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Reading Between the Lines Paperback – September 5, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582295786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582295787
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,701,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a brilliant book about a man and a woman who are struggling to find romantic fulfillment, but both of them are dealing with internal issues of fear, grief, and oversized hope. Hamlin takes us deep inside these characters and helps us to work through similar issues within ourselves. The book stays alive on every page, full of stimulating internal and interpersonal dialogue. This novel will benefit every couple who is searching for lasting love -- whether they are already married or hoping to be."
-- Neil Clark Warren -- Founder and Chairman, eHarmony.com

"Reading between the Lines is a unique tale of faith and romance, written with surpassing charm and humor. Rick Hamlin finds magic in the lives of Jim Lockhart and Elizabeth Ash, two busy but lonely New Yorkers. Beautifully drawn characters and imaginative plot twists make this a truly engaging -- and enormously satisfying -- love story."
-- F. Paul Driscoll -- Editor in Chief, Opera News

"Endearing and touching in turns, this book will capture the romantic heart. I was captivated and charmed, and you will be too."
-- Debbie Macomber -- Author, Susannah's Garden

"It's a delight to find a book that succeeds on so many levels at once...an ingenious, suspense-filled plot; authentic characters you miss like absent friends when the story ends; an insider's view of the contemporary New York scene; a love story big enough to encompass death and abandoned dreams; and above all a drama of the spirit that left me, like the protagonist, walking a little closer to God."
-- Elizabeth Sherrill -- Author, The Hiding Place and All the Way to Heaven

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Rick Hamlin crafted a charming love story.
Peggy Frezon
This well crafted novel is a fine addition to the rapidly swelling genre of Christian romance.
A Customer
The characters are well written and the story is believable.
Mama Watsioni

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christian Book Previews on September 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
Flutist Elizabeth Ash went to the church rummage sale with aspiring actress Dorothy Hughes just to keep her friend company, but when she arrives home with a couple of used books from a favorite author, she finds a love story to change her life in Rick Hamlin's Reading Between the Lines. The love story is not that told by the author, but one written by a reader to her "Darling" along the margins. As Elizabeth reads the love story, she feels that she knows the couple involved and must find the woman's husband to return the books to him.

Jim Lockhart, casting director, has survived his wife's death of cancer by throwing himself into his routine and by reciting a simple prayer: "Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me. Make haste to help me. Rescue me and save me. Let thy will be done in my life."

Though his friends encourage Jim to date, he hasn't had the heart to until he takes a risk. The date is a date from the Twilight Zone. He decides to give up on dating until Dorothy Hughes, whom he has just cast in a commercial, introduces him to Elizabeth.

Rick Hamlin has written a pleasant, sweet love story, much of it from the male viewpoint, showing a husband's grief at his wife's untimely death. He also illustrates the confusion of those entering back into the dating environment, the importance of hope, and the misunderstandings that can come from reading between the lines. Hamlin draws his characters well, and they stand out as individuals.

The book offers a pleasant reading experience for the romance lover, but without any substantial Christian content other than a rote prayer mechanically offered. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
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1 of 0 people found the following review helpful By FaithfulReader.com on June 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a young man author Rick Hamlin moved to New York City "to pursue singing and acting," which he "more than dabbled in." But for decades he has made his living as an editor of Guideposts magazine --- not exactly the career path he had in mind. That much of Rick's life might have slid into his contemporary romance, set in Manhattan.

In a prologue we meet Jim Lockhart, a 31-year-old widower. We soon learn that he had come to New York after college to be an actor but had settled in, now with considerable cachet, as a casting director at an ad agency. In chapter one we meet Elizabeth Ash, a professional flutist who's piecing together a living --- giving lessons, playing in theater-pit orchestras, performing on occasional solo tours to cities such as Cheyenne or Boise.

At a church rummage sale Elizabeth picks up some old Regency romances by Harriet Mueller, a genre novelist of some fictional renown. Back home in her small apartment, she discovers that some previous reader has written in purple a "book" of her own in the margins and between the lines --- love letters. By whom? To whom? And why were the novels with such intimate marginal notes for sale in a church basement?

>From the outset, you know that Jim's deceased wife wrote these letters to Jim and that Elizabeth and Jim are destined to find each other. Even though you know that eventuality, getting from the beginning to the end of the book is an entertaining read, as you discover the personalities, the New York milieu, the delicate dance of a blossoming relationship.

I didn't notice identifying dates, but I sensed that the story is set in the 1990s. Clues?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
In New York her best friend wannabe actress Dorothy Hughes persuades flutist Elizabeth Ash to accompany her to a rummage sale. Elizabeth buys a few used books including a fascinating Regency romance by Harriet Mueller. However, the love story that hooks her is not part of the published novel, but instead written in BETWEEN THE LINES by a former reader to her "Darling" along the margins. Elizabeth feels the couple seems very familiar and wants to give the book back to the husband.

Casting director Jim Lockhart has moved on somewhat past the death of his beloved wife by diving into his work at Babcock, Crier, and Nelson and turning to prayer. The vocation keeps the loneliness away while asking "Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me. Make haste to help me. Rescue me and save me. Let thy will be done in my life" This provides him some solace. He casts Dorothy Hughes in a commercial and she introduces him to Elizabeth. Both will agree that the Lord works in mysterious ways

Rotating perspective between Jim and Elizabeth, READING BETWEEN THE LINES is a warm second chance at love tale starring two likable but fearful individuals. Readers will sympathize with Jim who mourns the loss of his beloved spouse who was too young to die from cancer and lonely Elizabeth too afraid to take a chance on a permanent relationship. Readers will enjoy their endearing courtship filled with doubt, fear, and love.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Frezon on October 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
Rick Hamlin crafted a charming love story. When musician Elizabeth Ash discovers mysterious writings in the margins of some dusty old romance novels, she's intrigued. Casting director Jim Lockhart also finds a few surprises among the old books' pages. And enchanting thrift shop operator Mrs. Halladay has a mystical feeling about the role she plays in Elizabeth and Jim's lives.

Hamlin's skillfully detailed characters compelled me to rush along with Elizabeth as she seeks the next purple passage in the well-worn books, and worry with Jim as he attempts to step out and take risks. All the while, the story reminded me that faith can see me through.

Just like Elizabeth's comforting old romance novels, this book reads quickly and seamlessly, yet the plot is always intricate and engaging. Reading between the Lines kept me captivated and rooting for Elizabeth and Jim to find their "happily ever after."
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