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Book Club Reads > 2016 August Book Club-Her One and Only

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message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica White | 45 comments Mod
We'll be reading and sharing our favorite quotes, characters and questions with author Becky Wade here all month.


message 2: by Caryl (new)

Caryl | 24 comments I'm enjoying Dru and Gray's story. They each have their own issues in which they struggle. I'm looking forward to reading how they resolve these issues within themselves and each other.

Since I lived in Carrollton, TX, I'm enjoying visiting North Park Mall and other places in this story. It's fun reading a story set in a place I'm familiar with.

Becky, I can image the fun you had in writing this series since you live in the DFW area.


message 3: by Becky (new)

Becky (authorbeckywade) | 11 comments Caryl, Yes! I had a great time setting Her One and Only in Dallas, the city in which I live. From the beginning, I envisioned the Porter Family series as my love letter to Texas. :)

I was raised in southern California, then came to Texas to attend Baylor, met my husband while at Baylor, and (except for the 4 years right after we were married when we lived overseas) have been in Dallas ever since. It was my goal to capture the beauty and ruggedness of the Texas people as well as the Texas land in the novels. I had great fun integrating real places alongside fictional places in the world of the Porters.


message 4: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (cmastfalk) | 2 comments One of my favorite things about Her One and Only was that it treated sexual temptation as a real thing. In our current culture, it sometimes seems out of place for me to read contemporary romances, even Christian ones, in which the characters are head over heels in love, grown adults, attracted to one another, and then there's not even a passing comment that chastity can be a HUGE struggle for them. So, kudos to Becky for keeping Dru and Gray's relationship realistic in that regard, particularly given their histories.


message 5: by Becky (new)

Becky (authorbeckywade) | 11 comments Thanks, Carolyn! I really strive to "keep it real" when writing my books. I want the characters, the setting, the emotion, and the struggles to feel real, because when that's the case, I believe the reader has a better chance of 'living' the story, instead of simply reading the story.

I agree with you that chastity can be and often IS a huge struggle for Christian couples who are falling in love. It felt authentic to me to have Dru and Gray confront that topic, so I wrote it into Her One and Only. I'm glad to hear that it rang true to you.


message 6: by Toni (new)

Toni Shiloh (tonishiloh) | 18 comments I absolutely ADORED this book. Previously my all time favorite was My Stubborn Heart. Her One and Only ranks right up there. I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the characters. It's great to read about issues that could affect anyone of us. When you add how God sees us through it...how we grow...makes for a fantastic read. I could cheerfully re-read this book over and over.


message 7: by Becky (new)

Becky (authorbeckywade) | 11 comments I appreciate that, Toni. Thank you! It's definitely a goal of mine to write 'about issues that could affect any one of us'. And, it's also a huge goal of mine to write a faith story into every novel. The faith storyline is often the hardest part of the book for me to pin down. After the first draft is complete and I'm working on rewriting, I'm still often praying, "God, show me what you're trying to say."


message 8: by Becky (new)

Becky (authorbeckywade) | 11 comments I'd love to ask readers a few questions! Feel free to answer one (or more) of the below.

1) Which scene from Her One and Only sticks out most in your mind. (Just mention it in general terms, no spoilers)

2) Which aspect of Dru's character or Gray's character made them unique or likable for you?

3) Were any of you able to relate to Meg's storyline of infertility? If so, which part?


message 9: by Toni (new)

Toni Shiloh (tonishiloh) | 18 comments 1) Boot to the door!! Not just what happens but Dru's thoughts prior to that point.

2) How tough Dru tried to be but how totally vulnerable she truly is. And I love Gray's snarky wit and when he started calling her Revengeress.


message 10: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Richmond | 11 comments What a fun story! As a writer, I appreciate how well structured Her One and Only is. Dru's need for trust was the right conflict for Gray's reluctance to trust. The prologue kept the suspense high even after the first arrest. The couple's black moment led directly into the Big Black Moment. And you got everyone in the same place at the same time for the grand finale! Impressive!


message 11: by Becky (last edited Aug 08, 2016 09:28AM) (new)

Becky (authorbeckywade) | 11 comments Toni wrote: "1) Boot to the door!! Not just what happens but Dru's thoughts prior to that point.

LOL! "Boot to the door" was all I needed to know EXACTLY which scene you were referencing, Toni. ;)



message 12: by Becky (new)

Becky (authorbeckywade) | 11 comments Catherine wrote: "What a fun story! As a writer, I appreciate how well structured Her One and Only is.

Thank you so much, Catherine. I think a wide understanding of the underlying craft of writing is crucial to those of us who take on the job of 'author'. ....If nothing else, it allows us to make informed decisions about which rules to break and why to break them.

