Tuesday, April 12, 2016

River Town Romance (novella collection)

River Town Romance

Paperback, ebook 

January 10, 2016

by Helen Gray

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Forget Me Not Romances / CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1523313884

In HAWTHORN HOPE Jenna Michaels can’t risk falling in love. She has already lost too much. When she meets Evan Bryant, their mutual attraction sends her running from the possibility of another loss. Principal of Hawthorn Christian Academy Evan Bryant never thought he would be attracted to another woman after the death of his beloved wife. Meeting Jenna convinces him that he can love again, but is there hope that they can move beyond their pasts and find happiness together? 

My thoughts:  HAWTHORN HOPE is a cute romance with two couples who have both loved and lost. Evan has two children who fall in love with Jenna right away. Jenna hasn't had children -- yet, but she is a pastor's wife turned traffic cop. When Jenna and Evan meet, he is involved in a head-on collision that almost claimed his life. The attraction is instantaneous (can't really be otherwise in a novella) and only Jenna really has issues to work through.

The story itself is okay. The writing is amateur, not as polished as some of the bigger authors, but it was good. I enjoyed reading it. There was more telling than showing. A sweet romance that would be suitable for anyone looking for a quick, clean romance. 

In TREE OF HOPE burned out cop Travis Baker is looking for new direction in his life. After leaving law enforcement, Travis takes a job as temporary handyman at the Quinn landscaping business and gift shop that two sisters are try to run now that the father is dying of cancer. But he doesn't figure on getting involved in constructing a living Christmas tree, or his heart getting entangled with Reagan Quinn. Reagan has too much on her plate, operating the businesses and dealing with grief over her father, and confusion at the inevitable changes confronting her. Can Travis convince her that they can form a partnership—in business and life?

My thoughts:  TREE OF HOPE was just as charming as the first book. A sequel of sorts, it is about Travis Baker, a police officer friend of Jenna's. But now he's retired from the force and is trying to find his footing. A temporary holiday job at a landscaping firm, decorating for Christmas seems to be just the ticket. But he doesn't expect opposition when the owner expresses the desire to sell and he makes an offer to buy. 

As with the first book, I didn't really connect with the characters. Maybe Travis more than Reagan, but not really either. The story is better written than Hawthorn Hope, and is every bit as sweet and clean.  If you like squeaky clean inspirational romance with a touch of faith, then this novella set is for you.  Available individually or as a set. 

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