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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook

Thomas Nelson Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook

Jade Fitzgerald's hope for a perfect marriage shatters when her husband confesses he has an illegitimate son. What's more, he wants to raise the boy in their home.

Hurting and confused, Jade embarks on a road trip to Iowa to take her sick mother to her childhood home. In the comfort of the old homeplace, Jade struggles with her fears and the tug of her first love. With the help of her family and her faith, she comes to understand her future doesn't rest on the power of her past, but in the goodness of God's mercy.

Average Customer Rating:
3.947 out of 5
3.9
 out of 
5
(19 Reviews) 19
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15 out of 1979%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Review 1 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Not my cup of tea!

Date:January 11, 2013
Customer Avatar
Randi
Location:Wisconsin
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
“Softly and Tenderly” by Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck is a work of romantic fiction. It is the second in the Songbird series, following “'Sweet By and By,” which I would have liked to read before this book. Perhaps my perspective might have been different if I had gotten to know the characters before the 2nd book. But I did not realize it was part of a series when I ordered it. “Softly and Tenderly” is not a fluffy, feel-good story! It's like life and there are lots of ups and downs and bumps and bruises along the way. The characters seem realistic and the situations they find themselves in – secrets, pain, sadness, joy, caring for relatives with cancer, infidelity, in-laws, death – are similar to the many things that fill every day, modern life for many people. It offers reminders or lessons of hope and leaning on the mercies of God and not on one’s own understanding.
For some reason, “Softly and Tenderly” by Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck was not a book that I enjoyed. It took me forever to finish it because I did not enjoy it. I would pick it up and read a few pages and then put it down because it did not hold my interest. I do enjoy romantic fiction but this book did not grab or keep my interest. I am not sure if it was the location in which the story took place or the characters themselves, but it was not a story I would want to read again and I have no desire to read the other three books of the series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I am not expected to always give a positive review, just an honest one. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 2 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

This book is not Christian at all. It is junk.

Date:June 23, 2012
Customer Avatar
Keri
Location:Pennsylvania
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Why would anyone write a "Christian" book that is so immoral? These people are suppose to be strong, upstanding Christian people both in their church and community. They are nothing of the kind - they are instead very immoral. I would not recommend it to anyone. I only gave it a one rating because there is nothing lower.
+1point
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Review 3 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Overdone Plot, but well-written

Date:January 5, 2012
Customer Avatar
Teddy G
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Jade Fitzgerald Benson is married to a prominent lawyer with a powerful family name in a small town. She has admitted her past to her husband, but feels like she is continuing to pay the price as she waits month after month for a successful pregnancy. Max, her husband, has struggled with pill addictions since high school, and continues to see the ramifications in his own life and marriage. In addition, he has kept a secret from Jade that may be what tears them apart. June and Rebel, Max's parents, have their own past and present mistakes that are coming to light and changing the way everyone in the family thinks about each other. Beryl, Jade's mother, is dying of leukemia, and wants to die in her own hometown, where Jade grew up. When Max's and Rebel's most recent faults come to light, June and Jade decide to make a roadtrip of taking Beryl home to die. There, they have to each examine their pasts and decide which path to take for their future.
When I first started Softly and Tenderly, I thought "this has been done before." The story of the illegitimate son showing up on the doorstep of a couple who's having struggles has been written several times. However, even with the somewhat stale initial plot line, the story progressed in new ways, and the characters were well-written enough for me to become engrossed in their lives and become invested in the outcomes.
Additionally, the book seems to be part of a series, which I did not confirm until the end of the book, where it advertises the next part of the "Songbird Series." Although the book stands fairly well on its own, there were several places within the story where I felt like I was supposed to know some background information that I did not. The story probably would have felt more complete had I read the previous installment.
Overall, I would give this book 3 stars. I enjoyed the characters, and the storyline, but between the familiar storyline and the missing pieces from not having read the first book, as a stand-alone book, it could have been better.
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Review 4 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

