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Customer Reviews for David C. Cook The Renewal, Project Restoration Series #2

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David C. Cook The Renewal, Project Restoration Series #2

Leslie Ruskin just purchased the historic Midlands Building, which,like her life, needs renovation. Starting over in a new town after a devastating divorce, Leslie wants a fresh start for her and her five-year-old daughter. Still, standing on the sidewalk looking up at the seedy brownstone in Butler, Pennsylvania's reviving downtown, she wonders if she's done the right thing. Her plan is to live in one of the building's second-floor apartments, and rent out the first floor,a large commercial space with stunning architectural details that was once a locksmith's shop. But it needs work. A lot of work.

Jack Kenyon, a master carpenter, is starting over too. Beginning his own construction business, he seems to be the perfect man for the project, especially with his experience in historic restoration. But haunted by loneliness, his past failures, and the lost relationship with his own young daughter, Jack finds it difficult to maintain his sobriety.

Average Customer Rating:
4.7 out of 5
4.7
 out of 
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(10 Reviews) 10
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Customer Reviews for The Renewal, Project Restoration Series #2
Review 1 for The Renewal, Project Restoration Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:October 20, 2009
While I found the book very compelling to read, it was also a bit difficult to read, even depressing. Sometimes life is hard and people struggle just to get through the day. There was often a very somber tone to the book. That being said, now that I've finished, I don't feel sad but very reflective. Maybe sometimes that's a good thing.
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Review 2 for The Renewal, Project Restoration Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:April 21, 2009
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Chandra Lynn Smith
The Renewal, book two in the Project Restoration Series, is an even more compelling read than book one. Leslie Ruskin, single mom trying to start over with her five-year-old daughter meets Jack Kenyon, master carpenter trying to recover his life. Both of them struggle with the need to renew not just the old Midlands Building Leslie purchased, but also their hearts. Day by day the building is restored to its old luster while Leslie and Jack both battle their histories and attraction for each other. And, within the pages of the novel, another story emerges. Leslie has the journal of her great-great-great grandmother Amelia Westland's life. As Leslie reads the treasured journal, she finds her own faith and hope and learns to trust her heart. Jack befriends a man named Earl who helps him wrestle his demons and open his heart once more. This book sort of sneaks up and grabs the reader. The romance is sweet and heartwarming, the history intriguing, and the mystery of what is behind the door no one can open keeps you guessing. If you have read The Renovation, this is an excellent sequel. If you have not, this book stands alone and will make you want to go back and pick up the first book also. I am eager to read the next one. Clear your weekend, sit down and enjoy the read. Don't be surprised if it makes you reminisce about falling in love and eager to do some home repairs.
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Review 3 for The Renewal, Project Restoration Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 7, 2009
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Frances Haynes
Excellent book. Kept me guessing until the very last chapter. The author writes with great passion and knowledge. Easy to read; I couldn't put it down. By the end of the book, I had really good insight into the main characters. I would highly recommend this book to anybody!
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Review 4 for The Renewal, Project Restoration Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 18, 2009
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Kristine Pratt
Can something be so broken that even God cant restore it?Leslie Ruskin is starting over. Shes left a bad situation and only wants to leave the past behind. Her purchase of the historic Midlands Building is what she hopes to be the key to a new life for her and her five-year-old daughter. To do that though, she needs help. And that comes in the form of another stranger in town, Jack Kenyon.Jacks also starting overand has just as many demons from his past as Leslie does. Together they work to restore the old building. But the past has a way of rearing its ugly head as Leslies ex-husband suddenly shows up, bringing with him fear and uncertainty. And Jacks own struggles with depression and alcoholism threaten to destroy everything hes worked to build.THE RENEWAL is a compelling story of love and forgiveness. The characters are so quirky and fun you cant help but wish you could sit down to coffee with them. The storyline is intense and will keep you reading long after you should have gone to bed and leaves you well satisfied when the last page is turned. But more than that, this book ministered to me in a way I didnt expect. Leslies problems with panic attacks mirror my own, as does her difficult past. Heres a book that gave me hope and encouragement and strengthened my own walk with God. For those reasons alone, I cant recommend this book enough. Well done, Terri!
