God With Us, Saints, Sinners, and the Like

Christian - Romance - Contemporary
401 Pages
Reviewed on 08/06/2021
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Author Biography

I enjoy reading all genres, fiction, and non-fiction though my favorite is romance. I love when I read a novel and the characters stay with me long after the story has ended. "She's Trouble" was initially written as a screenplay then re-written into a novella. Because the characters became a part of me, I just had to tell their story in book form.

My second book is “Immanuel, God With Us, Saints, Sinners and the Like” I became a Christian in my forties and wanted to tell a story about the power of God's love and forgiveness. This is an edgy, Christian, romantic comedy that is entertaining and imaginative. Not your typical romance novel. Jesus said it best, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Mark 2:17 NLT

    Book Review

Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite

After her life goes up in flames, a young woman meets Jesus, who takes her on an enlightening journey that forever changes her life in the Christian romance novel Immanuel: God With Us, Saints, Sinners, and the Like by Gara Shaw. Johanna is a journalist and is preparing to be married in a month. Expecting a happy evening out with her fiancé, Johanna is stunned when he breaks up with her without giving her a reason. The following morning, Johanna's boss lets his reporters go, and she is now unemployed. Feeling that her life is over, Johanna takes a magic pill with alcohol. Instead of dying, Johanna has an up-close and personal encounter with Jesus. After she regains consciousness, Johanna begins having unique experiences that eventually lead her to church. Here the pastor teaches her unconditional love, forgiveness, and faith. As the days progress, Johann realizes she is in love with this handsome and charismatic man. Can she put her past behind her and trust that everything will turn out okay?

Immanuel: God With Us, Saints, Sinners, and the Like by Gara Shaw is a sensational Christian romance novel. The elements of personal loss, belief in Jesus, God's power, transformation, and unconditional love, are woven throughout the storyline, creating a motivating novel. Johanna's character is an inspiration, and it is fascinating to watch her faith mature and grow as she confronts and overcomes the conflicts in her life. I love how she reaches out to others, making a difference in everyone's life. I enjoyed every page of this delightful story, and I can't recommend it enough. Based on the belief in Jesus, His words, and the precepts of Christianity, this sensational story will inspire and charm Christian readers from young adults upward.

Edith Wairimu

Immanuel: God With Us, Saints, Sinners, and the Like by Gara Shaw is a contemporary Christian romance novel that follows an aspiring journalist navigating her career and love life. It is 2012, and unemployment rates continue to soar. Johanna sits in her car, trying to make sense of the last hour of her life. Her fiancé, Ron, has just broken up with her without any reasonable explanation. The next day, she loses her job. Without any hope to cling to, she decides to pray as she wonders where to turn. Not long after this, Jesus starts appearing to her. Johanna takes solace in these meetings as she starts to learn lessons about freedom and free will, faith, forgiveness, and love. Slowly, her new life starts taking shape.

Immanuel: God With Us, Saints, Sinners, and the Like by Gara Shaw instills hope as it chronicles Johanna’s story of redemption. It begins with an emotional chapter after Johanna loses her job and relationship. The work also addresses essential questions about the Christian faith, such as those regarding the need for forgiveness. Following her meetings with Jesus, Johanna still faces challenges. Her restoration path is gradual, which adds a sense of realism to the story and portrays a realistic picture of the Christian walk. The main characters’ backgrounds are explored. Johanna’s loss of faith during her childhood is included, which helps readers understand her more deeply. Gara Shaw’s faith-based romance novel, Immanuel, is an inspiring story about hope, forgiveness, and redemption.

K.C. Finn

Immanuel: God With Us, Saints, Sinners, and the Like is a work of fiction in the Christian and romance subgenres. It is suitable for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Gara Shaw. The book follows a woman named Johanna who loses her perfect life after being fired and dumped at the same time, causing her to descend into depression. After begging Jesus for help she is overcome by the power of Christ as he helps her to understand his teachings about love, faith, forgiveness, and choosing one's own destiny. Following Jesus’ guidance, Johanna finds her way to a small church and, within it, her destiny awaits.

Immanuel is an impactful book about the role that faith can have in a person's life, a feat that was achieved not by having the heroine meet with a bombastic divine intervention, but by having a smaller and more personal connection to Jesus as he guides her back onto the path of faith. A romance novel at heart, author Gara Shaw has done a wonderful job of reflecting the intimate and personal nature of a person's faith by focusing closely on the one-to-one relationship that Johanna has with Christ. Johanna herself is a likable character who has found her lowest point and opened herself up to the greatest change; her tentative initial steps on the path to Christianity will be familiar to many people. I particularly enjoyed the character of Ty, who followed up his expressive words of faith with actions that demonstrated it: a characteristic that the church needs more of in its leadership. Immanuel is a charming story about love, faith, and the lifelong relationship between individual Christians and Jesus, and I happily recommend it to readers who enjoy Christian fiction.