an indepth view of womens issues

Date:December 29, 2011
Customer Avatar
Marianne
Location:El Mirage, Arizona
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
In Softly and Tenderly, Sara and Rachel had me from the first sentence to the unexpected end! The story starts in spring in Whisper Hollow, Tennessee, with Jade and her mother-in-law in a favorite old pickup along a rough road. This sets the scene for a turbulent, fast-paced novel. It seems most novels I read these days are about women and relationships, and I am not sure if it is what's out there, or what I am attracted to. Having said that, this one stands out from the rest. Many issues are covered, from barreness, to infidelity, illigemate child(ren?) to big business ethics, but all interconnected in the way life is, and through it all God's mercy is underlying and sure.
These ladies have a way of drawing in the reader with words, and I could feel the jostling of the vehicle, the anger, the pain of a loved one suffering from cancer, the hopelessness, but also the peace. The scenes came alive and when the doe and her babies jump out in front of the truck, your heart about stops together with the women in the truck. When baby Asa calls for his Mom, the heart contracts with sympathy.
The reader will be anxiously waiting for the sequel, and not all issues are resolved in this first of a series.
I received this ebook free from ThomasNelson Publishers through their Booksneeze program for the sole purpose of writing an honest review. I was not required or asked for a positive one. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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Review 5 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A story of heartache and forgiveness!

Date:October 27, 2011
Customer Avatar
krentzmom5
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Softly & Tenderly is the second book in the Songbird series. I didn't know that when I requested the book. I had no problem reading the book and understanding what was going on without reading the first book. The book started out a little slow for me.
Jade is a married woman who is having trouble having a baby. Jade is also taking care of her mother who is battling cancer. Jade's world continues to be rocked when she discovers more secrets about her family. The worse being her husband has fathered a son that she did not know about until another tragedy strikes, which causes her husband to be honest. Softly & Tenderly reminds me of a Soap Opera set to print. There is a lot of drama and tragedy in the book. In my opinion too much drama and tragedy. The books ending was very good and left me wanting to read the next book in the series.
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Review 6 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Review of Sara Evans book

Date:October 18, 2011
Customer Avatar
britluver20021
Location:Arnold, CA
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
When I first started reading this book I thought to myself that is not a spiritual book but that changed my mind once I had read more. I wish though when people claim to be a Christian that they really knew what the bible says but they twist scriptures to fit what they believe and that is wrong. The 2 major points I had did not like in this book are that the characters in the book believe in fate and believe in the afterlife such as Heaven and Hell. Both of those are incorrect and the bible actually tells the truth about such things and if only people would learn what the bible really teaches then they would be happy. GOD does not control our lives and there is no such thing as fate. Life just happens and as the one scripture says that unforeseen occurrences befall as all. Meaning things just happen and its not because its GOD's will or anything else. This can be seen in the scripture Ecclesiastes 9:11 which reads " I returned to see under the sun that the swift do not have the race, nor the mighty ones the battle, nor do the wise also have the food, nor do the understanding ones also have the riches, nor do even those having knowledge have the favor; because time and unforeseen occurrence befall them all."
The second thing that bothered me about this book was the mention of afterlife which I have talked about alot on this blog before and you can look at previous blog posts to see more lengthy things on it. But once again when you die, you die. You are in a sleepless state and that is it. In the scripture Eccl. 9:5: “The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.”Which means if the dead are conscious of nothing then they cannot look down upon us from Heaven or burn in Hell. You can read more on my other posts before.
I enjoyed the book and spent 2 day reading it but I wish people who claim to be Christian would actually not talk about stuff they know nothing about.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
-2points
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Review 7 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Inspiring and realistic story

Date:October 11, 2011
Customer Avatar
Christianfictionaddiction
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Softly and Tenderly is the second book in the Songbird series, and continues the story of Jade, as written by country-singer/writer Evans and Christian fiction author Hauck. I did not have the pleasure of reading the first book in the series, but found that it did not impact my ability to enjoy this book. In this second installment, Jade's world is rocked when she and her mother-in-law June make a discovery that shocks Jade and causes her to question everything she thought about her husband's family. When Jade then learns that her husband Max had a child with another woman, a child she was never told about, she must confront her past and her present in order to decide whether she will be able to move forward into an uncertain future.
Evans and Hauck have written a moving story, one that is filled with deep characters and family dynamics that are raw and real. The characters are faced with struggles any family may encounter – cancer, drug abuse, infertility, affairs, and I found my heart aching for Jade and June and their past and present difficulties. The shocking discovery that is unveiled in the first chapter sucks you into the story and awakens your empathy for the characters, and I found the story to move along swiftly. The story is carefully crafted, and I enjoyed the author’s creative descriptions, such as when they write “the kitchen was like a structural hug, cozy with June’s Southern hospitality and dabbled with yellow and gray smoky mountain sunshine dripping through the skylight”.
The writing is sensuous in places, earthy, raw, and the story unfolds layer by layer in a way that exposes the depths of the characters emotions. I found myself moved by the characters ability to forgive, which is handled in a realistic manner. Readers who enjoy contemporary novels will resonate with this book, and will find their faith both challenged and inspired. Some of the closing words are profound, such as when Jade notes “But it was facing the pain, pushing through the heartache, that brought her to this moment of peace. Life had true hope for her”. These are words that we all may aspire to when we are faced with our own tragedies.
I strongly recommend this book and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Thomas Nelson, via the Booksneeze program and netgalley, for the purposes of this unbiased review.
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Review 8 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

