Talking about A House Full of Hope

This past weekend, I read Missy Tippens’ newest Love Inspired release, A House Full of Hope. I became a fan of Missy’s after reading her 2011 release, so I snatched this latest book up the day it hit the shelves. Best of all, it has lots of great questions for discussion. But first let me give you a description of the story: 

From black sheep to father of four…

Before becoming a Christian, Mark Ryker ran with a bad crowd and broke hearts. Including his father’s. Now a successful businessman, Mark has come home to Corinthia, Georgia, to make amends. But no one will forgive him. So when the widowed mother of four renting his dad’s run-down house needs help fixing up the place, Mark gets to work. Pretty Hannah Hughes and her sweet kids have him longing to be part of the clan, but Hannah isn’t ready to let go of the past. Still, they are working together on a house full of hope—and that’s all Mark needs.

First off, I want to let readers know that writers don’t usually get to write their own back cover blurbs. Moreover, the person who writes them has usually only read an early synopsis of the story and perhaps the first two or three chapters. I mention this, because although I’ve included the blurb above, I think it failed to nail the vast scope of the conflict, not to mention the first line gives away the ending! Of course, we always know the hero will get his HEA, but the hurdles in Mark’s path seem utterly insurmountable.

First of all, he’s returned to seek forgiveness for causing his brother’s death and then walking out on the family, cutting off contact so that they couldn’t even find him when his mother died. His father is not about to forgive him.

Mark starts fixing up the house, because he wants to stick around long enough to make sure his financially-struggling dad is okay, and because he wants his dad back in their family home, not renting it out to the heroine and her four kids while his dad lives above the garage.

If that weren’t enough to worry the widowed heroine, as a youth, Mark destroyed her sister’s life and as a consequence their family’s, and while the heroine may come to realize he isn’t a monster, her mother will never forgive him. As a single mom, the heroine relies on her mother to help with childcare and can’t afford to alienate her. Moreover, Mark’s home and business is three thousand miles away–not exactly condusive to an ongoing relationship. 

I love getting half way through a book and wondering how the hero and heroine could possibly ever end up together. But…onto today’s question…

Your Turn: Mark wanted to achieve success before coming home so he’d earn respect. What pitfalls do you see in striving for material success, or in striving for affirmation in other ways? Have you ever fallen into that trap?

Giveaway: I’ll mail a copy of Missy’s book to a randomly selected commenter from today and Wednesday’s blog. You DO NOT have to leave your email address. I will announce the winner Friday along with a real-life romance story that you won’t want to miss!