I’m sharing a review today of a compelling contemporary romance I highly recommend! In Spite of Ourselves is on the short-ish side, so I read it in a couple days. It is the second of Jennifer Rodewald’s “Murphy Brothers” stories, though it reads as a standalone. I also enjoyed the first book, Always You.
Who could build a life on such a monumental mistake?
Jackson Murphy: family prankster, class clown… and now, smack in the middle of a Vegas-sized mess. All he’d wanted was to qualify for the Boston Marathon. After failing that goal, he slipped into a deep, sulking valley, only to emerge from it with a much bigger problem. He’s married. To a complete stranger! Forget making a world-class marathon so that his family will believe that (1) he’s capable of being grown up and serious on occasion and (2) he doesn’t need the ongoing pity about his brother and a certain ex-girlfriend.
Now? Now he has no idea what to do.
Mackenzie Murphy: independent woman and excellent student—but not a med student. Because those pesky MCATs were H-A-R-D. She doesn’t particularly mind that much, seeing as she’s never really wanted to be a doctor, but her mother will be…uh, displeased. Exceptionally. That’s nothing, however, compared to how Mother will respond if she finds out what else happened in Vegas.
Mackenzie wants out. Jackson wants a chance. Neither of them is prepared for what’s coming. Caught in the middle of a disaster that keeps getting bigger, they hardly dare ask: Can God take their monumental mistake and turn it into a beautiful life?
In Spite of Ourselves, Book 13 in The Potter’s House Books Series Two, is an uplifting and inspiring story of hope, redemption and second chances. It is also book Two in Jennifer Rodewald’s Murphy Brother Stories (book One is Always You). Grab your copy and be encouraged today.
In Spite of Ourselves is another shining contemporary romance from Jennifer Rodewald! It spins a marriage of convenience trope with a hint of a fake relationship situation to be a sometimes light and humorous, sometimes deep and heart-stirring story of what real love looks like.
One thing I always enjoy about Jen’s stories is her near-conversational tone of writing. With tiny hints for the perceptive reader, this story unfolds to be much more that what it is seen on the surface. When it deepens, and Jackson and Mackenzie’s background and motivations are clearer, it’s like an “aha” moment of understanding the complexity of the “iceburg” underneath.
Both Jackson and Mackenzie begin at a place of brokenness and misconception, but because of their mistakes they have opportunity to extend grace and accept the truth of God’s ability to transform a mess into a masterpiece. The beauty of this story lies in how God can take an imperfect vessel, Jackson, and use him to live out Love in a relationship with Mackenzie.
Amidst the seriousness of this plot, plenty of moments of fun, humor, and family make for joyful moments. I LOVED the times when Jackson was interacting with his brothers — their playful side, and their complex relationships. His whole family is fun! Smoothies and a winter coat have a special role in the story, too, as well as a hilarious “questionable” spare bedroom at Jackson’s parents’ house, the iconic Bob Ross, and an “I Love Lucy” reference that had me LOL-ing.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. This is my honest review.