A real life look at real life problems

Date:November 6, 2011
Customer Avatar
mountains
Location:Alberta Canada
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Softly and tenderly is a story about two families all connected by one woman, Jade Benson. She is in her thirties, married to Max, a Lawyer. She lives near her in-laws June and Reb who are well-to-do Southern folks. Jade owns two businesses and is trying to care for her ailing mother, Beryl who is dying of leukemia. Jade and the family members around her have to grapple with enormous life issues in this 289 page story. There is infertility, abortion, divorce, infidelity, adoption, pre-marital sex, drug addictions, death, deception, abandonment issues and social climbers. Frankly I was overwhelmed. I had a hard time relating to the main character. I couldn’t believe with everything on her plate she was still standing. If I wasn’t reading this book for a review I would have shelved it. But I didn’t and by the end I was glad I kept going.
I really wanted to like this book. I liked the edgy feeling to the book, the very natural and casual voice of the authors. Yet, I found it did not follow a ‘typical’ Christian format. I do not want to open a whole new can of worms, but for a story about all believers but one in the main cast, the issues of sin were handled so lightly. A few characters felt their indiscretions were no big deal. That is fine on page ten of a story but by the end as a reader I want to see restoration. I want to believe that my God is bigger than ALL the stuff Jade is dealing with. And He is, but the story doesn’t actually say that.
I struggled to keep engaged with the plot until almost 100 pages. Then I reached the point where I wanted to find closure. I needed some form of redemption for the weary sinners. This is something I never fully received. There is an undercurrent of Christian themes but not woven in as much as I would like. The characters seem to come back to Christ but there is no actual outward repentance. They simply decide to keep trying. Some of the characters have no resolution at all (June and Reb).
Despite my concerns with the book I still feel it is a good read. The authors have done well in creating authentic issues that real women face. I only wished they had taken a few of them and delved deeper into the heart of those issues instead of cramming them all into one story. Jade does ‘crack’ before the end of the book which helped me tremendously in believing her. However, then suddenly the book jumps to a semi-sorted out “happy ending”. It was too soon. It felt like there were chapters missing. If this young woman has been dealing with some of these issues most of her adult life and some of them intensely for several weeks you can’t just say, ‘okay, I’m feeling better and everything is going to work out fine’. The spiritual journey she was on seemed stunted. Again this is something I feel would be eliminated if the issues were fewer.
After reading other reviews I discovered this book is number two in a three book series. Perhaps the characters would have felt more real to me if I had some history with them. When I read the discussion questions at the back I learned a little more about where the authors wanted to take me as a reader. I only wished I had arrived there before the end of the book.
I will pick up and read the third book by these two authors in hopes of a little easier ride.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Review 9 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

What a Surprise!

Date:October 28, 2011
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hanni2
Location:Deland, Fl
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I love Jesus, but I have to confess that I do not always love Christian fiction. Many times while reading Christian novels I find myself thinking, "Cheesy, unauthentic and boring!" and reading about every third page. I really enjoy reading, and I don't want what little time I have available for reading for pleasure to be any of those things. But I really liked Softly and Tenderly. I felt like it was an honest portrayal of what it's like to suffer, feel real emotion and then lay those emotions, feelings and your will at the feet of Jesus. Several of the characters were funny and spirited. I actually laughed out loud a couple of times. There were a few villains as well. This book had enough twists and turns, both in the story line and in the characters' responses to them, to keep things interesting without frustrating the reader. I found myself wanting to hate one character, love another, shake the next one and applaud the next. I took away a few nuggets of truth and an appreciation for the story very nicely written by Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck. It definitely gets a two thumbs of from me and I highly recommend it to you. I’ll be waiting for the book that follows!
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Review 10 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good book for dealing with marrage hardships

