by Irene Hannon
This was my first contemporary romance by Irene Hannon. Usually you will find me reading one of her romantic suspense books but I’m glad I didn’t shy away from reading Hope Harbor because it was a powerful story with excellent characters, a wonderful selection of plots, and wonderful romance.
I love books with characters that experience real life hardships and have honest character flaws and the characterization in Hope Harbor was probably its greatest strength because the three prominent characters all had both flaws and hardships that they worked through. I loved watching all three develop into stronger people and I especially appreciated the spiritual growth I saw in Michael. Hope Harbor is exactly what I look for when I pick up a Christian fiction book because it showed through fictional characters that God can provide forgiveness, healing, redemption, second chances, and restoration amongst friends and family and sometimes even strangers.
Hannon tackled a few tough subjects in this book and I appreciated her attention to both subject matter and also reaction in this story. If young adults read this story it will lend itself well to conversations especially between mothers and daughters. It could also lend itself toward helping families torn apart to find a way back together.
The best part of the whole book was the romance though. Michael has some really great lines that will alternatively make you smile or groan depending on how you feel about semi-cheesy lines. Personally I loved them since my own husband is known for lines like that. I enjoyed reading the romance of a man and a woman that have already experienced so much of life. So often the Christian fiction scene focuses on the easy romance and Hannon went for the deeper side where the characters spent more time talking things through than just making googly eyes at each other. I loved how they worked together to discuss anything that came up but still found time for hugs and kisses.
This book could be difficult for some people to read if they have experienced tragic loss, or family estrangement. However, I also think that both topics were handled with such grace and ease that the book could offer comfort for those people.
I read this book in one sitting and found myself wishing that I was part of a book club so I could discuss it with other women as this is the perfect book for that type of setting. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys contemporary romance and I would also recommend it to anyone who wants a little more substance before the happy ending.
Hope Harbor offers everything I look for in Christian fiction and I cannot wait to go back and read Hannon’s other two contemporary romance books.
This book was provided to be by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.