"A beautiful, haunting tale. With characters you'll want for friends, a charming island setting, and a love story that will leave a smile, this is a story to be savored long after the last page is turned."--Catherine West, author of The Things We Knew
Natalie O'Ryan had no plans to return to Prince Edward Island. But when her fiancé books their wedding in her hometown and schedules a summer at Rose's Red Door Inn, she sets out to plan the perfect wedding. Yet she can't possibly plan for a run-in with Justin Kane--the best friend she left behind all those years ago after promising to stay.
Justin has never forgotten Natalie. He'd been prepared to follow her off the island until tragedy struck, leaving him to run the family dairy farm. He's done the best he can with the life that was thrust upon him--but with Natalie back in the picture, he begins to realize just how much joy he's been missing.
After Natalie's reception venue falls through, she must scramble to find an alternative, and the only option seems to be a barn on Justin's property. As they work together to get the dilapidated building ready for the party, Natalie and Justin may discover that there is more between them than broken promises and an old friendship.
My thoughts: ON LOVE'S GENTLE SHORE is the third book in Ms. Johnson's Prince Edward Island Dream series, but it easily stands alone. Natalie is a very hurt character, full of broken dreams, broken promises and convinced that no one cares. She even believes she has to be someone she's not in order to be loved. When her music city record recording boyfriend wants to get married on Prince Edward Island, Natalie is horrified. They're all gonna laugh at her! But rather than tell him the truth that she'd really rather marry in Nashville, she keeps her mouth shut. Justin has loved Natalie like forever, and she's been the person behind every song he's ever written. He gave up his dream of a hit record when Natalie left and his dad died, but now she's back. Playing at her wedding might mean his dreams are within reach again, but at what cost? I think we've all known characters like this -- they are real. I could be the girl that everyone whispered about behind my back and facing the same fears and insecurities. For pities sake, I'm a pastor's wife. Heaven knows we can't be real! Too many people are out to stab you in the back when you're not looking. Or I might be like Justin, doing the one thing that hurts the must in order to achieve the dream I hold most dear. Yep, these characters are definitely real, engaging and heart-rending. I wanted to pull Natalie in my arms and tell her it's not really all that bad. Hold your head up and don't imagine your seeing things that might not really be there. Or Justin. Is it really worth all it will cost? Think about it. If you like romance and/or PEI you'll definitely want to read ON LOVE'S GENTLE SHORE and the other two books in this series, The Red Door Inn and Where Two Hearts Meet. The stories are all stand alone and yet they all tie together. I hope Ms. Johnson will write more books in this series. I received a copy of this book free. All opinions are my own.