The gratitude challenge prompt for this week is “spouse.” I’m going to write it in a list form instead of explaining every detail because the more I wrote, the more I thought of that I could write.
This is not a suspenseful murder mystery that I usually think of when seeing the name “Irene Hannon.” Hope Harbor: A Novel is set in a small town with a family run cranberry farm, and there are no villains aside from the problems of life. I found it interesting with a nice steady pace as well as a bit different from the run-of-the-mill light Christian romance.
The characters are mature – no bubbly college students here. The hero and heroine both lost their spouses within the past 5 years and are struggling with moving forward and what they should do with their lives. Tracy, the heroine, is dealing with life by working hard at multiple jobs and helping her community whenever she can. Michael, the hero, does the opposite by taking a vacation and taking lots of time to think. You’ll understand why when you read his story. Both of them go through emotional changes and come out stronger; they are people that I would like to be friends with.
Last Sunday one of the deacons challenged the congregation to think of a load that Jesus had lifted from our life. I mentally froze because I couldn’t think of a recent burden that had been lifted. All the things that went through my mind were negative. It’s not that He hasn’t lifted a burden; His footprints have been right beside mine. It’s just that I was overlooking them. I realized in that moment that I had lost my attitude of gratitude.
I’m just gonna “say” it. I’m openly admitting that things have been rough lately – in many areas of my life. I’m not going into details in this post, that’s not the point of it.
Debra Clopton takes us back to the town of Wishing Springs to learn more about the life of Bo Monahan. Counting on a Cowboy is the second Four of Hearts Ranch Romance but it is fine to read as a stand alone story. The characters that are continued from the first book are explained enough that it wouldn’t be confusing.
Bo Monahan, the hero, has already straightened out his life but has to deal with the repercussions of past actions – including the infant son that is left on his doorstep. Talk about swoon worthy – Bo is not only a cowboy, he’s also a firefighter and entrepreneur. For all his protests about not wanting a wife, he’s the first one to fall in this story. His basic character does not change; but his life definitely changes until the end of the book.
A Bride at Last is another in the Unexpected Brides series, but it reads fine as a stand alone novel. I recognized some character’s names from previous books, but don’t remember much about them because it’s been a while since I read those books.
The hero and heroine both go through some big changes throughout the course of the story. I think it’s a bit unusual to have both of the main characters so very flawed and struggling, but the author makes it work. They have a whole lot to deal with.