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Family Heirlooms Series, Book 2: Shadow Boxing
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Family Heirlooms Series, Book 2: Shadow Boxing


Score: 4.75 (votes: 4)
4

Nuggets of faith can be passed down as family heirlooms from parent to child, sibling to sibling, spouse to spouse.


Book Two Family Heirloom: Building Love

Joined before God and family out of a sense of responsibility? Or love? 

As a teenager, Justine Morris's escape from the pressures of caring for her dying father was stolen moments with Joshua Samuels. But their tender, desperate liaison found them facing teen pregnancy. Afraid of their Christian families' responses to the situation, they married quickly and built a life for their child. 

But now that their daughter is ready to fly the nest, Justine can no longer ignore the truth: She and Joshua haven't had a real marriage for a long time. Maybe they never had one at all. 

Joshua is only too aware that his busy, professional attorney wife is an independent woman who never really needed him. After nearly two decades of marriage, he's quit trying to get more than a piece of her at a time. Without their daughter holding them together, he knows the chasm between them will grow to epic proportions. 

Their empty nest looming, they face the hard questions. Had they married in love...or out of a hasty sense of responsibility? Was it God's will for them to be together? And now, is it worth the effort to learn to become one as the Lord intends for a man and a woman...or better to simply let go? 


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  • Karen Wiesner
    Jan 6, 2018, 17:12
    Love Romances & More 2010 Golden Rose Awards 1st place Winner
    5 star review from The Romance Studio
    4 1/2 star review from Love 2 Read Novels Blog
    The Romance Studio Sweetheart Award Nominee
    WDRF’s Top Read of Excellence

