Karen’s Killer Book Bench: LOVE’S PRAYER, The First Street Church Romances Book One #Contemporary #Christian #Romance by Melissa Storm

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The First Street Church Romances Book One


He’s a hometown boy.

She’s just passing through.

Neither knows where they truly belong.

When a flower delivery gone wrong introduces these two lost souls to one another, they both find themselves questioning what they thought they knew about life, love, and home.

In this charming inspirational romance from a New York Times bestselling author, Ben and Summer must confront their greatest fears to discover what it takes to become the heroes of their own stories. But can they find a way forward… together?


The First Street Church Romances Book One


Ben Davis had once believed in God. He had once believed in miracles, fate, divine intervention, and all the similar lies people tell themselves to get through the day. Perhaps if he still believed, he wouldn’t find himself so tempted to never get out of bed—not even to eat—and to eventually die a slow, private death in the only place that still offered him any comfort at all.

On this day, a Thursday, he spent longer than usual blinking up at the ceiling and wondering if he should just end it all with a swift bullet to the brain. After all, that’s what his older brother, Stephen, had done seven years ago. He’d wandered into the town square and shot himself clean in the face for all of Sweet Grove to see. People still talked about it to this day, and those who didn’t speak of it definitely thought of it.

Like his mother, Susan. She waded through the memories, attempting to silence them with the bottle. But even though the liquor often ran out, her grief remained endless, unquenchable.

Ben wasn’t saddened by the loss of his brother. Even though he sometimes felt as if he should be. No, he was angry—rage was another unquenchable commodity in the Davis household. Stephen had selfishly chosen to end it all. He’d hurled his issues straight at Ben, who, ever since that day, had been tasked with paying the mortgage, tending to their mother who had spiraled down the dark path of addiction, and without an outlet to enjoy any of the things he had spent years working toward and hoping for.

He’d turned down his full-ride scholarship to college, because he needed to take care of things in Sweet Grove—things that only got worse the more his mother was left to grapple with her grief.

Recovery remained a summit she just couldn’t reach, no matter how hard she climbed. So he’d turned the university down year after year, and eventually the admissions board had stopped asking.

Which left him here today, staring up at the popcorn ceiling above his twin-size bed, no longer bothering to wonder if life could ever be any different. At 6:12, he placed one foot after another onto the shaggy carpet and went to clean up for work. At 6:25, he was out the door with a piece of half-toasted bread in one hand and a banana in the other. He had five minutes to make the short walk from the quaint—and “quaint” was putting it kindly—home he shared with his mother to the local market where he worked as a bagger and delivery boy. Yes, even his job title suggested a temporary arrangement, a job better suited to a boy than the twenty-four year old man he had become.

“Good morning!” sang his boss, Maisie Bryant, as he tromped through the sliding glass doors. Each morning she arranged a fresh display of local produce and other seasonal specialties right at the front of the shop. As always, she took great pride in her work.

Ben hated that his boss was only a couple of years older than him. Maisie had managed to escape town long enough to earn a degree before returning to run her family’s grocery store. While he didn’t know the exact numbers, he could bet that the youngest Bryant child made at least triple what he did for the same day’s work. But that was life for you—or at least for Ben. Never fair, not in the least.

“Don’t I get a hello?” Maisie teased him as always. Some days he liked her chipper demeanor. This was not one of those days.”

“Hi,” he mumbled. “I’m going to go check the stock. See you in a bit.”

“Wait,” she called before he could manage to make his escape. “I’ll handle the stock. The staff over at Maple’s called, and they need a delivery first thing. Think you can handle that? The purchase order is on the clock desk.”

“Yeah, I got it.”

Ben hurried to put the order together and load up the designated Sweet Grove Market truck. A smiling red apple beamed from the side of the cargo box. He hated that thing, but he did like having the opportunity to drive around a little, let the wind wash over him as he rolled about town. It sure beat walking everywhere, and since it offered his only opportunity to get behind the wheel, he relished every chance he got. Occasionally, Maisie would let him borrow the truck to head into the next town over and lose himself in the sea of unfamiliar faces.

He’d once loved living in the type of place where everyone knew everyone, and everyone looked out for everyone, but he hated how people who had once been his friends had begun to pity him. Ever since Stephen’s death, they couldn’t even look at him without betraying that sadness. Ben had become a reminder of how fragile life could be, of how everything could go to hell in the briefest of moments. And though their words were kind and their smiles were omnipresent, Ben knew better. He knew that he’d become a burden to them all, that his presence brought them sorrow.

At first he’d tried to redirect them, to speak of something—anything—else, but after a while he just grew tired. It was easier to avoid them than to constantly have to apologize for the blight his terrible, selfish brother had brought onto their town. He’d have left if he could. By vehicle or bullet, it didn’t matter.

But his mother needed him. And as small and insignificant as it seemed, so did Maisie.

So he remained, day after day.

And so began another dark morning for Ben Davis.

© Melissa Storm

About Author Melissa Storm

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melissa Storm is happiest with a book in her hands and a pet on her lap.

Her most exciting adventures have always been born of her own “overactive imagination,” a burden which often got her into trouble as a child. Now that she’s grown, that same naughty brain keeps her busy writing in a number of genres that include Women’s Fiction and Psychological Thrillers. Her stories dive deep into themes of mental health, friendship, and community, topics that are particularly close to her big (but anxious) heart.

Melissa lives in the heart of Alaska with her husband, their child, and a lively domestic zoo brimming with spoiled cats and dogs. She dreams of one day raising bees in her backyard, but has promised her child that she will resist this particular temptation. For now.


Links to Melissa’s websites, blogs, books, #ad etc.:

Love’s Prayer (ebook) – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B1L7RGMP?tag=mollyfitz-20

Love’s Prayer (paperback) – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B2HK6XQ5?tag=mollyfitz-20

Website – https://www.melstorm.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MeetTheStorms

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/MelStormAuthor/

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/melissa-storm


Special Giveaway: Melissa will gift one lucky bookworm who comments with a paperback copy of Love’s Prayer and physical swag (U.S. Only). (If International Winner, they’ll receive an ebook copy and physical swag.) Good luck!

Happy Reading!


Thanks, Melissa, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

10 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench: LOVE’S PRAYER, The First Street Church Romances Book One #Contemporary #Christian #Romance by Melissa Storm”

  1. I’ve enjoyed other books by Melissa and this sounds like another wonderful read. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Good morning, Melissa, and welcome back to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. Loved your excerpt! What an evocative share. Poor Ben has hit rock bottom from the sounds of it. I’m sure he and Summer are going to have an emotional story to tell. Thanks for sharing your book with us today!

  3. A fine pickle Ben finds himself in…curious to see how he turns his situation around…

    From another Alaskan, thanks, Melissa and thanks, Karen

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