Willa Hart has been through too much, first loosing her husband and then seeing her young daughter battle cancer, to enjoy live unreservedly. Her brother challenges her to let go more and Willa takes the first small steps by accepting a part-time job. Then she meets the new town doctor, Patrick McCade, an adventurer by heart. They quickly strike up a friendship and Patrick sets out to show Willa how to be adventurous in everyday live. However, Patrick is only in town for a short time, but will this keep him and Willa from developing more than just a friendship?
Longtime readers of my reviews will probably know I'm very hard to please when it comes to (Christian) contemporary romance... I decided to request this book from NetGalley after reading a glowing review on Kara's blog Flowers of Quiet Happiness. Unfortunately, the book didn't work as well for me as it did for Kara....
There is nothing whatsoever wrong with the writing in this book, because Mrs. Deese pens a moving, readable and well-flowing story. What I had issues with was mainly the characters, who I felt were not as life-like and realistic as they could be. Willa has a lot of fears in her life and the main theme of this book was her overcoming them. This is something I think most of us can connect with, but I felt we didn't get to know Willa that well outside of her fears, who she was as a person until the very end of the book. This could have been done deliberately, but it didn't work for me personally. The same goes for Patrick, who can also be summed up in two words: 'kind' and 'adventurer'. I guess I like my characters complex, like us humans are in reality, hehe!
Also, I got a little bit of an allergic response to the way the story dealt with Willa's fears. As far as I understood, she was suffering from panic attacks and maybe an anxiety disorder. No matter how much you need friends and family to help and push you in that case, I also believe most people need professional help in overcoming that. I felt like this book gave the wrong message here, like hiking with a friend can overcome deep-seated fears (I'm simplifying ofcourse, but that's how it felt a bit to me). Finally, I also feel like the book ended to quickly and to neatly. I understand a book has to have a rounded of story, but I feel like, the older I get, the more I want my books to be less 'perfect'. Hopefull, yes, absolutely, but also with a little bit of a ragged edge, again, like life is!
Well, look at how this review turned into a philosophical monologue! In summary, though I personally wasn't too fond of this book, I believe people who like lighter fare with a good message will enjoy this one!
I received an ebook version of this novel from NetGalley and the publisher Waterfall Press in exchange for an honest review.