    5 Hearts! "Ms. Karen Wiesner has, once again, exceeded my expectations with her novel. This author had my attention from the first page and she never lost it. The series of poignant scenes and tumultuous soul searching was incredibly heart-wrenching. She wrote as if she knew the subject from first-hand knowledge. She wrote as if she had this extraordinary desire to see the couple find a happily-ever-after. To read this story was a highlight of my weekend and this is a book I will treasure. It will definitely go on my keeper shelf. Wiesner took these two main characters and expanded them so that it was impossible not to love them. This book was an uplifting story with several surprises. There were tears, laughter, and unique conversations. I highly recommend that you read this book. It’s appropriate for any reader who loves inspirational reading. Great job, Ms. Wiesner." ~The Romance Studio
    4.5 Stars! “Justine Samuels, a lawyer in a small town, has been married to Joshua for eighteen years. She has always wondered why he agreed to marry her; was it purely because she was pregnant and he felt it was his duty? She has never mustered the guts to ask him, fearing his answer. Joshua Samuels has wanted to express his feelings to Justine throughout their marriage, but had always felt there was a wall between them When their daughter prepares to leave for college, the tension between Justine and Joshua becomes more intense. Both are unable to read each other’s thoughts, but are to scared to reveal their true feelings. To complicate the already troubled marriage, Justine finds herself considering separating from her husband for his sake, thinking this is what he wants. Joshua finds himself in a difficult situation fending off unsolicited advances from another woman, add in a health issue for Justine and you have a marriage unraveling that you desperately want saved. What transpires is a delicate tale of raw emotions from a complicated marriage that is striving to succeed. Through the power of prayer and faith in one another, Justine and Joshua are able to find that love can conquer all. Karen Wiesner has written a riveting story about a married couple trying to find their way back into each other’s lives. I thought this was beautifully written with an inspirational message throughout. The struggles facing Justine and Joshua are extremely well written with extraordinary detail of their vulnerabilities. Highly recommended.” ~Single Titles
    4 1/2 Stars! “What an emotionally packed tale! I read this very quickly because I found myself so immersed in the lives of both Joshua and Justine. You can tell (feel actually) that they love each other very much but don't really know how to express it. Once again this author allows you see inside the heads of our lead couple so you know just what they're thinking, and I really do enjoy that. I loved Joshua. He was all the things a good hero should be—kind, gentle and protective, but he really had difficulty with expressing his feelings. I liked Justine. She was very capable and yet unsure. I enjoyed watching this couple strive to redefine and save their marriage, grow as individuals, and learn how to be with each other. I also loved their daughter Vashti. She was so bubbly and interested in helping her parents. There is a little twist near the end that was great. I must confess that the missions trip is my favorite part in this story. I can see myself going back and reading that again. Great dialogue. If you've ever had problems in your marriage, many aspects of this story will be relatable. It deals with sin, guilt, forgiveness and love.” ~Love 2 Read Novels Blog
    4 Stars! “This is an interesting story of a couple facing their upcoming empty nest as distant companions instead of supportive mates. After 18 years of marriage, Justine still believes that Joshua only accepted their marriage out of duty as he has never really expressed his love for her. She has allowed guilt for her youthful sin to smolder, diminishing her own self-worth. She feels she is a burden to Joshua. Joshua works with his hands building unique and beautiful furniture. He believes his smart and professional wife is self-sufficient and doesn’t need him. It seems they have nothing in common except their daughter, Vashti, whom they adore. Now that Vashti will be going away to college, there will be nothing to hold them together. Neither Justine nor Joshua have learned to communicate in their marriage. Joshua has always been quiet and cautious and reluctant to impose himself. Justine has always been a caregiver and has never learned to accept help much less express her own needs or desires. Also, Justine is too afraid of being hurt to risk opening up. The couple have allowed a wall of distance which is only breached during their passionate lovemaking. Even then, as soon as they finish they separate and the wall returns. As her best friend, Kimberly, tells her they have been “shadow boxing” with one another and never facing their issues head-on. Even their daughter recognizes that she has been the glue to hold them together. Fearing that they will separate when she goes to college, Vashti arranges for all three of them to go on a missions trip to Mexico. I like the trick that Vashti uses to get her parents to begin to open up to each other. Joshua clearly represents the man in the counseling session who says: “I told her I loved her when we married and I’ve never changed my mind.” Justine has never truly forgiven herself nor allowed herself to risk being fully loved. I loved the quotes about love at the beginning of each chapter and have to say that the book would be worth getting just for those. As a bonus, the book brings a well-developed story too. I enjoyed the details from the mission trip—the poverty and the struggles in the hot Mexico sun. I appreciate the author’s wonderful ability to create real characters. I enjoyed the depth of the characters and the presentation of the emotional issues. This story is good reading for those who enjoy real-to-life family issues.” ~Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf http://marthasbookshelf.blogspot.com/2012/03/book-review-shadow-boxing-by-karen.html 4 Stars! "This second installment in Wiesner's Family Heirlooms Series is an affecting story that takes a realistic look at a troubled Christian marriage. The hero and heroine's determination to do the right thing, and the lack of communication between them, is believable, and the reason for their actions is understandable." ~RT Book Reviews
    4 Stars! “There is a definite Christian theme throughout this book. The characters are real. The situation is real. This is a great, realistic read.” ~ReviewYourBook.com
    4 Cups! "SHADOW BOXING is an incredible read. The emotions are wide-span throughout with in-depth characters that cling to the reader. This endearing, poignant story makes the heart leap with joy. Justine and Joshua, make it a realistic read as they try to work out their marriage. To me it was like perhaps their guilt eating away at them for their sin, and they were afraid to open up to each other. I know when I read a book by Karen Wiesner I will never be disappointed. She composes captivating stories that enthrall and leave a lasting impression that is hard to forget. This story pricks at the heart and gives one hope that no matter how hard some matters appear, there is a solution. This book is an extraordinary read and a gem to be treasured." ~Coffee Time Romance & More
    4 Stars! “This book can stand alone with re-appearing characters. SHADOW BOXING was a good Christian book. I liked all the characters. Most of them love God. I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys inspirational romance and family heirlooms.” ~My Book Addiction Reviews
    “Do not attempt to read SHADOW BOXING without a box of tissue within reach. I cried and ached for both Justine and Joshua as I read. Karen Wisner is a master of manipulating your heart strings as you are drawn deeper and deeper into the sad love and marriage of Justine and Joshua Samuels. Eighteen years of loving and living with someone you are not confident loves you would be a miserable existence and that was just where Justine and Joshua are in their lives. The glue in their marriage was their only child, Vashti. The conflict in SHADOW BOXING is one I believe couples who get married because of an unexpected pregnancy face more often than we realize. Leave it to Karen Wiesner to take a sensitive subject and write a beautiful, romantic novel.” ~Writers Unlimited Reviewer
    4 Stars! “In this second story of the Family Heirlooms Series, we return to Peaceful, Wisconsin. As with most of today's families both the husband, Joshua, and the wife, Justine, each enjoy their own career. The main problem is that by marrying due to a sense of responsibility, instead of allowing their romance to take its natural course, their relationship became as if frozen in time. The author, Karen Wiesner, has done a wonderful job of showing how such a couple can have conflicting emotions and how vital open communications are. As for Vash, I hope to see more of this intelligent young lady in future books of the series; even if it is only as a counselor for other main-couple characters. Brava!” ~Huntress Reviews
    5 Stars! “This Family Heirlooms inspirational family drama is a wonderful character driven tale that provides a profound look at a troubled marriage. Readers will appreciate this deep look at marital relationships though the mindsets of the Samuels’ trio.” ~Merry Go Round Reviews
    5 Stars! “Karen Wiesner’s book, SHADOW BOXING, treats readers to a beautiful love story that speaks to the heart. From the first page I was captivated by the characters Justine and Joshua Samuels. I enjoyed reading this second book in the Family Heirlooms Series. I felt so invested in both characters, Justine and Joshua, that I wanted to reach out to them and offer them advice with their struggles in their marriage. Wiesner pulled me into the thoughts of her characters by giving more depth to their big worries and concerns about their married life together. Wiesner includes quotes about love at the beginning of each chapter which I also enjoyed. Vashti, the teenage daughter of Justine and Joshua, is an important part of the story because she forces her parents to deal with their problems by giving them a mission trip to Mexico for their anniversary gift. Vashti fears that her parents will divorce when she goes off to college and they become empty nesters. She keeps her parents focused by a unique approach while they are all three in Mexico. I highly recommend SHADOW BOXING by Karen Wiesner. It’s a relevant Christian book that makes an emotional impact about love that you won’t forget. If you haven’t read Book One in the series, that’s no problem because this can be read as a stand-alone.” ~author Diane Craver

