy, Michael believes the pain of parting was a waste . He has never gotten over her and wants Emily to leave her husband. Emily has a conflict wanting to be true to her vows, but still loving M ...more
Jan 15, 2009 rated it did not like it
BLECH! Sorry - I am not one to appreciate the excessive "prayer and fasting" that is so prevalent in Mormon romance novels. This was a book club book that we're reviewing next week. I don't have anything good to say about it, except that it only took about 3 hours to read. I've read only one other Anita Stansfield book - while in high school - and I swear she just uses the same tragic formula.
Good Mormon girl meets boy (may or may not be LDS) whom she falls in love with.
Good Mormon girl meets an
Dec 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
If I would've read this before getting married, I would not have liked it one bit. I would've judged the characters as all doing wrong. I would've said things like, "She should do THIS" or "He should NOT be saying that to her."

However, this book really hit home. I was often so emotional throughout it, and not because I'm pregnant, but because it's relatable (not in EVERY aspect of the story, but a few).

I read others' reviews and many people, fortunately, can't relate to Emily's situation, so t
Nov 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
Our heroine, Emily, is a devout "Mormon" and having made all her choices for the 'right' reasons finds herself miserable in a loveless marriage. It seems everything has gone wrong -- she married a 'returned missionary' who she dated in high school when he was a handsome charismatic football star, having refused a proposal from a college boyfriend who was not a member of her church. Now her husband is 'inactive' in the church, works long hours, is distant from her and their children, and scrutini ...more
Jul 30, 2008 rated it liked it
So I read this in High School and thought it was the "BEST BOOK I'd EVER READ". But books of her's that I've read more recently were just so stupid I couldn't finish them. I came across this at the library and was curious what I would think of it now, 12 years later. The verdict: definitely not the best book ever. I didn't think Emily was believable as a person. On top of not being believable, she was super annoying. I was wondering why Michael was SO IN LOVE with her. If I knew her personally s ...more
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
I guess I'm just really not a modern day lds fiction fan. I like the author's writing style but I just was not into this story - there was so much about the relationship triangle that bothered me .

Amazon Product Description:
Emily Hall has not seen Michael Hamilton since the day she told him she'd decided to marry another man. Ryan Hall's membership in the Church was enough to make Emily's decision clear, and she married Ryan in the temple. A decade and three children later, she finds herself end
Feb 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lds
I feel pretty lame for giving this book four stars but I really enjoyed it! LDS romance novels are my guilty pleasuere and this book is the standard held up for all the other novels to follow! I can't say you will feel like the most intelligent person after reading this, but it is an enjoyable, feel-good book. I definitely went to bed smiling when I was done with this.

Emily Ladd meets an amazing man Micheal and they fall in love and want to get married. But he isn't a member of the Church. So sh
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Okay. This book in the series starts to get into the cheesy love stories that I typically associate with Anita Stansfield and that I don't really enjoy. The previous books in the series were a little more "historical fiction" -ess and I could deal with the cheesiness when it's dated in the late 1800's or early 1900's because that's sort of how I picture those romances anyways.