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Review 5 for The Renewal, Project Restoration Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:February 17, 2009
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Writer Woman
I'm one of those HGTV junkies (House and Garden Channel), so when my friend Terri Kraus asked for influences for her new book, The Renewal, the second book in her Restoration series, I raised my hand. As a professional interior designer, Terri knows her stuff and I was excited to read the story she crafted in such a setting as restoring older buildings to their prime.Leslie Ruskin, a single mom looking for a new start, comes to Butler, Pennsylvania and purchases an old structure known as the Midlands Building. A place with good bones in need of some TLC. She sees it as a place to put down roots with her five-year-old daughter Ava.At the same time, Jack Kenyon is looking to make a new start with his one-man construction business. He's got some skeletons in his closet he'd prefer keeping there and figures starting over in a new town he'll be able to do that. But God has other plans.When Leslie hires Jack to help renovate one of the apartments in her new building, neither realizes how God will work on these two lonely souls, restoring them while they restore the building.Terri tells the story in the manner of storytellers of old. With the turn of each page more facets are revealed and woven into the fabric of a whole through the intermingling of the townspeople both Leslie and Jack meet and how, as the story progresses, the issues that drive them are brought out. The spiritual arc also weaves itself into the story like a golden thread of hope, drawing both Jack and Leslie to a place where they are finally able to trust in God and in each other.Along with the story, I found the setting of an old building in need of restoration a wonderful parallel to the lives in need of the same attention.This is a great story to curl up with a cup of tea and spend an afternoon devouring.
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Review 6 for The Renewal, Project Restoration Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 16, 2009
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Debra Ullrick
A kiss of history-a hug of renovation-and an embrace of restorationThe Renewal by Terri Kraus should really be titled: Sweet Renovation or The Master's Healing Touch.The Renewal is what Inspiration stories are all about--renewal, renovation, and restoration. We all have an area in our life that only the Restoring Hand of God can touch...as He did in Leslie and Jack's life. Each had a "demon" to overcome. Neither could do it on their own, no matter how hard they tried. Just what are these "demons" that possess Leslie and Jack? Will they ever truly be rid of these monsters?Did Leslie do the right thing by moving to the town of Butler? Will her great-great-great grandmother's diary and her heritage catch up with Leslie? The two ladies share a common bond. What is it? Can this old diary help heal the evil that plagues Leslie? Leslie's ex comes to town. What is it that he's after?Entering Jack. A hottie with a troublesome past. Can Leslie trust him? Better yet, can Jack trust himself? Will Leslie discover his hidden "demon"? If so, will she shun him, or welcome him with open arms?Then there's Mike. Poor tongue-tied Mike. Will he win Leslie's heart? Or is there something else he's after? Little Ava, who knows only too well about her mommy's "demon". After all, she's witnessed it enough. Is that why Daddy divorced her mommy? There's a bully in this story. One that I would love to slap duct tape across his mouth. Who is this mongrel anyway?A mystery lurks behind a door that nobody wants to destroy or that nobody seems to be able to open? What is so valuable in there that somebody obviously did everything in their power to keep people from getting into it?Well, if you would like to know the answer to these questions, then read, The Renewal by Terri Kraus.Fabulous job, Terri. You touched on some very sensitive subjects and handled them very well. I'll be forever changed because of this story.
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Review 7 for The Renewal, Project Restoration Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 10, 2009
This novel is a wonderful story of restoration and renewal. This wasnt a quick read, like most of the other Christian novels I read. It was thought provoking and caused me to slow down and absorb the story of Leslie and Jack. From the beginning, I connected with the characters. Who hasnt started over, maybe not as extreme as Leslie and Jack, but starting over and hopeless none the less? Reading their small victories gives an intimate picture of what renewal looks like. Practical renewal, living life one day at a time. Kraus also deals with some tough issues in this novel. I was once a single mother and I can relate to Leslies struggles with settling. Also, Kraus portrayal of starting over after losing a loved one left me examining my own loss and recognizing Gods comfort and peace. Very few fiction books have left me feeling like I had read my Bible for an hour or so accurately displayed the truth of Gods word subtly woven into the story. This is one of those books. I so appreciate Kraus ability to share Gods truth without making me feel like Ive been beaten over the head with it. This book is a must buy for the broken-hearted. Its also a great book to pass along to someone who has suffered loss and is looking to start over.
