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on December 30, 2011
i have read the 2 previous books in this series & looked forward to reading this book. The first chapter starts out with a situation that immediately catches your attention & through out the book the author(s) take you from one situation to another. The main thrust of the book is about people & their relationships, w/some sinister characters which create some intrigue.

Very well written & I high recommend the book.
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on June 10, 2012
I read the second book in the Songbird series when it came out last January. I finally had the chance to pick up Love Lifted Me, the conclusion over the weekend and was NOT disappointed.

After months apart, Max returns to Whisper Hollow to repair his marriage and father his two-year-old son. Jade struggles with trusting the changes she sees in Max, and Max vows to remain patient. As they attempt to find their rhythm, Max is offered the chance of a lifetime--as a high-school football coach in Texas. Alone in a new place with a new dream for their future, Max and Jade encounter one challenge after another--threatening their marriage, their family, and their new life.

As I began reading, I wished I had a better memory of how the previous book ended. A few pages in, though, I was completely caught up. I appreciated how the authors wrote the back story into the novel while still moving the current story along. Max and Jade's story was so realistic and one I think many readers will be able to relate to in one way or another. Who hasn't been let down by someone they love? Or made choices they later regretted?

I'm a huge football fan, so of course, I loved that aspect of the story--especially the relationships that Jade and Max developed with the players. Coaches should take an interest in their players' lives and care about more than just wins or losses, and that was one of the great lessons of this book.

Love Lifted Me lived up to every expectation I had. Romantic, emotional, funny, and full of redemption. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment spent reading it and was sorry to reach the end. I highly recommend this beautiful series (but read them in order!) and hope to see more from the authors soon! [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson via Net Galley in exchange for my fair and honest review.
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on February 7, 2012
A story about a family struggling to stay together and heal from past hurts. Jada and Max have suddenly received custody of Max's young son, Asa. Jada is smitten with Asa, although his existence is a daily reminder of lies and addictions. When the story begins, Max has overcome his addiction to painkillers and Jada is trying to trust him again. They are learning to be completely honest in everything and to lean on God even when it's painful. Especially when it's painful. Max gives up his law firm position (he's on probation anyway) to coach high school football in small town, Texas. It turns out to be completely different from what Max expected. Max has worked hard to restore his reputation and this job came with small town politics that threaten everything he's worked so hard for. Their newfound love and commitment to God and each other is the only thing that keeps Max and Jada going.

My thoughts?

*This is the third book in a series (The Songbird Series). That makes no difference. I didn't even realize it was a series until after I read the book. I've since learned that the previous books are the backstory that's mentioned here. But this book gives enough of the back story that the other books are not necessary to understand this one.

*It's a good story. It's a bit overly melodramatic at times, but still enjoyable. Yes, it has the token happy ending where everything neatly falls into place and life is wonderful again. Those endings get tiring when you read a lot of books like I do, but for a book like this, you wouldn't expect anything else.

*It doesn't sugarcoat how hard trusting God in all things can be. It also shows what complete faith in God looks like in a very real way.

*Overall, if you like Christian fiction (chick-lit style), this is a good one to try. I may not read it over and over again until it wears out, but it still earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf.

note: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my review. Opinions in the review are my own.
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on August 28, 2012
Synopsis: A fresh start is a gift. So is having a hand to hold.

Jade and Max share a deep love, though revelations from his past have recently shaken their marriage. And Jade is completely smitten with Max's little son, Asa, whom she is now raising as her own. Their blended family brings her a joy she's never known. But there is one more secret to be uncovered. One that will impact them all.

Max is doing his best to "man-up" and prove himself worthy of Jade's devotion. As well as that of his young son. It seems like life in Whisper Hollow, Tennessee, will pick up where it left off until Max is faced with an unusual opportunity--leave his family's law firm to coach high-school football in Texas.

Realizing a fresh start will bring healing to their marriage, Jade takes the leap of faith and moves with him and baby Asa, bidding good-bye to her beloved Blue Umbrella shop.

The new beginning in quaint Colby, Texas, is soon sullied when Max discovers the high-school program isn't all it seemed. While Max struggles to rebuild a once glorious football team, Jade wrestles with news that could break Max's heart . . . and change their lives forever.

Review: Jade and Max are a couple that are loved by all. They are real people with real problems. There is so much that goes on that they still find their strength in God and each other. This is a book about life, people and relationships - real situations for real people. They find strength to trust God and let Him lead them. It is a good reminder - one that is needed from time to time. :)

I personally loved this book and the whole series. I highly recommend this book. It reminds you to trust him - in all things, at all times, thru all things.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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on January 7, 2013
Although co written with Sara Evans, who provided the concept, this writing is Rachel Hauck's. I could feel her all in this book and the previous two.
This book ends the Songbird series.

Max Benson returns home to his wife Jade after being in rehab for an addiction to Percocet. Jade has been raising his son from a previous girlfiend, who Max had slept with on his bachelor party weekend. The girlfriend is now dead and Jade resists at first but falls in love with littla Asa, nearly 2 years old. Max comes home changed after an awesome encounter with God, but does Jade have it in her to really trust him?

Max wants to go to Texas to coach high school football and wants Jade to come. She goes but then things begin to take a downward turn. There are so many awesome moments of raw emotion in this book, it's impossible to describe the affect they have on this reader. I sobbed, great heaving sobs in places, became mad in others and wanted to draw these characters to me for a hug and just love on them.

