Date of Publication: 8th March 2016
Publisher: Harper Collins / Zondervan
Book description: For young widow Evie Bennett, moving forward will mean deciding what to leave behind… and what to keep.
Widowed at the age of twenty-five when her firefighter husband was killed in the line of duty, Evie Bennett has spent the last thirteen years raising their son, Cody, in the close-knit community of Banister Falls. As the women’s ministry director of her church, Evie encourages women to boldly pursue God’s plan for their future . . . while she is content with her memories of the past. But Evie’s well-ordered life begins to change when she meets Jack Vale.
As Evie gets drawn into Jack’s world—a world that isn’t as safe and predictable as the one she’s worked so hard to create—he challenges her to open her eyes to the problems in the community . . . but will Evie open her heart to love again?
Because even though Jack isn’t anything like her late husband, he just might be everything she needs.
The story centers around Evie, who was widowed at a very young age and after his son, Cody, got married, started to fell lonely as her life which once revolved around him started to feel empty. Jack entered her life, working together at the church; her as the director of women’s ministry while him as a temporary custodian. They were like chalk and cheese but that did not stop the sparks from flying, especially when Jake is far from what Evie first thought he was. Coupled that with some serious issues that were brought forward in this books, it’s a really heartfelt story that will make you smile and cry a little bit.
It’s just so hard to point out the things that I loved about this book because there were just too many! I am in love with the main characters, whom the author had really brought to life with her own brand of writing, which makes it hard for readers not to fall for them. I love Evie, with all her commitment and focus to her work, and her fears makes her relatable, especially for me as there are countless times when I felt like I want to do something but I can’t because I’m afraid. And Jack… oh Jack, there’s just so much heart in this man, and I really found it hard not to fall in love with him. I love the way the author showed how much he cared for the people around him, even those whom he barely knew and how he readily opens his home to this very unique assortment of people and that just tugs at my heartstrings. When he showed his frustration over the issue with his brother, Travis, it hurts me that I cried a little bit. Jack, you definitely have my heart.
I love the side characters as much as I loved the main. Lily, Jack’s niece, is such a special person and I love the relationship she and Jack has. The gang at Fairview Street, though such a unique bunch, are very likeable right from the start, especially Bert. The Morrettis are such a fun bunch to get to know, especially Dan who is very protective of Evie but understandably so because as a close childhood friend, he only had Evie’s best interest at heart.
Another thing that I love about this book was how the author showed the progression of Evie and Jack’s relationship. It does not seem so instant, which seems like all the rage these days, so it’s a nice change. In Evie and Jack’s case, they had met previously in other different circumstances in the first book of the series, Dandelion Field (which I had not read but will definitely pick that up as soon as possible!) We could sense the attraction between the two of them, it was quite a long time before each made their own move and when they did, it was very satisfying because of the build-up to the event and I loved it!
As you can see, there’s nothing that I don’t love about this book but if there’s one thing that bothers me (and that’s probably only me, ha), it’s the cover. Yes, it is gorgeous and I loved it but I feel like there’s a slight misrepresentation as the couple featured on the cover is not how I imagined Evie and Jack to be. I feel like they looked too young? But anyway, that’s just such a small little detail that can be overlooked as what is the most important here is the story that touches your heart and lives with you long after you’ve read the last page.
My rating: 5/5 stars
Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange of honest reviews. All opinions are mine.