My first experience with the Love Inspired Series of books, I was anxious to see how romance was broached underneath the spotlight of Christianity, and came away touched by a great story and impressed by the reality of it as well.
Captured immediately by the likable characters of Ethan Fox and Lexie and Cooper Carlson, the story carried itself quickly into the challenging backgrounds of these three. Linked by the struggles of cancer, each one approached their struggles differently. Cooper Carlson, a 7 year old who knew nothing but his life in and out of hospital beds, he kept his hope alive, wishing for the simplest of things. To go to school like everyone else. To play outside without getting tired. And to one day see the Grand Canyon. Lexie, Cooper’s mother, assumed the role of protector for Cooper, making sure she stayed strong for him, never allowing herself to depend on others. For Ethan, his faith remained strong even through the earlier loss of his wife. Still, he remained guarded to allow his heart to become involved with Cooper, for fear he might one day meet that same fate.
The relationships grow naturally for these three, as they each learn to dream bigger than they ever thought possible, learning about faith along the way. Faith in God comes easily for Cooper, who easily turns to prayer in his childlike belief that God can heal him, and make a few of his dreams come true as well. Ethan demonstrates a deep belief that God is always at work, and eventually yields to the path he believes God is leading him with Lexie and Cooper. And Lexie, hesitant to trust anyone but herself because of her painful past, questions everything and holds herself back before finally opening her heart to the idea that she could feel loved once again, both by God and by Ethan.
Gail Gaymer Martin helps her readers to see into the hearts of each of her characters. Though the path to a happy ending takes some dramatic and painful turns, the reader experiences understandable emotions while still celebrating the growth and evolution of their journey. A Dad of His Own is heartwarming, never preachy or forced, and can easily take a reader captive for a wonderful afternoon.