On Love's Gentle Shore by Liz Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sometimes when I read a series of books I love the first book so much that the future books never live up. Occasionally the first book doesn't draw me in and I give the second one a chance and fall in love. This series I've actually grown to love the series and the characters and the setting more and more with each book. I found myself the most connected with the characters in this book. Perhaps because I knew the supporting characters so well? Well whatever the reason I truly loved Natalie. And I love books about forgiveness and second changes and this book was full of both.
I didn't really know much about Prince Edward Island or PEI before reading these books. Alas I am NOT an Anne of Green Gables fan. I read all the books. Saw some movies I think as a child but I never fell in love with Anne. But I did enjoy the little town in these books. It was quaint. And typical small town where everyone knows everyone's business. In real life I hate small towns but in books they are sweet and cute and make for great novels.
As I mentioned I loved Natalie. But there were parts of Natalie that I truly hated. She wasn't a very honest person and I really don't like people who lie either by omission or outright. But every person and every character in a book has to have a character flaw. And this was a very realistic flaw that allowed for her to grow throughout the book. And I love how Justin dealt with her character flaw.
I really liked Justin. And I loved his mama. I love how they both looked out for Natalie as a child and now as an adult when she returns to town. And as much as I didn't expect to I really enjoyed following the wedding planning in the story. I didn't really enjoy planning my own wedding all that much. But this book made me wish we had done cake tasting! Liz made me really hungry for cake after reading this book!
As I already mentioned I really appreciated the opportunities for character growth, forgiveness and second chances in this book. I also appreciated the realistic problems that Natalie encountered as a child that I know far too many people have and still are experiencing. I pray that Johnson's use of these childhood trauma's in this story will spur people to help others and pray for those in bad situations.
I'm a little sad that this book was the conclusion to the series. I grew to love all of these characters but I know that whatever Liz Johnson comes up with next will be equally wonderful. Or perhaps even better!
Special thanks to Liz and Revell for the advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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