Brooke is a single mom . Her husband had died in an auto accident two years before, a drunk driver ripping him away from her life. Now she's making a life for herself and her two kids, owning the hardware store in their small community.
But Brooke has trouble. Her mother has moved into a retirement home, against Brooke's wishes. And her mother has taken up with a man. Brooke makes an unannounced visit to her mom and finds her with the man – her estranged father! Brooke is beside herself. He had abandoned his family for another woman when Brooke was twelve. The long term bitterness against her father is flamed anew.
To add to Brooke's trouble is Owen Saunders. He bought the old house that had been empty for years – to spite his ex-wife. He had caught his wife and his business partner together, finding out they'd been together for a year. He sold his half of the business to his partner, had a nasty divorce, is still bitter, and wants nothing to do with women right now. Betrayal was a tough thing to get past.
Brooke is certainly not ready to date. But Owen is a nice fellow, and he does need lots of help in restoring the old home. And Brooke is lonely. Maybe they can just be friends.
An added plot twist is Hunter, a young teen living with his grandmother as his parents are in drug rehab. He's a thief, getting money to supplement his grandmother's inadequate income. He and Owen cross paths late at night, Hunter on the run. Owen feels compelled to help him.
This is a romance novel with a few twists. Girl meets boy and it looks like they are made for each other. Both girl and boy have lots of issues to work through. Will healing occur and love win out?
The theme of forgiveness is major in this novel. Brooke can't forgive her father and Owen can't forgive his ex-wife. The theme of second changes is also major. Another theme is love and this one has two love experiences juxtaposed. On the one hand is a life long love despite betrayal. On the other hand one reads of the (lack of) love a parent has for a child.
The characters are pretty well developed. I loved Brooke's children. They are a delight. The Christianity of the characters is well presented and an essential part of their lives.
I thought the romance went a little fast, considering how adamant Brooke and Owen were presented at the beginning. And with Owen, it has not been long since his divorce – much less than a year, we find out. I am not so sure that is appropriate and that he has had sufficient time to heal. Other then that, a fine Christian romance novel.
I am participating in a blog tour of this novel. You can read other reviews here.
Beth Wiseman is a Carol-award winner and author of numerous bestsellers including the Daughters of the Promise and the Land of Canaan series. She and her family live in Texas. You can find out more at http://bethwiseman.com/ Facebook (Fans-of-Beth-Wiseman) or Twitter (@bethwiseman).
Thomas Nelson, 352 pages.
Please visit your local Christian bookstore to purchase this book.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.