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Reviewed by Meg M.

In Kim Vogel Sawyer’s In Every Heartbeat, Petey Leidig, Libby Conley and Bennett Martin are three young people searching for meaning and purpose. Raised in an orphanage together , the three friends are all offered scholarships at the University of Southern Missouri, where they plan to pursue very different dreams.

Petey dreams of becoming a minister, and lives a life fully devoted to God. Bennett has nothing but fun on his mind, as he plans to pledge a fraternity and finally find a place to belong. And Libby is an aspiring journalist, ready and willing to do whatever she must to ensure that her words are read by thousands of people.

Though excited about the future, as these three engross themselves in their lives at the university, they find that their pasts continue to haunt them. Bennett’s desire to belong causes him to make decisions that threaten his academic standing and his long-standing friendship. And Petey can’t shake the need to confront his parents for leaving him, and for ultimately causing him to lose a leg in an accident. Will he be able to forgive his family, or will his bitterness prevent him from achieving his dream?

Libby’s impetuous spirit lands her in trouble, and she is quickly on the outs with her roommate, Alice-Marie. When her job search at local newspapers gives her nothing but rejections, she forces herself to write fictional romance stories for a magazine under a pen name. But a discovery about Petey’s family leads her to his side as he confronts them, and brings the two of them together like never before. But with different aspirations, can they really find a way to be together?

In Every Heartbeat is a heartwarming story about the importance of faith and family, even one as unconventional as the family unit formed by friends Libby, Petey and Bennett. But the connection these three feel is nothing short of spectacular, and the support they give one another throughout the novel is something to be aspired to in the friendships and families we have in our own lives.

Check out our review of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s Fields of Grace

Rating: 4/5

Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Marketing professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between on her blog.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Bethany House. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.