Saturday, March 19, 2016

A Season to Love by Nicole Deese



A Season to Love by Nicole Deese

I hadn’t read Nicole’s work before, but I’d heard great things about this book from some fellow writers whom I respect, so I wanted to check this one out. Glad I did!

Let’s begin with the summary:

At this point in her life, bravery is not a trait Willa Hart would readily claim. She believes her seven-year-old daughter, Savannah, who never knew her father and successfully tackled chemotherapy, is truly the courageous one. Yet after Willa has a fateful encounter with handsome young doctor Patrick McCade, her outlook—and her view of herself—begins to change.

Patrick, a thrill-seeking world traveler and temporary resident of Lenox, Oregon, sets out to show Willa the value of adventure, even within her tiny town. But just when their friendship shows signs of turning into something more, Patrick’s life as a traveling doctor calls him back. Will his last days in town signal the end of their journey, or will Patrick and Willa find the courage to transform a single season into a lifetime?

And now, my review:

I love first-person narrative—so immediate and engaging. This writer has a fresh voice, full of insightful prose and strong description. I highlighted several phrases as I read on my Kindle. There was a delicious psychological depth in this story. Yet overall it wasn’t heavy or burdensome. I will say, though, that I was ready to move on to Act II just as we made the transition.

Our poor heroine has been through it. No wonder she’s anxious and easily triggered.  She’s found her own sensory rescue (my term for the item that brings her back to functionality) that works for her—peppermint candy. But her addiction, and her crippling fears, aren’t freedom. She’s coping, but even her young daughter can see she isn’t really living.

Our hero has some fears too, but we don’t see that until late in the story, (due to first person). In the meantime, he’ll challenge the heroine to stretch beyond her comfort zone and because she promised her daughter, she’ll try to experience more of life. He offers both understanding and support as he draws courage from her.

The uncle’s journal provides an external mentor readers can respect and appreciate, especially as both main characters are humbled by its wisdom. In this way, readers get the occasional nugget without feeling preached to.

I liked watching the heroine grow and even help someone else while she struggled. Because, as limited as she saw herself, she still had a lot to give.

The title references seasons and there were other mentions as well, even implicit ones. The heroine has come through some tortuous seasons, and now she's finding strength and falling in love. Hope stood out in her story as she realized just how competent she was to more than cope with life, but to tackle it.

One of my favorite reads in a long time! I’ve already been on Amazon looking up this author’s other books, including the first book (novella) in this series, and I’ll be watching for her next novel. I also enjoyed reading something from the new Waterfall Press.

Highly recommended.

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