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.
I'll admit I had a hard time getting into this book. It took me awhile to get interested. I stuck it out, and was not disappointed.
Lanny Carrigan, feels completely abandoned when she arrives in Hawaii to maybe meet her birth mother's family. Her adopted mother has died and her dad has remarried and now has a new wife and step-son.
She is greeted...or met at the airport by a rather cute, but not very nice Kai Barnes. He is worried she is a gold digger. You begin to wonder if she has made a big mistake coming here.
There are many twists and turns in this story, and the final chapters will really have you on the edge of your seat. We also deal with Alzheimers, which her Grandmother is suffering from. Now having dealt with dementia of a loved one, I know how she ended up in tears, when she was ordered out of the house. What a horrible disease.
We also experience the beauty of this lava built Island, and it made me want to get out of the cold of the North and go there. Guess the best I can recommend is cozy up with a blanket and grab this book...hang on you won't be dissatisfied.
I received this book through the Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
A strength of the Quilts of Love series is the uniqueness of each quilt, the meaning behind it, and the love of family it symbolizes. In Aloha Rose, Lisa Carter uses the beautiful Lokelani quilt to guide Laney to her birth family in Hawaii, and blends exotic setting with appealing storyline to create an interesting read overall.
Lisa very effectively conveyed the setting and flavor of Hawaii through such images as erupting volcano, rain forest, rainbow, waterfalls, dancing the hula. I was also drawn to the secondary characters of Laney's family and they way they supported each other - welcoming Laney unreservedly, making a memory book of major events and people for Laney's grandmother who had Alzheimers, Teah passing on a family tradition by teaching Laney to quilt.
Several characters are introduced at the beginning, which was a little confusing, but they quickly become familiar and the narrative really picks up about halfway through, along with a couple of surprise twists that readers will love.
Kai suffers from PTSD, and both he and Laney have emotional issues that they have worked to hide. Teah points out to Laney: "You and Kai are a lot alike. High walls. Self-protective barriers between you and the rest of the world."
The main negative for me was that, while Laney and Kai have great chemistry from the very beginning, their romance was my least favorite part, as I missed seeing their relationship move beyond surface attraction to a deeper level. And I'd like to see less character monologues where they keep mulling over their thoughts. Still, Aloha Rose is a good story overall and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it. I loved the heartwarming ending and think this is a novel many inspirational romance fans will enjoy.
This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity and Abingdon Press in exchange for my honest review.
I loved the characters in this book, especially Kai and Laney. Despite their attraction to each other, they both find it difficult to commit due to abandonments in their past. Laney had been given up for adoption by her birth mother, which left her feeling unloved and unwanted despite having wonderful adoptive parents. And Kai, as a child, had witnessed the murder of his mother by his father, and ended up in the foster care system before being taken in by his permanent family. Their insecurities were very realistic and believable, and I was rooting for them to find peace with their pasts and learn to accept love. The depth of these characters takes this book beyond a simple romance to an exploration of personal identity, family dynamics, and overcoming trauma.
As threads come together to complete the masterpiece the seamstress envisioned, so to the various threads of this novel come together to form a perfect story. I sat down to read a novel that I knew involved a quilt, but that isn't all there is to the story at all. In fact, there was no way I could see before the plethora of each character's story becoming one in the end. What an amazing novel!
One thread has a young woman named Rose who was adopted as a baby now crossing the ocean to meet her biological family. Another colored thread was an elderly matriarch struggling with Alzheimer's who remembers more about her family's past than some realized, especially Rose. There is a young man who picks Rose up at the airport though none too happy about it because he fears she comes with ulterior motives.
There is so much to relish from the pages of this book. Being reminded about some of God's characteristics and truths about Him we so often forget. How God can bring together various broken pieces of the past in order to restore hope for the present and future of those He loves is amazing. In one of the characters, I could see how quick tempered and tongued at times may aid her as a journalist who traveled into combat areas, but with these different new people this may or may not have aided her in finding the home she so longed for.
There is much to touch the heart, mind and soul of those who sit down to read Aloha Rose. If I were to share all that I gleaned out of it, it might taint your own journey of discovery in the pages and I want you to find your own treasures. At the time when I started reading the story and it contained an elderly person with Alzheimer's, I wanted to stop reading it because in some ways it mirrored what I am really going through now. Yet, I am glad I continued to the end. There was so much more to the story than this one aspect of Alzheimer's. The reminders of the God who loves me and will see me through all my tomorrows is a theme. I sure hope you make time to curl up and read a tale with adventure, romance, faith and surprises! You'll love it!