WHAT HOPE REMEMBERS
When you need a new beginning, sometimes the best place to start is home.
When Amy Somers leaves her job as a lobbyist, she moves to Misty Willow, well aware that she's crossing bridges she'd burned years before. With all the mistakes she's made and the things she's done, she can hardly believe that happiness will find her -- especially when Gabe Kendall, her first crush and her first kiss, rides back into her life atop a buckskin mare.
A former Marine, Gabe is at loose ends after serving a prison sentence for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He sees beyond Amy's hard exterior to the girl he once knew and loved, and he longs to see her open her heart. Yet with his vision clouded by shame for his past and fears about the future, it's difficult to see the path ahead.
But the memory of that long-ago kiss just may have the power to reignite a romance that brings out the best in both of them.
Well, my heart is in a hundred knots tied so tight it hurts! I really didn't want to read Amy's story. Really, I didn't. But I love this series and the way Johnnie Alexander spins a tale so I took the plunge and got emotionally pummeled for my trouble. But it's all good -- pain means growth, both for heroines and readers.
So, this is the third book in the Misty Willow series, but each book reads as a standalone. Though fans of the series will be thrilled to meet up with AJ and Shelby and Brett and Dani (heroes and heroines from books one and two) in this final story.
I love homecoming stories -- the power to change that comes from embracing what you ran away from int he first place. Lots of scope for angsty plotlines which follow both Amy and Gabe to Misty Willow. She plays self-defeating mind games that keep her frozen in a dark place. He is burdened by a guilt that isn't his to bear. Two hurting souls, once young and innocent and on the verge of fledgling love. But a whole lot of living has happened in the past decade or so and it seems like they will never capture their lost love.
Sometimes I had to put this book down and practice deep breathing exercises to calm myself down before I could bring myself to face more of the harrowing journey that leads to Amy and Gabe's happily-ever-after. In fact, I will confess to sneaking a peek at the last page -- a very short but hope-filled epilogue -- just to convince myself to keep reading. Yes, I get that involved with my characters.
And if the romantical journey isn't enough to leave a reader gnashing her teeth and pulling out her hair, a villainous subplot nearly tipped me over the edge. I do so enjoy seething over a truly conniving bad guy...as long as he gets his comeuppance by the end.
An excruciatingly thrilling read that broke my heart in places.
If you would like a chance to win a copy of What Hope Remembers, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday December 3 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck.