AUTHOR: JoAnn Durgin
DATE: December 2014
The exciting prequel to the popular, beloved contemporary Christian romance Lewis Legacy Series, Prelude is the love story of Samuel J. Lewis and Sarah Jordan, parents to Sam Lewis, the core character of The Lewis Legacy Series. Prelude gives insights into Sam’s family history in this involving, heartfelt story of family, friendship, and love. A story of never letting go of our dreams, and how faith, sacrifice and trusting our lives to the Lord’s guidance will always triumph over our human fears, temptations, insecurities and frailties.
On April 24, 1962, U.S. Air Force Captain Samuel Lewis returns home to small Rockbridge, Texas. Six years older than Sarah, Sam is the boy who moved four doors down when she was ten. A teenager who nicknamed her Tomboy and teased her like an older brother. That boy is now a fully grown, incredibly handsome man who makes her heart race, but what does she know of love or life? In another year, she’ll be able to save the five thousand dollars she needs to attend nursing school in Austin. Besides, everyone in Rockbridge expects Sam to date her older sister, Tess, the prettiest girl in town with the beauty queen titles to prove it. Not to mention Tess announces her intention of marrying Captain Lewis.
After his return stateside, Sam Lewis finds Sarah Jordan occupying his favorite pondering spot at Thornton’s Creek. After his years away from home, first at the Air Force Academy and then serving in the Air Force, Sam finds himself unexpectedly drawn to Sarah. The sassy, funny girl he used to tease has grown up into a beautiful, charming woman with wit and intelligence who challenges him more than any other woman he’s ever met. Sarah’s frequent reminders that she’s leaving Rockbridge, along with her encouragement to date any other girl in town, unsettle him.
During the eventful summer of 1962, their friendship grows deeper and blossoms into love. Sam knows he can’t hold Sarah back from achieving her dreams. Besides, he has no plans to leave town since he’s stepped into place beside his father as the vice president of Rockbridge Savings & Loan. Sam's heart is torn.
All seems hopeless when she tells him it’s her dream to work as a nurse on mission fields across the world. When an unexpected financial gift gives Sarah the needed funds to enter nursing school in the fall, she faces saying good-bye to Sam earlier than expected.
Are Sam and Sarah destined to be together or to spend their lives apart? Can these two find a place where their hearts can meet or does the Lord have a much better plan that only He can design?
Author JoAnn Durgin takes us a generation back from her beloved The Lewis Legacy series to introduce us to the ones who started it all, Sarah Jordan and Samuel J. Lewis. I thoroughly enjoyed the blossoming relationship between these two as they rediscover their friendship after years apart.
But this story isn’t just about two people falling in love. It’s also about small town life, people going out of their way to care for one another, and the impact that has on the entire community.
Even though Sarah plans to leave her hometown as soon as possible, she seeks out a grieving neighbor, deals with a drunk and despairing man, and stands up to racists on behalf of a colored couple. I wanted to stand up and cheer for her as she instigated an impromptu dance to celebrate the young couple’s honeymoon visit.
And Sam isn’t just a war hero, he’s a man with secrets that bind him. But that doesn’t keep him from pursuing, ever so gently, his former tomboy friend. Sam is an honorable man, and the fact that he doesn’t want Sarah to have to choose between him and her dreamed-of future as a nurse made me fall in love with him.
Both these characters are realistic, likeable, and people I would want to know as friends. Their story is enchanting, and the supporting cast is true to life. For that reason, Prelude earns five stars.