Ellie Booth was never the type to run away. But she'd witnessed her stepfather commit a heartless crime, and, knowing he'll stop at nothing to keep her quiet, she has no choice but to flee. Soon, she finds herself in Wabash, Indiana, scrambling for a cover identity to evade her stepfather. For lack of a better option, she answers an ad for a wife/housekeeper/nanny, praying that her lack of experience won't be obvious.
Gage Cooper is reaching the end of his rope. With four children between the ages of three and ten, he needs a reliable nanny, yet each one he's hired has thrown up her hands and deserted her post. When an attractive, spirited young woman applies for the "job," he knows he should pray about the matter, but his desperation for help propels him headlong into a marriage of convenience.
Ellie immediately falls in love with the Cooper children, and, not long after, with their father. Soon, the "marriage of convenience" becomes less of a business arrangement as husband and wife yield to an attraction neither one had expected. When secrets of the past and dangers of the present arise in their lives, their marriage is put to the test, and God alone knows what will become of their union.
I really enjoyed the first book in this series (Livvie's Song) and was thrilled with the chance to reacquaint myself with Livvie and Will and the rest of the gang that hangs out at the diner. When Ellie arrives clearly in need of help, Livvie is right there to offer a helping hand. Loved the two women's interactions and developing friendship even though I was shocked at what happened next. :-)
I'm not a fan of May-September romances as a rule...but MacLaren doesn't play by the rules so I tossed the handbook out and thoroughly enjoyed Ellie's Haven! And, honestly, if I'd known how young Ellie was and how much older Gage was, I likely wouldn't have picked up the book so that shows me, doesn't it? You can't judge a book by it's cover or your personal preferences. Sometimes you just have to take a chance and I'm glad I did.
Ellie is a unique combination of wise soul and wide-eyed ingenue. Poor Gage doesn't know what hit him or his home or his family. It certainly wasn't anything he could ever have conjured up in his imagination. No, thankfully he left that to the author and MacLaren knew what she was doing when she paired those two together. Of course, neither realize it right at the start. Their story is full of laughter, tenderness, heart-ache and a rather large dose of suspenseful drama which comes to a totally unexpected climax that was the highlight of the read for me.
MacLaren has crafted another memorable journey back to the pre-Depression era and I'm richer for the experience. Definitely add this to your TBR list.