  • AprilR, My Book Addiction and More
    Aug 29, 2017, 05:04
    I ENJOYED THIS TITLE!

    SHADOW BOXING by Karen Wiesner is book #2 in the "Family Heirlooms" Series,but can stand as a stand alone with re-appearing characters. "Shadow Boxing" was a good Christian Book. I liked all the characters. Most of all they loved God. I enjoyed reading book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys inspirational romance,small towns,and family heirlooms.

    RATING: 4

    HEAT RATING: SWEET
  • Love 2 Read Novels (Amazon customer)
    Aug 29, 2017, 05:02
    An emotionally packed tale

    Joshua and Justine grew up together. Justine's life was full of responsibility between keeping up with school, keeping house and taking care of a dying father. The only respite was seeing and being with Joshua. When Justine finds out she's pregnant, she and Joshua marry. Now their daughter is grown and ready to leave for college. So where does that leave their marriage when all that's held it together is caring for their daughter. Can a marriage born out of responsibility ever be more than that? They just might find the answer to that in an unexpected missions trip planned by their daughter.

    What an emotionally packed tale! I read this very quickly because I found myself so immersed in the lives of both Joshua and Justine. You can tell (feel actually) that they love each other very much but don't really know how to express it. Once again this author allows you see inside the heads of our lead couple so you know just what they're thinking and I really do enjoy that. I loved Joshua. He was all the things a good hero should be. Kind, gentle and protective but he really had difficulty with expressing his feelings. I liked Justine. She was very capable and yet unsure. I enjoyed watching this couple strive to redefine and save their marriage, grow as individuals and learn how to be with each other. I also loved their daughter Vashti. She was so bubbly and interested in helping her parents. There is a little twist near the end that was great. I must confess that the missions trip is my favorite part in this story. I can see myself going back and reading that again. Great dialog. If you've ever had problems in your marriage many aspects of this story will be relate-able. It deals with sin, guilt, forgiveness and love. Shadow Boxing is the second book in the Family Heirlooms Series.
  • Diane Craver (Amazon customer)
    Aug 29, 2017, 05:01
    An Outstanding & Enjoyable Story!

    Karen Wiesner's book, SHADOW BOXING, treats readers to a beautiful love story that speaks to the heart. From the first page I was captivated by the characters Justine and Joshua Samuels. I enjoyed reading this second book in the Family Heirlooms Series. I felt so invested in both characters, Justine and Joshua, that I wanted to reach out to them and offer them advice with their struggles in their marriage. Wiesner pulled me into the thoughts of her characters by giving more depth to their big worries and concerns about their married life together. Wiesner includes quotes about love at the beginning of each chapter which I also enjoyed.

    Vashti, the teenage daughter of Justine and Joshua, is an important part of the story because she forces her parents to deal with their problems by giving them a mission trip to Mexico for their anniversary gift. Vashti fears that her parents will divorce when she goes off to college and they become empty nesters. She keeps her parents focused by a unique approach while they are all three in Mexico.

    I highly recommend SHADOW BOXING by Karen Wiesner and it's a relevant Christian book that makes an emotional impact about love that you won't forget. If you haven't read Book One in the series, that's no problem because this can be read as a stand alone.
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