|Jo Ann Brown: Seasons of the Heart|
Mountain View Publishing
(Ebook), ISBN 1-928602-00-2
In "Heart of the Woods" a spiritual wilderness camp for local teenagers becomes a romantic roller coaster ride for widow Gwen Webster and the Reverend Stewart. In spite of the short length, the story offers plenty of excitement as the romance develops. This excitement becomes particularly intense when the teenagers leave the safety of their wooden hut to explore the snowy Vermont mountainside.
In "A Gift from the Heart," Micah Howard, a man prejudiced against overseas adoption meets Sally Canfield. An ally of Micah's sister (who seeks to adopt a foreign child), Sally runs a local adoption support group and tries to show Micah that overseas adoption can benefit all parties. Both Micah and Sally must overcome their prejudices to eventually accept their love for each other.
"Set Your Heart Racing" brings David Evans to the rescue of Cheryl Robbins and her art therapy program for disabled children. The dashing David organizes a fundraiser that will support her group for many months, though Cheryl constantly wonders why -- and how David's generosity might benefit his restaurant?
Overall, these novellas project a feeling of warmth and friendship. Jo Ann Brown lends a refreshingly full and realistic Christianity to all of her characters. None of them are ashamed to admit their faith. But the stories skip over some searching Christian issues (most notably, a single woman adopting a child), and further exploration of these issues might have added to the stories.
On the negative side, the author used bolding and italicizing a bit too freely. Personally, I feel good writing can produce emphasis from paragraph layout and standard punctuation. To bold words like "have" distracts the reader and ruins the flow.
Also I would have preferred to read the novellas in the order "A Gift from the Heart," "Heart of the Woods," "Set Your Heart Racing" as "Heart of the Woods" didn't read quite as well as the other two. Even so Seasons of the Heart will provide a pleasant night's read if you like uplifting category romance.
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