Sandwich, with a Side of Romance by Krista Phillips

Sandwich, with a Side of Romance is a delightful inspirational romance with a strong faith theme that looks at a person’s relationship with God, but also their faith in themselves. Add in a dose of stubbornness and another of humor, and you might begin to see what makes this book a wonderful read.

Maddie Buckner is a young woman with a terrible past, the reaction to an abusive father and a loss of her mother young, but she’s been given a second chance. She discovered faith in God, and through it, she’s discovering faith in herself. Her journey is rough, and her past presses down on her shoulders, denying her self-worth and making every time things don’t go in her favor a condemnation of who she is.

Reuben Callahan is an up and coming restaurateur, confident, handsome, and with a strong, loving family to watch his back. That’s not to mention his gorgeous girlfriend and fancy new car. From Maddie’s perspective, he has everything going for him and that’s not even considering his history with God. He’s been raised in the faith, and never had the need to doubt himself.

With those descriptions, this might look like a straightforward serious book, but that impression in no way captures the story.

Maddie is stubborn and accident prone, not the best combination for the hair stylist she plans to become, and Reuben, well, he’s exhausted, worn out, and not willing to fess up to how his life is not turning out the way he had hoped.

After his father’s death, for which Reuben blames his new step-father, he’s thrown everything he has into making his father’s dream of a chain of high-end sandwich shops come true, and quickly. He gives in to Livy’s belief that they’ll pick up their high school romance as if he never left for school, lets her choose what car he should drive as a successful businessman, and strives to live up to her expectations while watching his finances turn into a tangled mess.

In comes Maddie. When Reuben’s responsible for costing her the hair stylist job she’d banked everything on, she doesn’t let him get away with blaming her. Instead, he comes up with a crazy plan of hiring her as a waitress, crazy only because he has no idea how bad she is at waitressing. However, Maddie’s not one to give up, especially since her brother’s future is on the line. One look at Reuben’s office, and she creates a job for herself, one she excels at. She’s determined to get her life together enough that the courts will give her custody. Even that goal is complicated by Kyle’s foster parents, who decide to adopt him.

I’ve only given you the tip of the iceberg for this book, and it’s hard to convey the combination of humor, determination, and doubt that is Maddie. All I can say is the book was wonderful, sweet, charming, and harsh all at once. If you like a little meat with your romance, or a little (read lot) of humor, I’d give Sandwich a chance to delight and amuse you while offering some thoughts to chew on at the same time.

I received this copy through NetGalley, before the copyedits were completed, but even those did not hamper my enjoyment. The opinions are all my own.

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