Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.
"We know that for those who love God all things work together for good . . ."
It's no secret that I love reading. There's just something about being able to escape reality for a little while. For a year now I've been a fan of author Melody Carlson. Last year I read Once Upon a Winter's Heart, a great Valentine's Day read, and loved it. So, when I was asked if I'd like to review her latest Christian fiction, Love Gently Falling, I was thrilled.
In Love Gently Falling, Rita Jensen, the main character, has been enjoying her life as a Beverly Hills hairstylist and living with her two roommates, Margot and Aubrey. Then, her world shaken when her dad, Richard, calls her with the bad news that her mom, Donna, has suffered a stroke and that her brother, Ricky, isn't taking it very well. She hops a plane from sunny California to her hometown, Chicago, in a rush to be by family's side during this difficult time. Once in Chicago, she's immediately reunited her former classmate, Johnny Hollister.
Johnny is tall, handsome and the perfect gentleman in almost every sense of the word. Although, Rita is instantly attracted him, she's involuntarily hesitant to let herself even think about him a romantic way after being put off by his profession. (You'll have to read the book to find out what it is.) Planning only to stay for two weeks, Rita is soon finds herself reuniting with other people from her past- some friends, some foe. Also, she comes to realize that her mom needs her help and support with than just recovering from her stroke.
Donna's salon, Hair and Now, is nearly on its last leg. Rita soon discovers that she's going to have put in more than a little elbow grease to make the salon profitable again. And while her brother points out that the odds seem to be against their family, Rita reminds him of Romans 8:28, their mom's favorite scripture and life's motto, that everything will work in their favor if they just keep the faith in God.
But will it? And as Rita sets her plans to rescue her mom's salon in motion, she finds herself more drawn to Johnny. However, there's just one glitch, her teenage nemesis, Zinnia, has had her sights set on Johnny for years and is not the least bit fond of the attraction that she sees blooming between the two. Combine that Zinnia's jealously over Rita's family dynamics and the fact that Rita is fixing up her mom's salon and things soon come to a head.
Will Rita end up with Johnny? Can she overlook his less than appealing profession or has Zinnia already charmed Johnny for her own? Are Rita's efforts enough to her reinvent her mom's salon by Valentine's Day? I won't give away any spoilers. You'll have to pick up the book to find out for yourself.
What I will say is that this book really hit home for me in more ways than one. If you've been reading my blog from the beginning then you already know that almost five years ago I loss my Ma (my aunt) due to complications from a stroke that she never recovered from. Definitely, reading about Rita's mom and all of the issues she faced after her stroked reminded me of that dark time in her life. Couple that with the fact that the time periods during which Rita's mom suffers her stroke is the same time that my Ma suffered hers and this book definitely stirred up some emotional wounds for me.
In addition, my aunt's stroke was what helped to reunite me and my husband. It was a very dark and difficult time for me after her passing. We put aside our differences and ended rediscovering our love for one another.
I loved the message of Romans 8:28 that was implied and embedded throughout the book. Like Donna, it's also one of my favorite scriptures and a motto that I try to live by and teach my children to live by. As long as we love and remain faithful to God, no matter what storms come our way, He will work things out our favor the way they are meant to be.
|Melody Carlson, author|
Love Gently Falling is definitely a book worth reading. Melody Carlson knows how to Christian fiction that is relatable, inspiring, and romantic without pushing the envelope or being too preachy. Her characters are real people who will remind you of yourself or loved ones. And her messages are subtle but clear and motivational.
For more information on Melody Carlson and her books feel free to check her out on Facebook and Amazon as well as on her official website.