Saturday, January 8, 2011

Review: Softly and Tenderly

Softly and Tenderly (A Songbird Novel - Book 2) by Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck

Publication Date: January 2011
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
ISBN-13: 9781595544902

(Received for review from Thomas Nelson)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository,, IndieBound

If you live in Morehead, KY or the surrounding area:

Purchase from our local independent bookseller: CoffeeTree Books
Borrow from our local library: The Rowan County Public Library

Sara Evans on the Web: Website, Facebook, Twitter
Rachel Hauck on the Web: Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter

Excerpt from Softly and Tenderly
Other Books in the Series: Sweet By and By
Book Trailer:

Synopsis (Book Blurb):


Happily married and owner of two successful boutiques, Jade longs to begin a family with her husband, Max. But when she discovers that Max has an illegitimate son - who he wants her to help raise - Jade's life is turned upside down.

She flees to her childhood home, a rambling Iowa farmhouse, with enough room to breathe. There - while her mother's health grows fragile, and the tug of her first love grows stronger - Jade begins to question everything she thought she knew about family, love, and motherhood. In the wide-open landscape, Jade begins to see a future that doesn't rest on the power of her past, but in the goodness of God's tender mercies.


There are so many good things to be said about the latest collaborative effort by country songbird, Sara Evans and best-selling author, Rachel Hauck. Softly and Tenderly is a book that will inspire readers, as well as entertain them. The authors, have a wonderful way of showing how the past may shape you, but it doesn't have to define you.

After working through some pretty traumatic experiences from her teen years, Jade finally seems to have her life under control. She has two successful businesses and a loving husband. Now, all she needs to complete the picture in her mind is a baby. But, life takes a crazy twist when she finds out her husband Max, already has a son. One he neglected to tell her about, and now he wants her to help raise. Feeling betrayed and unsure of her future, Jade travels to Iowa and her childhood home in hopes of finding some peace and clarity. But, the wide open spaces only give Jade more questions than answers.

I was really interested to see if a country music superstar could be a good writer. Most of the time I think stars that try to do too many things don't end up doing anything very well, but I was clearly wrong in this case. Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck have created characters and a story that will stick with the reader long after the last page is turned. Softly and Tenderly is the follow up book to Sweet By and By. Though it is the second book in the Songbird series, it can be read easily as a stand alone novel.

The characters are so engaging that readers will readily identify with Jade and Max and what they are going through. Jade is such a strong character. She has gone through some very tough experiences in her life and sometimes they still come back to haunt her. Jade shows that even though her past was rough and hard to deal with, you can still rise above and not let the past destroy your future. She has a lot on her plate with two businesses, an ailing mother and a wealthy lawyer for a husband, but she doesn't know if shes prepared to raise another woman's son. Self doubt is something most people deal with and it makes Jade's character very accessible.

The Christian aspect of the book is definitely a part of the story, but it is not overwhelming and doesn't come across as 'preachy'. The author's did a wonderful job of incorporating issues of faith without a lot of added pressure for the reader. This is an excellent example of good Christian fiction. It's different from the norm and still uplifting and heartwarming. I would recommend this book to readers of Christian fiction, but also to those who just love a good contemporary romance. I really enjoyed the book and look forward to more by this very successful writing duo.

Softly and Tenderly is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

Be sure to check out Sara Evans' Website where she is offering a digital copy of the first book in the series, Sweet By and By for free along with the purchase of an autographed copy of latest book, Softly and Tenderly.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Multi-platinum recording artist SARA EVANS has garnered such honors as ACM's Female Vocalist of the Year, CMA's Video of the Year, one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People," and the first country star to compete in ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

RITA-finalist and best-selling author RACHEL HAUCK lives in Florida with her husband, Tony. In addition to her collaboration with Sara, she's the award-winning author of Dining with Joy, Sweet Caroline, and Love Starts with Elle.

1 comment:

Rachel Hauck said...

Thanks for the 5 apples! We appreciate it.