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Because We Forgave - A Christian Romance (Book 2 in the Transformed by Love Series) Paperback

Because We Forgave - A Christian Romance (Book 2 in the Transformed by Love Series) Paperback

Heartwarming Christian Romance

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 265+ 5 Star Reviews

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When Samuel Jackson, a charismatic game show host and boating enthusiast, embarrasses himself on national TV, he decides to flee the country instead of staying and facing the fallout. Twice divorced, he’s made a mess of his life and believes his ex-wife and children are better off without him.
He escapes to an island paradise where life is slower, but he soon realises that without his family, life means nothing. But it’s too late to go back.
Eloise Jackson is left to raise her three children on her own after her husband trades her in on a younger model. Too late, she realises she’s placed the children and her job at a higher priority than her husband. She lives with that knowledge every day.
She thinks she still loves Sam, her childhood sweetheart. Not knowing where he is, or even if he’s alive or dead, makes it hard to know. She’s not completely forgiven him for leaving her and the children and would love the chance to at least talk with him.
When Sasha, their twenty-four old daughter, sees her dad on a travel documentary in the Philippines, she knows she has to find him and bring him home.
Can God heal the hurts this family has suffered? Can they forgive Sam for disappearing from their lives for so long? Can love be renewed when it’s been betrayed?

A fallen TV personality fleeing his failures. An ex-wife and family facing their fears…

After an embarrassing incident on national TV, game show host Samuel Jackson flees abroad, thinking his family is better off without him. Meanwhile, his estranged wife, Eloise, regrets prioritizing work and their children over their marriage. Their daughter Sasha, spotting Samuel in a travel documentary, embarks on a mission to reunite him with the family. As they navigate the complex emotions of betrayal, abandonment, and the possibility of forgiveness, they question if love and faith can restore their broken relationships and bring Samuel back into their lives.