Date:October 19, 2011
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cathy
Location:Kansas
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Jade's perfect life is falling apart and not just the fact that she can't get pregnant. Her perfect lawyer husband, max has serious flaws. He is self-centered and self-involved. If that were not enough to cap all that off Jade discovers his infidelifty has produced a son and that son is now 19 monthes old. Her husband has been secretly financially supporting him but physically and emotionally ignoring him until his mother dies. Now Max has decided that he wants to raise the boy with Jade. Jade is disallussioned to say the least. As if that were not enough Jade's free spirit mother is dying.
This is a great woman's book for any married woman or woman thinking of getting married. Jade is facing life's turns and having to deal with them as they too quickly happen all at once. I liked the way that this book looked at marrage straight in the eye and didn't pull punches. Sometimes life just isn't fair and the only way to get through too many problems to to drop out of life and slow down and only handle one problem at a time. This is what Jade is doing by dealing with the one problem that can't be delayed--her mother's death. This is a good book and I recommend reading it to anyone dealing with life and marrage.
This book was provided free for this review by Booksneeze.com.
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Review 11 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

This is one to treasure and pass on!

Date:October 18, 2011
Customer Avatar
Robin Prater
Location:Missouri
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Wow! Wow! Wow! Okay, after reading the first book, "The Sweet By and By", I was hooked! I couldn't wait to begin turning the pages of, "Softly and Tenderly". Now although this book will bring you great blessings, I suggest you read, "The Sweet By and By" first. It is the backbone of this series. It brings you to the heart of Jade and her past. I love the character of Jade Fitzgerald. She is so believable. She is broken and searching. I feel so connected to her. Maybe because I was that girl once. That girl searching for real.
In Jade's world, everything is broken. She wants to escape her real and find solace for just a while. Her husband, her marriage, her in-laws and her own family are struggling. Everyone seems to have secrets, even Jade. The secrets these characters are holding are not only hurting themselves, but their relationships with one another.
Jade is devastated as her mother is dying. A mother she has had a love/hate relationship with all her life. This is one of my favorite parts of the book. I loved watching their brokenness turn to a sweet relationship. It didn't just happen over night. It took time. It took grace. It took the Lord.
Oh, the brokenness these characters feel just tugs at your heart. You want everything to work out perfect for these characters, but that just isn't real life. Things don't always turn out our way, but always and forever, God's way. He has perfect timing and a purpose for every pathway of our lives. Through our brokenness we get His healing and grace.
The character I didn't like? Jade's father-in-law, Reb. I think of him and I just get angry at his meanness. His name just sounds like pride. But I'll be, we still see God's grace and love for even a mean one like, Reb. There are so many life lessons in this book. So much to take away.
I applaud, Sara Evans, for stepping out and taking on the challenge of writing. You go girl! Job well done. I am now a huge fan. Rachel Hauck is already at the top of my favorites list. This book is filled with redemption and grace leading healing for these characters. I cannot wait to finish this series with the third book, "Love Lifted Me", in the fall of 2012.
This book is published by Thomas Nelson.
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Review 12 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Three Tissues Needed

Date:June 4, 2011
Customer Avatar
Barbara Beers
Location:Midlothian, VA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The old adage "you can't judge a book by it's cover" rings true for the Benson family. Jade and her husband, Max, have everything, except a baby. Max's parents have the picture perfect life, on the outside. Jade and her mother, Beryl, are just getting to know each other while Beryl battles leukemia. Then everything implodes for everyone -- infidelity, drugs, secrets, panic attacks -- and life as the Benson family knew it comes apart.
The characters were realistic -- human and flawed. The problems were believable. The pain was deep, raw, and real. Through out the book my emotions were all over the board and any book that needs three tissues is a keeper.
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Review 13 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Can Love Overcome the Ultimate Betrayal ?

