Lisa Carter has a gift with words that enables a reader to become totally lost in a story. It's in the rich descriptions which are never overdone but paint a vivid picture of people and places. It's in the abundant dialogue so real and gritty and funny and even absurd at times. Just like real life. And it's definitely in the lush romance riddled with emotion of every conceivable kind. Honestly, I lived in Hawaii for a while. I love that kind of escape read.
This is a character driven story where Laney and Kai constantly struggle to find their footing -- not just with each other but with coming to terms with their individual pasts. Great fodder for conflict and there's plenty of that. Both are stubbornly clinging to old wounds which threaten their chance at happiness together. The heart of their story is finding -- and extending -- forgiveness and acceptance while moving forward in Christ.
A stunning read from beginning to end. Sweet perfection.
The best part of this novel was that how authentic it felt. The Hawaiian scenery was beautifully descriptive with Cater's amazing writing skills, and I felt like I was transported to Hawaii through words alone. The main characters, Kai and Laney, were a good couple, even though I felt their romance was not developed enough. They were attracted to each other from the moment they met, but their romance moved along so fast, I felt it was rather rushed. Their insecurities and doubts were very believable and realistic, and I found myself feeling bad for them even though they are fictional characters.
The one element I appreciated the most was the fact that this story was not just a romance. Family dynamics, personal identity, overcoming the trauma of the past; all these subjects were explored and masterfully woven throughout. I felt as if the characters were taken straight out of real life - and yes, even their whirlwind romance. The quilt from the cover is the key to everything, but I will let you discover that for yourself.
This book was provided by the publisher through Litfuse Nest for free in exchange for an honest review.
Laney Carrigan was adopted as a baby. Now an adult, she has decided to find her birth parents. Her dad helps her by posting on line a photo of the Lokelani quilt in which she was wrapped when left on the Carrigan front stoop.
The novel opens as Laney is flying to Hawaii - to the family who responded to the posted photo of the quilt. She receives a warm reception but Laney battles fear of being rejected again by the family who rejected her once. She is disappointed that only an aunt and grandmother remain as her birth mother reportedly died of an overdose. Adding to the stress is Kai Barnes, a troubled cowboy/helicopter pilot taken in by Laney's birth family. He thinks Laney might be a gold digger, after the valuable family farm. Despite his doubts, he has feelings for Laney. And she has feelings for him - but there are so many issues between the two of them.
This was a fun novel to read. I learned a great deal about the Hawaiian culture and PTSD. Carter did a great job giving the reader a sense of place in describing the surroundings. The romance is done well too. And there is plenty of action towards the end. It is a quick read and well worth it.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book through a publicity group for the purpose of this review.
I have come to really look forward to reading these books in the Quilts of Love series. Each author is so unique in their storytelling and I love reading how the quilt itself tells a story. Lisa Carter is a new author to me, but I really enjoyed this book. I was immediately planted in Hawaii and of course, found myself relaxing at the mere thought of Hawaii. It provided a wonderful escape for me during the days leading up to Thanksgiving!
As the book began, I found that it was a little slower to develop. I liked it and the storyline, but there were times where it felt like it didn't completely flow. I'm not sure why it seemed that way, but I had difficulty in the first part of the book. It could have been because I didn't feel like the characters were strong enough during that part. It could have also been that some words were used that I didn't know and that were not in the back listed in the Hawai'ian dictionary.
However, about halfway through, I couldn't put it down. Laney got on my nerves a little bit because I wanted her to stop talking and yelling and listen! I loved her "ohana" and especially Kai. I was surprised by the ending because I truly had not expected the secret revealed to be what it was. It was a wonderful surprise, but it did make me understand why Laney would be so upset.
Definitely looking forward to more books in the Quilts of Love series.
I received this book free from Abingdon Press and CFBA in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.
I appreciate the author's choice of Hawaii for the setting as it helped this reader better appreciate America's 50th state. Not only are fauna and volcanoes described, but many customs of the land are included. In addition, a liberal use of Hawaii's language allow the reader to better understand the ways of the island.
Scenes showing quilting techniques added interest to the storyline.
This Christian fiction handles adoption, cancer, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Alzheimer's disease. One of the characters wrestles with abandonment and trust.
Sadly, stilted writing runs throughout the story. Many of the sentences are awkward. For example, on page 90, "With Daniel, for safety's sake, encased in a florescent yellow life vest, Laney and Kai kept him between them." This makes reading difficult.
This is the third novel I've read in the Quilts of Love series. I thoroughly enjoyed the other two. (Each title is written by a different author and is a stand alone novel, connected only by the quilt theme.) I would encourage readers to continue enjoying others in the series.
Discussion Questions are included.
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Abingdon Press for my copy.