Take Three (Baxter #17)

Take Three (Above the Line, #3)Take Three by Karen Kingsbury

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Keith and Chase are at the bubble, about to break through Hollywood and gain a reputation for making life-changing movies. So, why when they’re in such exciting times, does Chase suddenly feel as if he’s in the wrong place and that God wills for him to leave?

Andi is reaping the fruit of her previous actions, going through a crisis that leaves her future in jeopardy. Will she turn back to God or continue down a path of self-destruction?

Bailey and Cody are still doing a dance of whether or not they can be friends. They continue to edge around each others lives, but will someone make a move to push them closer or end their friendship?

This book takes many of the things that I was discontenting about in Take Two and resolve them in a way that was highly satisfactory for me. I needed to seem some of the things that never came to an ending in the second book come to a satisfying (and God-honoring) conclusion in this book, so I was thrilled with that aspect of the book. This was a much better book than the second one in the Above the Line series. Here’s what I thought about each of the major point-of-view characters:

**Spoiler Alert**

Andi: Andi finds out early in this book that she is pregnant from her relationship with Taz. Of course, by this point, Taz has moved on to his next conquest. She spends the entire book full of shame over her decisions and feeling unworthy to even tell her parents. She’s too worried about bringing shame to their movie company and to them. She doesn’t want them to know that she isn’t their innocent little girl anymore. She decides to have an abortion and to just start over again after her abortion, but God truly intervenes in her plans. When he does, she realizes it as a miracle and proof of God that her heart has been waiting for. It is my hope that that next book in the series brings her the healing that she needs because she has went through a really rough time in this book.

Bailey: Bailey continues to go through her life in the half-aware way that she has. She spends more time with her family, and I love that since I love the Flanigan family so much. She also spends a little more time with Cody, and finally realizes that she doesn’t love Tim. I’ve been waiting for her to realize that this whole series! I’m hoping good things for her in the next (few) books.

Keith: He is totally committed to Jeremiah Productions and to the life-changing movies that they’re committed to make. He suffers a professional blow early in the book as Kendall and Chase both depart from the company, but he doesn’t let that keep him down for long. God is able to work everything out to his good, and he is still on track professionally. He finally realizes that there is something really wrong with Andi, and that takes a toll on him, but he really is the type of person who is rolling with all that life is giving him.

Chase: Early in the book, he realizes the trouble that his attraction to Kendall could bring him. He also realizes how much he’s missing out on life with his family at home. He prays over how to best balance his Hollywood work with his family, and he ultimately realizes that he can’t. He receives an out of the blue job offer that allows him to be at home with his family, and even though this ends his story early in this book, I am so glad that he pulls himself back from the brink and allows himself to be molded into the person that God would have him to be. I thought he was a total jerk in the second book, but he redeemed himself in this one 🙂

Cody: He realizes that he wants to be a football coach, and he gets an opportunity to spend a little time working with the team at his old high school. It’s an awesome thing. He still struggles with his relationship with Bailey because he realizes that he can’t just be friends with her and that he has no place in her life as long as she has Tim in it. His mother is also back to abusing drugs. So, other than is professional realizations, he doesn’t have much going for him. Still it’s enough, and I really like his character.

Dayne: Just as Chase wants to get out of the movie business, Dayne finds himself wanting to get back into the movie business. That is serendipity. He’s excited to be on board with Jeremiah productions and he encourages Keith and Lisa to temporarily relocate to Bloomington so that they can work more closely and be closer to their daughter, Andi. It’s a win-win.

Ashley: Ashley has very few point-of-view scenes, and the purpose of much of her POV is to be a part of Andi’s story. The first place Andi goes for an ultrasound is Sarah’s Door because they offer free ultrasounds as part of their ministry. Ashley tries to get through to Andi and prays for Andi. She also, while she’s in POV pays a visit to Sunset Hills and to the cemetery to refresh us on the people at Sunset Hills and to remind us of the past.

Lisa: Lisa is worried about Andi. She spends most of the book not acting on the worry because she doesn’t want to worry her husband during such a delicate time in his ministry. She’s making the best decisions she can, and she suspects what’s going on, but finds that much of her relationship with Andi is out of her control. She prays and she hopes for the best.

Brandon: Brandon is on tap to play in the next Jeremiah Productions film. He is in two dual roles. He’s the man who fell in love with a story that is life changing and Christian in nature and who wants to bring it to life on the screen. However, he is also a partier and someone who is running from God and wants no part of God in his life. I imagine he will have POV chapters in the next book, and I look forward to them.

Luke: Luke only has one point of view section. He’s Dayne’s lawyer and the main attorney for Jeremiah Productions, so he is in the book several times. However, his POV is used to show his family life with Reagan and his children. It is also to show their desire to adopt again, and them praying for the birth mom that will one day choose them.

This is an excellent and fast-paced read. It’s a little too neat, the answers come a little too soon, and sometimes the pat answers are unrealistic. I can already see ahead to what some of the conflict will be the next book and it seems too pat and predictable. I like it, and I’m not ready to give up on the Baxters, but I find that I didn’t love this one.

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