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Book Reviews

By Your Side

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Past the ER doors, characters emerge to show a way of life rarely encountered in contemporary Christian fiction.

By Your Side, by Candace Calvert, is a fast-paced, contemporary novel that peeks inside the hectic and unpredictable lives of emergency-room nurses, police officers, and crisis-care chaplains. The two central characters, Macy, an ER nurse, and Fletcher, a cop, search for understanding when life’s trials ensnare them and throw them together. The straightforward storytelling is engaging and interesting as the story unfolds around this unlikely pair.

Within the central story of Macy and Fletcher’s nascent relationship are many additional characters, all realistic in their details, thoughts, and interactions. They search for answers to life’s questions and how to deal with doubt, grief, and longing. The backstory to both main characters provides depth and resonates with truth.

As a fictional Christian romance novel, the search for God is woven throughout. Faith is tested amidst doubt and emotional upheaval, with Macy wondering if God even exists. She has the farthest to travel in her journey to faith and peace of mind.

Calvert’s writing is on point, with believable dialogue and a detailed setting. Tough, self-reliant Macy is admirable in her strength—a character worth rooting for. The author builds suspense and deftly weaves the main plots together. The writing is succinct and offers up essential ponderings that drive the characters’ various journeys.

The glimpse inside the minds, relationships, trials, doubts, and decisions of the characters provides an accurate understanding of the stresses of first responders. The story rings true and shows an appreciation for real-life chaplains, nurses, and police officers. Anyone curious about what goes on behind hospital doors and the role of crisis-care chaplains will appreciate the novel. Fast-paced drama and the twists and turns of romantic couplings carries the book seamlessly to its conclusion. Being able to relate to characters who, despite their dramatic jobs, ponder life’s meaning and God’s role in it reveal there are more likenesses which unite than differences which divide.

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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