Series: Whisper Canyon #1
Published by Berkley Publishing on August 24, 2021
Source: the publisher via NetGalley
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Contemporary romance author Janine Rosche delivers an inspirational tale about overcoming strife and opening your heart to love with ASPEN CROSSROADS (Berkley Mass Market; August 24, 2021).
Haven Haviland has made it her life’s mission to help the people of her small community, until one mistakes costs her the beloved counseling practice that was once a haven for her patients. Trusting men has gotten her into trouble before, but in order to gain the forgiveness she so desperately craves, she must trust her heart—and her regrets—to a mysterious newcomer with his own rocky past.
Few in the community of Whisper Canyon have actually met Jace Daring, the handsome recluse who lives at Aspen Crossroads, the farm at the edge of town. That doesn’t stop the rumors about the small farm and the multiple women who live with him. He must protect the truth—that the farm-to-table restaurant he plans to open will provide new livelihoods for women rescued from human trafficking. Jace vowed he would never reside in Whisper Canyon and hopes to move on to his next assignment soon, but he needs a partner he can trust to mentor the women in his stead. It just so happens that he has recently met a counselor in need of work. What better way for Haven to right her wrongs than to mentor women looking to rebuild their lives?
When the mayor’s campaign to clean up Whisper Canyon threatens Aspen Crossroads, dangers from the women’s pasts resurface and Haven’s mistakes are exposed to the town. Jace would do anything to save Haven and the women in his care, but it turns out they aren’t the only ones in need of saving.
I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
So, so good!! This is a story about redemption and grace, which are both portrayed so beautifully. Some of the characters struggle with trust and shame, and I loved reading about how they worked through and helped one another with these issues. I love the way Ms. Rosche points to Jesus throughout the story, and I love the way she included family relationships (including found family!). The issues tackled in here are serious, but they’re well-balanced with moments that made me smile and there is also a very sweet romance. Haven and Jace grew in relationship as they worked together with survivors of sexual assault and trafficking.
Haven is a counselor who has recently had to shut her practice down. In looking for another job that uses her skills, she comes across an ad for a resident counselor for a group of people that have had a difficult life. She of course gets the job, and finds that the people under her care are a small group of women who have left trafficking situations. Her skills are really put to the test as she grapples with earning the trust of these women. Jace has opened a “group home” if you will. He, through the company he works for, has provided housing and job opportunities for these women. He meets Haven when she comes to work with the women, and this is the start of their slow-burn relationship. They both have baggage and have some things to work through, but theirs is a very sweet beginning and I’m looking forward to hearing more from them as the series progresses.
I truly loved every minute I spent reading this story and it really touched my heart. There is one specific quote that was extra special to me: “God can look after us no matter where we are. His eyes search the land for ways to help his people.”
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