Date:May 23, 2011
Customer Avatar
The Phantom Paragrapher
Location:Tauranga, New Zealand
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Review: Softly and Tenderly - Book #2 Songbird Series - Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck - Jan 2011
Just when life was starting to look up for Jade Benson, she married lawyer Max and reunited with her mother Beryl. A whole new set of challenges are about to occur, desperate for a baby Jade is heartbroken when her doctor informs her that she cannot carry full-term and her mother is diagnosed with Leukemia. When her husband Max and his mother June start pressuring for a child, Jade is torn between God's way and the worldly options of surrogacy and adoption. When tragedy strikes and Max's ex-girlfriend Rice is found dead, it seems that she left behind something for Max - a son that Max didn't let Jade know he had. With the revelation of Max having a son , it causes Jade to re-evaluate her marriage and whether or not she can live with the knowledge that he had a son elsewhere.Softly and Tenderly ia the sort of novel that when your whole world comes crumbling down, the only thing to help save what you have is good friends and family.
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Review 14 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Life after marital betrayal

Date:February 15, 2011
Customer Avatar
Anonymous
Location:St. Paul, MN
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Softly and Tenderly, by Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck, is anything but soft and tender as the story first unfolds. Secrets and betrayal open with painful harshness. You find your heart bleeding all over the pages with the characters. There’s no sugar-coating on the raw emotions felt and displayed. Honest, heartfelt, and painful conversations are held. Heart-wrenching in every way. Choices made could have easily been my own.
Sara pulled out all the stops on a very touchy, harsh reality for some women. Had it not been for the mix of humor and hope, the pain and rejection could have almost been too overwhelming, but overall I believe Sara did it with just the right balance.
Added to these scenarios is the cold reality of an imminent death to be dealt with, one where the past has almost devastated the relationships. With maturation, reconciliation is cautiously and even humorously worked out.
Despite the gravity of the subjects, I don’t think I’ve ever been moved as much by a story as I was with this book. It was deep and intense, and you felt every part of it. The pain, grief and sorrow were not glossed over. Very realistic, yet encouraging. God’s grace was apparent throughout the gamut of circumstances, though not necessarily seen ‘in the moment.’ His power of forgiveness is strong, but not always instant.
A powerful book to help women in situations such as these. Softly and tenderly does work its way in at the end in an unexpected way. Top of the line writing!
Here’s to ‘all the women out there just trying to live a little stronger.’
This book was provided by BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 15 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

A nice read!

Date:January 29, 2011
Customer Avatar
PegT
Location:BC, Canada
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
In this Christian romance, Jade is the center character who struggles with multiple issues from her past and in her present. In the midst of Jade’s own struggles, her husband’s and in-laws’ issues impact her as well, and despair and depression overtake. Jade’s relationship with God eventually sees her return to wholeness.
I enjoyed the characters, and found them well developed and real. At times, I wondered how much more could happen to all of these people, and then I recalled the people I know who seem to be ‘hit’ over and over again. Somehow, it seems that some people just do experience repeated tragedy and difficulty, and this memory made the story-line that much more believable.
This is the second book in a series, and I found the references to incidents from the first book vague and dissatisfying – and all too frequent. I kept thinking that these references to the past were just a little bit of a mystery and all would eventually be revealed. So beware, you may want to read the first book (Sweet By and By) before you read this one!
All in all, an enjoyable book – and has the potential to be a good series.
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Review 16 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A real-life-like Journey

Date:January 10, 2011
Customer Avatar
I breathe I write
Location:Missouri
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
In the book, Jade struggles with both current and past issues in her life. And as is often the case in life, several issues all converge on her at once, thus creating ‘a perfect storm’ in her life. While she wants to go back to the way life was, life has created an impossible ‘going back’ – so she must confront the present, as well as the past, and decide what next steps to take towards her future. Will her heart find the healing she desperately needs?
This is a story that deals with a lot of modern day issues – abortion, addictions, miscarriages, affairs – and how these decisions impact individual lives, as well as, the lives of those they love, and how they affect life even years later. I found it to be a pleasant read, although, sadly, I bet it hits close to home for a lot of people who are dealing with some of the same pain in their own lives. While we want to live in a fairy-tale world, the reality of life is often much more painful. Jade’s struggles and journey towards healing is one I am certain can encourage others in their journey. Sara Evan’s development of Jade’s character, pushes the reader forward towards the end of the novel to see if and how she can resolve her internal struggle.
Thanks to www.booksneeze.com for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.
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Review 17 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Softly and Tenderly by Sara Evans, Rachel Hauck