This is a story of trust, forgiveness, redemption and joy. If you don't read this series, you will be doing yourself a great disservice.
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on December 21, 2011
Love Lifted Me by Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck is a present-day story (complete with iPad and "woot" references) about Jade and Max Benson. After enduring troublesome circumstances from Max's pre-martial affair resulting in caring for a son, Jade and Max were separated for several months while Max attended a rehabilitation ranch to overcome a pain-pill addiction and begin the path to a healed heart.

When Max returns, much more changes in Max and Jade's story, including job changes, a move, and embarking on an adventure away from broken hearts from betrayal and lies to healed, grace-filled love.

The conversational writing remains emotionally-driven throughout Max and Jade's journey towards leaning on God for healing in their marriage.

This book tackles fear and trust, expressing thoughts and feeling many readers may have in various situations in their lives: "She sighed. She had to speak her heart. She had to continue to kick fear to the curb" (p. 28). (How many times do I have to "kick fear to the curb" each today? Numerous!)

Action continues to bombard the main characters in this story, with each issue requiring Jade and Max to trust God wholly or fumble around relying on themselves - much like our own choices in our lives!

With kooky, sweet, and supportive side characters and a misguided and slightly despicable "bad guy" character, this novel reads very quickly. The heart of the story shows what our bigger-than-we-can-realize God can do through pain and what we consider to be "broken plans" when we trust in Him.

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher as part of the BookSneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
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on January 20, 2012
First of all, I've got to be honest: I'm not a football fan. I try to watch the Super Bowl so I can feel, you know, American. But mostly, it just doesn't hold my attention. That said, this novel could entirely win me over to the sport!! I was emotionally invested throughout the whole thing - rooting for Max Benson and his Warriors, for Tucker as he tried to kick and especially for Max and Jade as a couple. Rachel Hauck and Sara Evans do a wonderful job capping off their Songbird series. I especially appreciated the quality of the writing...and the surprises along the way!
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on June 21, 2012
When I saw that country music star Sara Evans had written a book, I was pretty excited to get my hands on it. I had no idea that she, along with Rachel Hauck, had already written two books prior to this one. "Love Lifted Me" is the third in the series of Songbird Novels. And if this book is any indication of how the other two books in the series are, then I most certainly would like to read them, as well.

"Love Lifted Me" by Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck is an endearing story of a young Christian couple's journey through life. Even though they are believers, it doesn't mean that they have an easy ride along the way. Life has thrown them quite a few curve balls, leading them into places they never would have imagined, showing them just how strong they really are.

I enjoyed the simple faith with which the main characters, Jade and Max, share with each other. They were able to express their love of Jesus and fear of the unknown, with no qualms. They both knew all along that trusting in God was what kept them going and that no matter what, they would be okay. They both knew He was guiding their way, as long as they trusted in Him. One of the two main problems they encounter along their journey in their new hometown honestly has a slight cheese factor to it. It just doesn't seem realistic to me. That was the only part of the story that I didn't really get into.

The rest of the storyline was interesting and sweet, while the characters were loveable, believable and yet again, endearing. I read the entire book with the picture in my mind of a sweet couple just trying to make it in this big world. That made the book such a nice, easy read. I recommend "Love Lifted Me" to anyone who enjoys Christian fiction.
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on December 19, 2011
In this sequel to Softly and Tenderly, Jade is trying to heal from Max's betrayal. She still doesn't trust him, but she's fallen in love with Asa his two-year-old illegitimate son. Max returns from the Outpost Rehab Ranch in Texas where he has been coaching football for the Randall County rec center team. Now Jade and Max have to figure out how to become a family again or whether it's still possible.

This sequel is a good follow on to Softly and Tenderly. Jade and Max now have to face the problems that drove them apart. The book handles this well, although I still find Jade's inability to let go of her hurt a bit juvenile. Max still comes across so understanding it's hard to believe he's for real. I missed the interchanges between Jade's mama and her mother-in-law, June. Mama is dead, but June is pretty much out of the action. I was disappointed in her major scene. In my opinion, it was too dramatic to be realistic.

I thought the theme of letting go was handled very well. Even when we know we have to move on, it's hard to leave our things, our homes, and our familiar routine. We feel that we're losing so much, it's hard to see the gain.

I recommend this book if you're struggling with change, and particularly if you enjoyed Softly and Tenderly.

I reviewed this book as part of the Thomas Nelson Booksneeze Program.
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on March 7, 2012
Jade Benson, after learning of her husband's infidelity, is learning to finally trust him again. She hopes that, for the sake of her new son, Asa, they can make a new start in their marriage and move on from the hurt and betrayal. Her husband, Max, is dealing with his own issues, recovering from a drug dependency, and as he makes a plan to change careers and move halfway across the country, he tries to show Jade that he's a changed man. However, the problems from the past keep coming back up, with a revelation about Asa's paternity and great conflict in Max's new career and hometown. Will they be able to make a new life together, even with all of these complications?

Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck have teamed up again for this third installment in the Songbird series. They write very honest characters, although this book felt like the problems were a little too dramatic for real life. The "bad guys" were so bad that they were nearly comical, which made them seem less real than the leading characters. The book was still a great read, though, and I really enjoyed the series. I would definitely read another book by these same writers.

Many thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are mine entirely.
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