Chapter One - Look Inside

Palawan Island, the Philippines
Sammy Jack sat on the bow of his boat and stared across the calm waters of Imuruan Bay. As the horizon softened with faint light, awe at dawn’s beauty briefly tempered his early morning remorse and thumping headache. Two years earlier, after watching a locally shot tourism documentary featuring himself in which he’d been so drunk he could barely string two words together, he’d sworn off booze altogether.
But recently, he’d started drinking again.
It had been a few cans at first—he couldn’t afford scotch these days—but last night, he’d polished off half a crate. He’d fought the temptation to bring the other half onto the boat with him that morning, but the resolve he’d made years before, no drinking on the boat, had kept him, he was sure, from plunging completely into the oblivion of alcoholism.
Around his boat, a thirty-two-foot fishing trawler he’d bought for chips and had refurbished as a tour boat, shoals of small fish darted in the clear, blue water with not a care in the world. He let out a heavy sigh and began preparing for the day ahead. In some ways, this simple life was all he’d once dreamed of. Sun-filled days spent on the water with just the basic necessities of life. But now that he had it, sometimes he wished he didn’t.
He lifted his hand in a wave as Old Mack staggered onto the boat beside his. The Esmerelda wasn’t nearly as popular as Sam’s boat, Amelia. Probably because Old Mack didn’t have what it took. Charisma. Surprisingly, despite years of alcohol abuse, Sammy still had it. Around these parts, Sammy Jack was still ‘the best of the best’ and could entertain tourists like no one else.
“Howdy, Mack. Good night?” he called out to his friend.
“Not bad.” Old Mack wheezed and then spat over the side before wiping his mouth on his sleeve. “Can still taste the rum.”
“It’ll keep you goin’ all day, mate.”
“Hope so.”
“Have a good one.” Sammy mock saluted the old man and then headed into the galley to pop some headache pills before the tourists began arriving.
Half an hour later, show-time began. Sammy put on his happy face and welcomed the first boatload of tourists aboard. The day would pass like every other. He’d entertain his guests while pointing out sites of interest and tell them stories that might or might not be true. He was good at it. He hadn’t lost his ability to charm a crowd, and he always chuckled at the faces of the children when he told them the story of the Lagoon Monster. He had them eating out of his hands.
The day passed, and after the last group of tourists left, he secured the boat to the jetty, slung his bag over his shoulder, and trudged along the shoreline towards the beach shack he’d called home for the past seven years. Sweat rolled down his back, making that half-crate seem all the more appealing.
Finally reaching the shack, his gaze lingered on the cans of beer. He’d love to crack one open, but his head still throbbed like a jackhammer despite popping numerous pills throughout the day. He sighed heavily and tossed his bag down. It was an old familiar place he found himself in. He had to do something about it. Sucking in a resolute breath, he flopped onto his bed and closed his eyes, rubbing his temples in an attempt to massage his headache away.
It didn’t work. He sat up, popped some more pills and then shoved the cans into his backpack before heading out. Most evenings he fished along the beach, setting up beside Old Mack and a few other old codgers. He gave the majority of his catch to a nearby orphanage. Over the years, he’d struck up an unlikely friendship with Sister Cecelia, the elderly nun who ran the place, as well as developing a fondness for the kids. The irony wasn’t lost on him. He hadn’t seen his own kids for years. Effectively, he’d abandoned them. He often wondered if his trips to the orphanage weren’t to make amends, to cleanse the soul that he insisted to Sister Cecelia he no longer believed he possessed.
The orphanage was a short walk along a path shaded by palm trees. When he arrived, Sister Cecelia was seated outside under a large, shady Narra tree, fanning herself while the children played nearby. She looked up and smiled as he approached, but her smile quickly changed to a frown. “You’re early. No fish today?” She was Filipino but spoke excellent English with an American accent.
Sam shook his head. “I haven’t been fishing yet. I...” He hesitated. Gulped. Did he really want to do this? “I…I want you to get rid of these for me,” he said in a rush.
As she looked inside the backpack, the nun’s face fell. “Oh, Sam. I thought you were doing well with the drinking.”
Grimacing, he sat beside her and let out a heavy sigh. “I was, but it’s creeping up on me again.”
She patted his hand. “Well, you brought them to me. That’s the main thing. Why don’t I dispose of these and get you a nice cool drink of lemonade?” In her usual brisk manner, she gathered up the cans and disappeared into the building, leaving a cloud of dust behind her loose, white habit.
While he waited, he looked at the building, a haphazard structure always in need of repair. He noticed, amongst other things, that the roof was missing a few slates.
When she returned with the drink, he thanked her and pointed to the roof. “I’ll drop by and start fixing it tomorrow.”
Her small, round face softened in a smile. “That would be great. Thank you, Sam. But filling your time with doing things won’t fix your problems. What will you do when there are no more things to fix?” Peering into his eyes, it was almost like she was peering into his soul. “You need to get yourself right with God. And your family.”
He shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Sister Cecelia was the only person on the island who knew the story of his past, and while he trusted her completely and was grateful for her care, she had a knack for cutting through to the heart of things and it made him uncomfortable.
Sometimes, with her forthrightness and quiet dignity, she reminded him of Eloise, his ex-wife. “You keep telling me that, but I lost my faith a long time ago. Anyway, my family wouldn’t want me back, and neither would God, not after all I’ve done.” It was hard to hide his shame and inner misery from her probing stare.
Her hand closed over his. “Jesus came to save sinners, Sam.”
“Well, I’m one of them, sure enough.” Humouring her was the best option. It was too late for him and God. And his family.
She smiled, her old eyes twinkling. “He was also particularly partial to fishermen.”
Shaking his head and letting out a small chuckle, Sam gazed into the distance. “Well, you ask Him to do something for me, Sister. Ask Him to bring my family back, and maybe then I’ll believe.”
She leaned across and looked directly into his eyes. “Why don’t you ask Him yourself?”

Main Tropes

  • Christian Romance
  • Opposites Attract
  • Inspiring
View full details

What Readers Say....

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    "This is a wonderful heartwarming book of faith, courage, perseverance, and love. Juliette Duncan did a wonderful job of weaving the story of Brendan Miller a teacher and a part-time youth pastor as well as a widowed father of a small child, and Sasha Jackson, a highly regarded environmental scientist who come together in the small town of Deep River. Together they save a piece of land save an endangered species as they face, adversity and fear by leaning on their faith, standing on their Bible as truth this couple comes out victorious finding love together! I like this book so much but I will go back and read the whole Transform By Love series again!" Melissa M

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    "A truly inspirational story! Sasha is a special lady. When she comes to Deep River her life and the lives of many will change. Brendan is trying to raise his son and doesn’t expect to ever be interested in another woman. The characters in this book are all very special people. You will feel God working throughout this wonderful book." Deb J

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    "Sasha is an environmental scientist who comes to Deep River to survey because a developer wants to change the area. He has made it known that Sasha works for him, which she does not! Brendan is the local music teacher and has taken it on himself to protect Sasha in the deeply divided town. A fascinating story with suspense and some romance. A sweet, clean, must read!" Jan T