Title: Even If
Author: Bethany Riehl
Genre: Christian Fiction/Romance
Synopsis: It was just a glance…but it changed everything.
After a heartbreaking discovery, Lillian Rodgers suddenly quits her job and sets out to rediscover herself. But after weeks with no interviews, she begins to wonder how she will survive. She loves her apartment building, and is intrigued by the kind and very handsome handyman that works there, but it looks like she’ll have to move out, and move to the suburbs—or worse—back home with her mother. Heaven help her. Desperate, she revisits a decision she made in high school and wonders if the Lord could forgive her after so many years living her own way. In the ash of her incinerated life, there are small embers of hope. A new friend, an interesting job possibility, and a quirky bakery owner all seem to be sent as a reminder that God is for her. But then—a devastating blow. Can she trust that the Lord truly has plans that are for her good, even as her hopes are crushed? Or is she doomed to suffer the consequences of her bad choices forever?
Chuck Davis can’t come to terms with the accident that changed his world. Or, more accurately, what the Lord wants him do about it. Then the woman in apartment 608 rounds the corner and he looks up for the first time in years. Neither of them know in that moment that God has set a plan in motion. A plan for Chuck and Lillian to change each other’s story and redeem their past. If they will let Him.
Even If is a story of unspeakable loss and illogical hope. Hope that even if a life is mired in shame and rebellion, God can redeem it. A reminder that the plans of the Lord are supremely good, even if they are different from our own.
First Line: Lillian Rodgers toed carefully around a patch of ice on the sidewalk wondering for the dozenth time what on earth she was doing.
My Thoughts: This first line...wow. It nails setting, plot, and character development all in one go. The setting is obviously contemporary, as I don't think there are too many sidewalks mentioned in fantasy or sci-fi, and you can tell that it's winter from the patch of ice mentioned. You are also intrigued by "what on earth" the character is up to, and immediately want to read more just to see what's going on. Definitely a strong opening line in my opinion!