Friday, July 8, 2022

Review and Giveaway: The Songs That Could Have Been by Amanda Wen



Two couples in love. Two sets of impossible circumstances. One powerful God of grace.

After a devastating tailspin in her late teens, Lauren Anderson’s life is finally back on track. Then a chance meeting with Carter Douglas, her first love and the man who broke her heart, threatens to throw her well-balanced world out of control.
Now a TV meteorologist, Carter is determined to make amends with Lauren. After all, she still owns his heart. But his old demons are forcing him toward the same decision he faced in the past. Is he courageous enough to make a different choice this time around?
When Lauren’s elderly grandmother, Rosie, begins having nightmares about a man named Ephraim--a name her family has never heard before—a fascinating and forbidden past love comes to light. As Lauren and Carter work to uncover the untold stories of Rosie’s past in 1950s Wichita, they embark on a journey of forgiveness and second chances that will change their lives—and Rosie’s—forever. Along the way they’ll learn that God wastes nothing, his timing is perfect, and nothing is beyond his grace and redemption.

The Songs That Could Have Been is full of the same deftly handled, resonant writing that readers and critics alike enjoyed in Amanda Wen's first book in the series, Roots of Wood and Stone. Fans of Lisa Wingate and Rachel Hauck will add Amanda Wen to their must-read shelves.

Click here to read an excerpt.

My Thoughts:

This was a story that delved into some very serious topics that people still face today. The demons that sometimes are hard fought and we come away a bit battle scarred seem to always be lurking in the shadows. Must we always be on guard?

This contains two romance stories. One past and one present and both are similar in some ways. Lauren Anderson finally feels her best self. She is moderately successful and thin, and most of all she feels confident. She has let go of a past that weighed her down and almost crushed her.

Carter Douglas, a TV meteorologist, and a popular one, has never gotten over his ex-girlfriend, Lauren. He broke up with her due to his family and his own problematic issues that he did not want her to have to deal with. But little did he know that when he broke her up with her, he broke her heart and just about crushed her soul. Now after a chance meeting, he can't forget about her and very much wants her back in his life.

Lauren understandably is very leery of this as she really went through an ordeal after he left. Her family is none too sure they want him back in her life either. At first, they are beneficial to one another, but their feelings come rushing back with a vengeance.

As we witness their story, Lauren and her brother are trying to uncover their grandmother's secrets that she never told her family. Why does a certain name bring her to uncontrollable tears and what happened in her young life that she has kept so well guarded? They are losing her to dementia, so time is of the essence. What they discover though is a testimony of sacrificial love and what happens when hard decisions must be made.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple writing contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions contests. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist. Her debut novel was a 2021 Christy Award First Novel finalist.
Wen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for her blog and is a contributor to the God Is Love blog. She is the author of Roots of Wood and Stone and The Songs That Could Have Been.
In addition to her writing, Wen is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team. She serves as a choral accompanist as well. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Wen lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.
To find Amanda Wen’s blog and short stories, visit Readers can also follower her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen)Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen).


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