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Faith and Luke Carraday have it all. Faith is a beautiful singer turned socialite while Luke is an up-and-coming businessman. After taking his inheritance from his father’s stable, lucrative business to invest in a successful hedge fund with the Michov Brothers, he’s on the fast track as a rising young executive, and Faith is settling comfortably into her role as his wife.

When rumors of the Michovs’ involvement in a Ponzi scheme reach Faith, she turns to Luke for confirmation, and he assures her that all is well. But when Luke is arrested, Faith can’t understand why he would lie to her, and she runs home to the farm and the family she turned her back on years ago. Meanwhile, Luke is forced to turn to his own family for help as he desperately tries to untangle himself from his mistakes. Can two prodigals return to families they abandoned, and will those families find the grace to forgive and forget? Will a marriage survive betrayal when there is nowhere to run but home?

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“That time is going to come. But before that, you need to figure out why the music stopped and make sure it keeps playing no matter what kind of noise your life brings in,” Luke is told in Rene Gutteridge and John Ward’s novel, Heart of the Country. This four hundred and four page paperback book is targeted toward mature teenagers through adults who like tales of romance and redemption. With no profanity but slang words such as darn and heck and the use of the word hell, there is no violence or overtly sexual scenes. The end of the book includes eleven discussion questions and interviews by each author with each other. Country gal Faith Barnett and wealthy Luke Carrady have a whirlwind romance in New York and marry weeks later without the blessings and acceptance of Luke’s family. Since Faith left her North Carolina home after her mother died in a car accident, she has run away from her past, especially when it comes to her beautiful singing. Luke, angry with his father and brother’s attitude toward Faith and his position as “second” in all business matters, badly wants to strike out on his own so asks his father for an advance inheritance. He embarks on a financial business without being constantly attached to his father’s monetary apron springs while Faith enjoys the comforts of wealthy living. When Luke is arrested for being involved in a Ponzi scheme, no one comes to his aid, including the heart-broken Faith who abandons him and flees to her family’s home to be with her ailing father and detached older sister which she has not seen in ten years. Both prodigals must face their family demons and mistakes of the past and present. With Luke not trusting his father and brother’s protection, he finds himself ruining the family name. Never to face a problem head on, Faith has to rely on both her father and sister for support, encouragement, and guidance making future plans. While each deal with abandonment issues, the common thread throughout the tome is that God is always there, allowing the music of love to play in the background of their hearts as they seek Him. Through thick and thin, all characters involve are forced to look inward as they seek hope, acceptance, and love with one another. This book was furnished by Tyndale House Publishers in lieu of an unbiased review.

Heart of the Country by Rene Gutteridge is a decent read, but the main character left her husband when he needed her support mo”‹st. The story line is convoluted and jumps between past & present too much. Although the story is complicated