Monday, April 22, 2019

Review of INSTANT FATHER by Donna Gartshore

Today I'm featuring a review of INSTANT FATHER, an inspirational romance from Love Inspired author Donna Gartshore. Check out my review - spoiler alert - I loved it. Enjoy!


When his orphaned nephew has trouble at school, Paul Belvedere must turn to the boy’s teacher, Charlotte Connelly, for assistance. But as the little boy draws them together, can Paul trust Charlotte with his secret…and his heart? 


            “Trying to get rid of me?”

            She was startled at first but then saw the twinkle in his eye. It appeared that Paul too was ready to be done with their teacher-parent roles, but she couldn’t resist adding one more thing.

            “I hope I’ve made it clear, Paul, I won’t tolerate being pressured about this. But, at the same time, I want you to trust me. Can you do that? I care about Tyson too, just as I care about all of my students.”

            “I trust you,” Paul said, but she couldn’t escape a peculiar sensation that those words were unfamiliar in his mouth.

            “I, uh, missed you at lunch yesterday,” he added, his tone gruff with confession.

            So, he had noticed. I missed you too …

            But she couldn’t bring herself to say the words or to stir the embers by admitting that she had stayed away to avoid the very confrontation they’d just had.

            “I had a couple of extra things I needed to take care of,” she said. That was true on any given day in the life of a busy school teacher and she didn’t volunteer that she’d spent her lunchbreak searching missionary sites and commanding herself not to have second thoughts … just as she had commanded herself not to give in and walk over to Harold’s so that she could see Paul’s face light up when she came in the door.

            “Well … you were missed.” Paul said it in a shy way that warmed her heart.

            It was clear that he didn’t want there to be tension between them any more than she did.

            She suddenly wondered how it would go over if she was to start dating the guardian of one of her students.

            Whoa, now where had that thought come from?

            Paul had never given her any indication that he saw her as anything other than a friend and, even with that, she still knew that his primary focus was Tyson and the role she played in the boy’s life as his teacher. He had proven that again today and she had been reminded of what her responsibilities were, not only to both of them, but to her profession in general.

            Besides, there was her application, making its way through the mail and waiting to bring back with it the answer to her future.

            An answer that she was no longer sure she was ready for.

My Review: 

In INSTANT FATHER, both characters have secrets, private shames that haunt them and rule their lives. It’s only when they trust each other enough to share their secrets that they can move past the shame to find the lives and the love they’ve always wanted.

Because this is an inspirational romance, the characters’ relationships with God is front and center. Charlotte has a strong faith, but she struggles to figure out what message God is trying to send her. Hardships in Paul’s life have caused him to move away from God. He’s unsure why He let bad things happen to him and to people he loved. As Paul and Charlotte grow closer, Paul finds comfort in prayer and in his faith once more. Faith and the characters’ relationship with God are integral and natural parts of who they are, and never feels forced or fake.

I loved how Paul and Charlotte’s relationship grew naturally as they began to trust one another. But it’s not all smooth sailing. Charlotte is struggling to find her place in the world and make a difference but her relationship with her parents makes it difficult for her to know what that is.

INSTANT FATHER is a sweet story with a wonderful message. Ms. Gartshore has created characters that are engaging and relatable, with unique problems that make them very human. I highly recommend it.

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