However, this book is more in the present time and falls into the LDS romance I-have-something-really-bad-happen-to-me-b
Jul 31, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: lds-fiction
Like Andrea, I read this when I was in high school and I was forevermore hooked on Anita Stansfield novels, until recently. Now that I'm not the giggly, flirty, hopeless romantic that I was back then, I've decided that her books are too fictional. She does a good job of trying to incorporate real life scenarios, but for me, it's just not working. This is what I have noticed with her books - Money is never a problem and marital intimacy is always just bliss. Since I can't identify with either of ...more
Jan 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The main character, Emily did so much fasting and praying in order to make any decision in her life that it became an eating disorder for her. Emily was naive and almost idiotic and I just wanted to slap her silly. She should have stood up for herself and finished school instead of worrying whether to marry this boy or the other. Maybe if she educated herself she would have discovered that Ryan wasn't a good marrying choice. Ah well, another Mormon stereotype perpetuated in this book...women can ...more
Makayla Pollard
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who like irony and romance
Recommended to Makayla by: my mama :)
I really enjoyed this book. It is a good page turner and has romance in it. Although I am not a big romance fan, i enjoyed it because I relate to it. It is mostly for girls but anyone can read it. Annita Stansfeild is an LDS writer, so that would need to be applicable. She wanted to write a romance book that was LDS and I think she did a very well job. I have read the whole series and i really enjoyed it. There is lots of suprising moments where you don't expect whats coming. Also, there is some ...more
Mar 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This was the first Anita Stansfield book I ever read. I just love the story of Emily Hall, who after been married for 10 years to an insensitive, in-active husband finds her self face to face with Michael Hamilton her first true love. This amazing story of faith, healing and first loves is a book I have reread many times over the years. Glad I own it! It never takes me very long to read this book, so I have labeled it a quick read. Which at times is something that I want when I am dragging with ...more
Jun 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with a hankering for a LDS hunk
am reading these books out of obligation (it's a long story). but lets just say, once you start, you can't stop. these are seriously the best and most addicting LDS romance books you'll ever find. everyone i know in this town loves (and refers often to) them, i'm pretty ashamed i'm even giving them the time of day. but if you want a clean, fun, easy to read, love story (and you're going through withdrawals without twilight) i'd recommend you read this series of books. take them to the beach, get ...more
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a book that I readily enjoyed. It was the kind of book they should make a chic flick out of. It was romantic, it was sad, and it was just...amazing! There characters were relate-able and it was the story of a strong independent woman who knew how to stand up for her beliefs and stay true to her heart. It wasn't the perfect life, like most people expect from an LDS romance novel, but it was full to trials and hardships, but everything came through in the end.
Mar 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book is in the same category as Jack Weyland's "Charly". However, this book is a little more cheesy. The main character is self-righteous and is constantly commenting on how she is feeling the spirit (not that there is anything wrong with that). It was just a bit much for me to really be able to enjoy the book. There is a second book that I am now reading, also very cheesy (perhaps worse than the first).
Jun 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those who like LDS romance novels
Recommended to Natasha by: Amy F.
Shelves: fiction
I'm not a big fan of adult fiction in general. This book was good, though somewhat predictable. It's about a woman named Emily and a man named Michael Hamilton who is from Australia. (I completely had Hugh Jackman pictured in my mind!) They were collage sweet hearts at BYU. While in college he proprosed marriage, but she decided to marry someone else because Michael was not LDS. 10 years later, their paths cross again and this book is just the beginning of their story.
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
We heard Anita Stansfield speak this past December, so this was our first time to read one of her many published novels. I really enjoyed her presentation and what she had to say, so I suspected her writing would be similar. It was. We got the 3 books in this series for Christmas, since my daughters were at the lecture and wanted to check out her writing as well. They loved them all, and read them quickly. I enjoyed them as well. A fun read with LDS themes and values.
May 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
I am not much of a romantic person, but I have really enjoyed reading Anita Stansfield's books. She really has a way of helping the reader feel the emotions as the characters go through real life trials and triumphs. She uses gospel principles to help the characters overcome the challenges of life. I know it seems a little cheezy, but I have really enjoyed this first series of hers.
May 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lds-author
well i am not sure that i would recommend this. maybe because i think the topic was not something you should think about... also i Hate the prevalence in LDS culture of needing a "burning bush" to know whether to marry someone. it was interesting enough that i finished reading the other 2 in the series.
Mar 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. A lot of people don't like these because they're predictable, I think that's true, but what if they both died, how fun would that be? I love the idea of a fairytale, even if they don't always come true, life is what you make it. It's like those movies that you know have a happy ending and you love it, but your still nervous every time you watch it.
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what a book 2 10 Apr 26, 2013 04:32AM  
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Anita Stansfield, the LDS market's #1 best-selling romance novelist, is an imaginative and prolific writer whose romantic stories have captivated her readers.
"With sales approaching a half million, Anita Stansfield has clearly found a niche in this market," said Nicole Martin, Publicist for Covenant Communications. "Her popularity stems from her ability to empathize with and write about the issues
More about Anita Stansfield...

Other Books in the Series

Byrnehouse-Davies & Hamilton Saga (8 books)
  • The Gable Faces East (Byrnehouse-Davies & Hamilton Saga, #1)
  • Gables Against the Sky (Byrnehouse-Davies & Hamilton Saga, #2)
  • The Three Gifts of Christmas (Byrnehouse-Davies & Hamilton Saga, #3)
  • First Love, Second Chances (Byrnehouse-Davies & Hamilton Saga, #5)
  • Now and Forever (Byrnehouse-Davies & Hamilton Saga, #6)
  • By Love and Grace (Byrnehouse-Davies & Hamilton Saga, #7)
  • Home for Christmas (Byrnehouse-Davies & Hamilton Saga, #8)

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