Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sea Rose Lane Where Life Begins Again!

What do an out of work Corporate Attorney and a beautiful Architect/Contractor have in common?  Not much but for the merest chance meeting on Highway 101. He takes his eye off the road for just a moment on a sleepy coastal road in Oregon and meets the back end of a pickup truck.  This was not exactly the way Eric Nash meant to arrive back home in Hope Harbor after being downsized by his prestigious Portland law firm.  Stepping out of his BMW and coming face to face with BJ Stevens only topped the bad way his day was turning out.  She knew he had been texting while driving and it infuriated her. She had no time for the good looking, BMW driving corporate type who had stepped out to meet her. After assessing no real damage was done to her car she was on her way, happy to see the last of the likes of him.

Eric went on his way too but his day of surprises was far from over. Seeking the comforts of his boyhood home, he found instead a construction site!  His father was transforming the home into a Bed & Breakfast Inn and right in the midst of the job site was BJ Stevens and her crew.

Sea Rose Lane, by Irene Hannon is a story full of hope and new beginnings. For Eric, he must re-launch his partner track law career. For John Nash, the Inn will bring laughter and new memories back to his big empty home. BJ is on her way to recreating her career as a hands on architect with a love of building to keep things interesting. For her crew member Luis, his new life in America is about starting over. For Eleanor Cooper, it is filling lonely days confined to her home and using a walker.  All of these people have separate lives yet they are linked to create a wonderfully well written story.

Last summer I enjoyed reading Hope Harbor and the story of Tracy and Michael, who are back again along with the wise Taco Truck owner Charley. Once again Charley (who keeps irregular hours) is open at just the right time and dispensing just enough wisdom to get everyone's attention. How he seems to be in the know about everyone's story and what they need to hear to keep going is short or amazing.  Hope Harbor is a magical place and Sea Rose Lane is one of those books where you can feel the spray from the ocean and smell the succulent food from Charley's truck. I recommend this book as well as another look at Hope Harbor.

Sea Rose Lane is Irene Hannon's fiftieth published novel!  She in an award winning author with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America among many other awards. Along with the Hope Harbor novels, she has kept me on the edge of my seat with her Men of Valor series, Private Justice series, Guardians of Justice series and more.  She is a master at character development and her research is impeccable!  Need I say more? Grab your copy today!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Nothing Is Certain In A Heart Most Certain

This book called me while I was reading another. It was hard to practice self control and finish the first one but you see I have truly enjoyed all of Melissa Jagears books and I knew I was in for a good read.  The problem was I still had that other book I needed to finish first. Does that happen to anyone else?  But as luck, or fate would have it, I was caught with time on my hands without a book so grabbed my phone. Every book lover has the Kindle App on their phone right?  
A Heart Most Certain begins with Lydia King, a lovely young woman of good character challenged with seeking a donation from Mr. Nicholas Lowe, the richest, stingiest man in Town.  She accepted the challenge from Mrs. Little, President of the Teaville Moral Society and mother of her almost betrothed, Sebastian Little. If she can procure the donation, it would be enough to cover the price of two sewing machines to make blankets for those in need. Getting the donation from Mr. Lowe seemed impossible but she was determined. She wanted to help the needy but Mrs. Little declared that she would be deemed worthy to join the Little Family if she succeeded.

   Although she was nervous to take on the challenge, she would do so because a marriage to Sebastian would secure her future and help her dying mother live more comfortably. Of course, her no account father could benefit, but he was the least of her worries. Mrs. Little was a powerful force to reckon with anyway.  She found herself before Mr. Lowe, made her request and was flatly refused.and the man of business left her abruptly with no indication of whether or not he would return. She found herself waiting in his office for him but he ducked out without a word. She decided then that she would get a donation from her and wouldn't rest until she did. It was his Christian duty to donate such a small amount when he had so much. After all, she never saw him tithing at church. He became many evil things in her eye based on rumor and conjecture. She made it  her business to greet him on the street and let him know she would pursue him until he agreed to buy the sewing machines. 

I love to be entertained when I read a book but it is another thing altogether when we are challenged or learn something in the process.  Good works are good in themselves but it is important that we don't get so caught up in the good works that we miss the reason behind the good works. Lydia loved being part of the Moral Society. Her family was not well connected. Her father drank and gambled most of  their money. Her mother was unwell. She wore hand me down clothes from a wealthy family in her congregation. Yet with all her trials she was a cheerful giving woman who had a pure  heart and steadfast convictions. 

Over the course of time, she encountered Mr. Lowe several times and as promised, each time she met him she asked him for the donation. Mr. Lowe agreed, eventually to help her but not in a way that she expected.  The lessons he taught her shook her faith in her church family, led her to places she should never have gone and brought her a richness she couldn't have found by simply being a dutiful member of the Teaville Moral Society under the guidance of Mrs. Little.

The book ventures into the red light district of the era and the difficulties many women had trying to leave that profession. Women and girls often were forced into that lifestyle and treated miserably by the very people who could have  helped them. Today we are still faced with this human trafficking and it is a big problem. I am glad Melissa chose to tackle this issue in her book.  

Throughout the story we see how Lydia influences Nicholas but it is surprising how he influences her. He gives her a voice that was silent for most of her life. He inspires her by showing her how other people live. She learns that you cannot judge others by what you see. While the story has many lessons, it is, first and foremost, a love story.  Love for others, respect for ourselves and love that is tough enough to give strength and build character.  

I heartily recommend this inspiring book worthy of 5 stars! Award wining author Melissa Jagears has a way of telling a story that keeps one turning pages looking for what happens next. Isn't that just what we want out of a book?