Date:January 3, 2011
I kept thinking, "this is a soap opera," while I read Softly and Tenderly by Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck. About two-thirds of the way through, the main character describes her life in the exact same way. Good to know we were on the same page!
Jade's life is falling apart. Guilt and shame from bad decisions in her teenage years, a rocky relationship with her mom, her in-laws' failing marriage, struggles with anxiety, the inability to conceive, her mother's impending death, her husband's addiction to pain pills ... and then she learns about her husband's infidility the week before their marriage and the son that was conceived as a result. As a new Christian, will Jade rely on her own ways or will she turn to Christ?
This is "chick lit" at its best. I found myself falling in love with this crazy, trouble-ridden family and wanted everything to work out for them. The story evoked real emotion in me and I found myself tearing up several times. The struggles were real. Jade questions her faith repeatedly as she faces trial after trial. I actually liked that things weren't tied up in a neat package at the end. That's how life is. But ultimately, I felt that there was a great message of hope in spite of her circumstances.
This is the second book in the Songbird trilogy (Sweet By and By available now and Love Lifted Me available Winter 2012). I am anxiously awaiting the conclusion to this gripping story.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange from Thomas Nelson Publishers for my fair and honest review.
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Review 18 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A Heartfelt Journey Home...

Date:December 31, 2010
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Rambling Reader
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Softly & Tenderly is the second book in the Songbird series by Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck, which continues the story of Jade Benson. After being happily married for two years, Jade's life begins to unravel with the discovery that her husband, Max, has a young son from a previous relationship. Facing the impending loss of her mother who is battling leukemia, Jade runs to her childhood home in Prairie City, Iowa. While trying to overcome feelings of betrayal, anger, and grief, Jade begins to question the life that she has built. The presence of Dustin, her first love, is both comforting and dangerous for Jade's tumultuous emotions. By returning home Jade reaches a crossroad in her life, but which path will she take?
After reading The Sweet By and By, the prequel to this novel, I definitely wanted to read Softly & Tenderly. I initially thought that the sequel may focus on Willow, Jade's younger sister, but it is very fitting that the authors chose to continue Jade's story. When reading most books, I expect the endings to tie up nicely because don't we all want to hear about the "happily ever afters"? Just as their debut novel introduced characters with flaws and weaknesses, Softly & Tenderly, serves as a reminder that marriages do not lead to "happily ever afters" where every issue is blissfully resolved. Each person in a family struggles with doubt, weaknesses, anger, sorrow, and sometimes deeply guarded secrets. Despite these hurdles, hopefully the power to unite in times of need and lean on their faith and each other, each family member will be healed by forgiveness and the power of love.
Like real-life, Jade's struggles are not resolved by the end of the book; but as a reader, I have my ideas about the direction that she might be heading. I look forward to reading the conclusion of the Songbird series, Love Lifted Me, upon its release during the winter of 2012.
Just as a side-note, this series would make a great Hallmark or Lifetime movie and to the tune of a country song.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSneeze through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 19 for Softly and Tenderly, Songbird Series #2 -eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Great Read

Date:December 13, 2010
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mandygirlie238
Location:Washington, DC
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This was a great book. It is a sequel to the book "Sweet By and By". It took a couple of chapters before I figured out who all the characters were but then it took off at breakneck speed.
It's the story of a woman, Jade Fitzgerald, dealing with pain from the past and desperately focused on the future. She faces her husband’s ultimate betrayal of trust which brings into her life a child, the very thing that she wanted more than anything to give him.
In a girls’ road trip to take her sick mother home to Iowa, the main characters go on a journey of self discovery, forgiveness, and moving forward. It’s not without hiccups when Jade’s first love is in the wings wanting to start over and her husband arrives to try and win her back.
This book was fun to read and I couldn’t put it down. It was romantic but in a real life way. You could feel the rawness of the characters as they dealt with some big issues that we all face sometime in our lives; like addiction, losing a loved one, facing a spouse's betrayal or dealing with shame from the past.
I haven’t read the first book but am looking forward to reading it to fill in some of the blanks.I hope that the author will write more to the saga because she left this reader wanting more!
+1point
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