As I write, I'm always envisioning different ways the story could go and weighing them against one another. "Is this way stronger? Or is this way stronger?" Inevitably, I'm still working to find the strongest way to reveal the story when I rewrite and when I rewrite AGAIN after receiving feedback and revision requests from my publisher.

My best wishes to you with your writing!


message 13: by Toni (new)

Toni Shiloh (tonishiloh) | 18 comments You have a great way of using imagery and emotions to make the scenes so impactful. I almost said the scene with "Get inside." But that one was more one sided. Still even though it was fun to read I really like the 'boot to the door' better. :)


message 14: by Caryl (new)

Caryl | 24 comments Toni, I agree with you regarding Becky's use of imagery and emotions. Her characters are not superficial and deal with tough issues.

The 'boot to the door' scene is great.


message 15: by Becky (new)

Becky (authorbeckywade) | 11 comments Toni wrote: "You have a great way of using imagery and emotions to make the scenes so impactful. I almost said the scene with "Get inside." But that one was more one sided. Still even though it was fun to read ..."

Toni, I know that you're an author, too. Tell us a little bit about your books!


message 16: by Becky (new)

Becky (authorbeckywade) | 11 comments Caryl wrote: "Toni, I agree with you regarding Becky's use of imagery and emotions. Her characters are not superficial and deal with tough issues."

Thanks, Caryl! It's certainly true that only men and women willing to deal with heavy issues need apply for the job of hero or heroine in one of my books. :))


message 17: by Toni (new)

Toni Shiloh (tonishiloh) | 18 comments I write contemporary romance as well. I hope that others will see God in a new way when they read my writing. I self-pubbed a novella last year and I have been writing like crazy ever since. I did have a publishing contract for a novel to release next year, but the company recently closed its doors so now I'm trying to find another publisher.
Thanks for asking, Becky!


message 18: by Jessica (new)

Jessica White | 45 comments Mod
Finished the book!

Okay first I'll confess I didn't think I'd really enjoy this book. I'm a Texan but I don't like football. I also have a hard time with female leads in roles that put them in authority over men. That being said, I read this book straight through yesterday and really came to admire both Gray and Dru.

Gray's childhood and God's ability to use football to help him work through those issues was truly beautiful to read. So many people see sports as pure entertainment or status builders and don't see the intrinsic value of them for kids to work on issues like anger and trust. And Dru went from a mouthy, act first, risk-taker to letting God show her how to use that fierce internal strength to protect and do good. The fact she manages to keep her spirit open to God's voice and authority while also working in a predominantly male field and doing a job that requires her to trust her own instincts also was a beautiful picture of balance. She could have just as easily turned out to be the kind of woman who only trusts herself and refuses to submit to authority and blames and berates men when things go wrong (like when he went speeding down the highway). But she truly has God's compassionate heart for others, even the criminals.


Favorite scene: Holding hands in the car.
Favorite thing about Gray: His driving out to deal with his mother despite his personal feelings and not hitting Jeff.
Favorite thing about Dru: Her ability to know the real enemy and ability to see the clients' adversary for who they really are.
Meg's storyline: I definitely related to Meg's fear after miscarriage. My first pregnancy was miscarried (I hate that word BTW) at nine weeks. My subsequent two pregnancies were rife with fear despite my faith. I also had preclampsia with my first pregnancy. So I recognized Meg's symptoms and experiences. There is something to be said fearing for the life growing inside of you and then worry about your own life on top of it. So it was good to read a fictional account and see a character make that surrender to God's will over her own no matter what the outcome.


message 19: by Toni (new)

Toni Shiloh (tonishiloh) | 18 comments Love the scene where they hold hands!!

I'm so sorry about your first pregnancy, Jessica.


message 20: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Richmond | 11 comments The next book I picked up was David Baldacci's Split Second. The main character is a secret service agents - hey, that's kind of like a personal protection agent, right (I almost wrote bodyguard - ha!)? She shoots, has a 4th degree black belt, etc. These two secret service agents are focused on clearing their names, whereas Dru was focused on doing her job, protecting Gray, while resisting the attraction. Dru earned my admiration - a true heroine!


message 21: by Jessica (new)

Jessica White | 45 comments Mod
Toni wrote: "Love the scene where they hold hands!!

I'm so sorry about your first pregnancy, Jessica."


Thanks Toni.


message 22: by Carole (new)

Carole Jarvis Welcome, Becky! I'm so glad you all are enjoying Her One & Only like I did! We're talking about it as transformational fiction, and I just noticed what I wrote in my review back in May: "I think the term transformational fits Becky's books, because she doesn’t shy away from difficult social issues, such as PTSD, alcoholism, child abuse, infertility and miscarriage – and it’s all about the transforming power of God and how He works through His children." I can highly recommend this whole series, and even though I'm not a big suspense fan, thoroughly enjoyed Dru and Gray's story.

