My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
Tracy Campbell never wanted to leave Hope Harbor, Oregon, or the idyllic three-generation cranberry farm where she grew up. But life–and love–altered her plans. When tragedy strikes and changes her plans yet again, she finds herself back in her hometown with a floundering farm to run and a heartbreaking secret. Romance is not on her agenda. Nor is it on Michael Hunter’s. The visitor from Chicago has daunting secrets of his own. But when Tracy recruits him to help save a struggling charitable organization, the winds of change begin to sweep through Hope Harbor, bringing healing, hope, and love to countless lives–including their own.
There is a solid foundation of background story and current plot lines from various characters' points of view, mainly Tracy and Michael's. The romance between the two of them alternated with too much holding back, then methodical rationalizing. Both were equally burdened with grief and guilt from their past relationships which helped with the give and take balance of support they shared. When they finally moved past the issues restraining them, the chemistry was pretty good, but still tempered by caution due to their fragile hearts. There are also tender mercies from heaven sprinkled in their experiences together and with other friends in the town.
I loved the cast of community members and their influence on the different facets of the story. There is a real lesson of lifelong regret from the life experience of Anna, Michael's reclusive landlord that shares her tragic secret with a family in need to prevent them from making the same mistake. Another favorite is Charley, the fish taco food truck vendor who unobtrusively shares pearls of wisdom along with his unconditional friendship.
(Thank you to Revell Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)