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Review 8 for The Renewal, Project Restoration Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 10, 2009
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Betty Anne Bantz
It's a battle as old as Eden, twisting truths into lies in order to control men's minds. THE RENEWAL exposes the enemy who is using a guilt-ridden carpenter, Jack Kenyon, and a fear-stricken home-restorer, Leslie Ruskin, as pawns. Leslie appears to be doing fine settling into her new apartment, hiring Jack to renovate the rental units, and even registering her battle-weary daughter in Kindergarten. At school, Ava befriends the boy in the desk ahead of her, and his dad Mike, also a single parent, befriends Leslie.When Ava's father suddenly takes an interest in seeing her, Leslie is convinced her ex-husband's motive is to seal Ava away from her. A debilitating panic attack ensues, making Leslie late to pick Ava up after school, and causing Ava to retreat into her protective shell again.At a local bar & grille, Jack is facing his own demons, Accuser and Excuser, who are taunting him with, "You killed your wife and daughter," and, "Oh, one sip won't hurt you." It looks as if they might succeed in reclaiming Jack's life, until he revisits his family's grave site and surrenders himself back to God.Despite Leslie's inner struggles dealing with her ex-husband's threats, she feels attracted to Jack. But Mike offers her a comfortable alternative. Leslie's great-great-great grandmother shares her own story via a diary and a family Bible they discover while restoring her historic house, and her advice to the generations to come is to follow your heart.Great story, skillfully told. God's love prevails, and his enemies are silenced. I loved this book.
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Review 9 for The Renewal, Project Restoration Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 10, 2009
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Anna Frances
This is a very inspiring book! It is a contemporary story with an historical story woven in via Leslie Ruskin's great-great-great- grandmother's diary from the 19th century, which she has inherited. Each chapter begins with a diary entry that traces the remarkable life of one Amelia Westland. Leslie is starting over, struggling to be a good single mom after a devastating divorce, and buys a landmark building to rehab. She meets master carpenter Jack Kenyon, who is starting over as well, and is the perfect man for the job. Jack is fighting the demons of his past and attempting to stay sober. The attraction between them is immediate, but their personal issues threaten to derail not only the rehab project, but any hope of happiness they may have together. A former locksmith shop, the first floor of the Midlands Building is rented to a pair of experienced restaurateurs, and holds secrets of its own behind a locked door. What will be discovered behind it, and will Leslie and Jack discover a way to a new life together? You will enjoy the wonderful writing style, and the surprising way the 2 stories are tied together in the end will keep you turning the pages. A colorful cast of characters, great spiritual truth and the author's insights into the world of building renovation make for a very compelling and enjoyable read. Can't wait for BOOK 3 of the series to see what she comes up with next! Another great book discussion group candidate.
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Review 10 for The Renewal, Project Restoration Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 10, 2009
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R_Alexander
Real. Thats the best way to describe The Renewal. This book could have easily been a true story it was so well written. It did not read like a contrived we meet, fall in love, find God, and live happily ever after plot. It was real people with authentic lives. Its common that book characters somehow always seem slightly fictitious. Not so here. I half expected Leslie, Ava, Jack, and the rest of the gang to walk straight off the page. Plus, the characters grow over the course of the novel. They learn to trust and put faith in someone bigger than themselves. You can really see the transformation take place. Maybe thats why this seemed so realistic.What I also loved about this book was how many different genres Ms. Kraus blended togetherromance, historical, suspense. Its got a little something for everyone. It includes tentative relationships (romantic and otherwise), diary entries from Leslies great-great-great-grandmothers diary, and hints about the characters past, all of which keep you reading. Not only are the main characters extremely fleshed out and realistic, but the secondary characters are as well. All the people are thought out, with quirky traits, life-like thoughts and actions, and identifiable situations. Plus, people from The Renovation, book one in the Project Restoration series, pop up in this book. It was nice to see some old faces and hear how their lives are going. Ms. Kraus is a master with words and storylines. This is one of the most well-written books Ive read (and I read a lot). Its sweet, authentic, and God-honoring. If youve read book one in the series, or even if you havent, definitely check this one out. Its pretty much perfect.
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