Sunday, September 20, 2015

Surrender to Love by MaryAnn Diorio

This is a nice novella about getting beyond past hurt and allowing the future to unfold.

Teresa lost her husband five years ago in a tragic New York accident. She has still not successfully dealt with her grief. Her world changes when the good childhood friend of her mother asks Teresa to Puerto Rico to coach her granddaughter. Young Pilar is struggling with depression. Marco, as a single dad, has his hands full and welcomes the help. Teresa reluctantly agrees, not realizing that her life is about to change.

I found the plot was a bit ironic. Teresa is a life coach and will be helping a girl who is holding on to a grief from years go. Teresa is emotionally paralyzed herself. I don't quite understand how a person who cannot deal with her own problem expects to be able to help someone else deal with theirs. I often wondered what life coaches actually did but there was not enough information in this novel about the profession to really help me understand it.

This is a good romance. Both Teresa and Marco have lost a spouse. Both find some attraction between them. Marco is ready to move forward but Teresa hangs on to her commitment to her dead husband. (And this from a life coach!)

I always like learning a little something when I read a novel and this time it was some of the history of San Juan.

There is a strong Christian message in the novel. Marcos is a prayerful and godly man. Teresa must learn to rely on God and not herself, surrendering to His will for her life.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

MaryAnn Diorio is an award winning author, writing fiction about transformed lives. She holds a PhD and MPhil in French and Comparative Literature from the University of Kansas, a MA in Italian Language and Literature from Middlebury College, and a MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She writes a popular blog titled “Matters of the Heart” dealing with the deep issues of the human heart. She and her husband life in New Jersey. You can find out more about her and her blog at

Top Notch Press, 126 pages.

I received a digital copy of this novella through The Book Club Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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