Jessica, thank you for sharing with us. It seemed to take forever for me to get pregnant the first time, and thankfully all went well. But about a year later, I had a miscarriage and the feeling of loss was profound. I was blessed with a healthy daughter a couple of years later, but worried through much of that pregnancy. My grown daughter and her husband also struggle with infertility, so Meg's story touches many people, Becky.


message 23: by Caryl (new)

Caryl | 24 comments Carole, the fact that Becky's characters dealt with the tough issues of life endeared them to me all the more. I love the strong spiritual thread throughout this series. I'm looking forward to reading more of Becky's books.

I'm a huge suspense fan. I am so glad Jessica chose Her One and Only for our August read.


message 24: by Kirsty (last edited Aug 12, 2016 10:37PM) (new)

Kirsty Pearce | 1 comments An extremely fitting and wonderfully poignant Swan Song for the Porter Family series, the scene I keep coming back to is the one involving an exchange between Dru and a 'half-drunk' Gray. It's just such a beautiful and vulnerable moment for both characters.

Having grown up in the middle of two brothers myself, Dru's feelings regarding her siblings, and how the lingering effects of her growing up years impacted her adult life is one aspect of her character I definitely could appreciate. Her level-head, determination, bluntness, and the fact that she bit the bullet and pulled herself off Gray's detail the moment she realized she'd crossed a line are several more unique attributes that I find make her even more impressive. The way she goes 'frighteningly soft' over Gray is also something I enjoyed, as it helps to smooth out her more rough edges.

Gray's strength, both hidden and physical, his determination to rise above his past, and the fact that he tries to take care of his mum even though she broke his heart and failed to take care of him the way she should have, plus countless other little things, all combine to make him a man worthy of admiration. The way Becky employed his character arc to complement Dru's was also inspired writing, as was getting Dru to use her past to help him in his present, the phrase 'living like your unforgiven' one of my favorites.


message 25: by Toni (new)

Toni Shiloh (tonishiloh) | 18 comments Love the 'frighteningly soft' moment as well as the drunk moment.


message 26: by Becky (new)

Becky (authorbeckywade) | 11 comments Thanks for your thorough and insightful comments about Her One and Only, Jessica. I really enjoyed reading through your post.

Jessica wrote: "I definitely related to Meg's fear after miscarriage. My first pregnancy was miscarried (I hate that word BTW) at nine weeks. My subsequent two pregnancies were rife with fear despite my faith. I also had preclampsia with my first pregnancy. So I recognized Meg's symptoms and experiences."

I related to Meg's fear, too, Jessica. Like Meg, I've had two miscarriages. Mine came between baby #2 and baby #3. I was fraught with the usual concerns the first time I was pregnant. The second time, I was totally laid back about the whole thing having been-there-done-that once already. :) But the third time, after those miscarriage, I faced intense the anxiety and worry. I prayed daily (sometimes hourly) for the Lord to help me deal with it, to enable me to trust Him more fully, to keep the baby safe. I poured much of what I felt during those months into Meg's story line.

Even while writing Undeniably Yours, I knew what was coming for Meg and Bo. I knew I was going to have them grapple with infertility in the books to come. Having walked that road myself, I just felt led to delve into that. To show that 'happily ever after' isn't always easy or without challenge and hardship and tests.

For me, that was part of the joy of getting to write a series that spanned so many years in the Porter family's world.


message 27: by Becky (new)

Becky (authorbeckywade) | 11 comments Carole wrote: "I think the term transformational fits Becky's books, because she doesn’t shy away from difficult social issues, such as PTSD, alcoholism, child abuse, infertility and miscarriage – and it’s all about the transforming power of God and how He works through His children."

Thank you!! Wow, that review means a lot to me, Carole. The transforming power of God is EXACTLY what I hope to highlight in my novels.

"I had a miscarriage and the feeling of loss was profound. I was blessed with a healthy daughter a couple of years later, but worried through much of that pregnancy. My grown daughter and her husband also struggle with infertility, so Meg's story touches many people, Becky."

It's reassuring to hear from other women who've faced infertility, miscarriage, and fear in the pregnancy that follows. I agree with you, Carole! I think this issue has touched and will touch many of us.



message 28: by Becky (new)

Becky (authorbeckywade) | 11 comments Kirsty wrote: "the scene I keep coming back to is the one involving an exchange between Dru and a 'half-drunk' Gray. It's just such a beautiful and vulnerable moment for both characters."

That scene is my absolute favorite scene in the whole book. As you said... the vulnerability there... the vulnerability in that exchange is what gets to me. When you take a very strong man and give him a weak spot for his heroine -- Sigh. Swoon. :)

Thanks for your beautifully written observations regarding Dru and Gray, Kirsty! I was so encouraged to read what you had to say. Plus, to hear WHY the characters connected with a reader is helpful to me as a writer. I know why they connected with me. But we're all so different! So it's instructive to know how and why they connected with you.


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