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A tragic accident leaves Brodie Thorne’s teenage daughter, Taryn, in a wheelchair. She has the enormous task of learning how to do the simple things in life all over again. Brodie seeks the help of Evie Blanchard, a top physical therapist who recently moved from the big city to the small town of Hope’s Crossing. However, he’s stunned when Evie turns his offer down.
Evie left Los Angeles and her job after having to deal with her own personal tragedy and she no longer wants to deal with the ups and downs of being a physical therapist. She’s very happy working in a local bead store making jewelry. When Brodie and his mother pressure Evie to help Taryn, she caves in and agrees to at least set the girl up with a good rehabilitation program. Then, with Evie’s help, Brodie would hire another physical therapist.
Evie didn’t plan on growing attached to both Taryn and her father, but she is. Several obstacles are thrown in their path, especially a major secret about the accident leading to Taryn’s disability. Things look bleak for Evie and Brodie, but they are determined to overcome whatever is thrown in their path.
In the fashion of Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr and Sherryl Woods, RaeAnne Thayne creates a beautiful, poignant and touching romance story that’s sure to grab the reader’s heart. It’s chock full of emotions, love and a realistic take on dealing with disability.
I do have to add a warning, though. This is a sequel to her first book “Blackberry Summer”, which I have not read yet – although it’s on my Nook. I really believe I would have loved this book even more if I read the first one. Although it’s a standalone book, it really helps to read the first book as it dealt with the accident that left Taryn injured. I definitely plan to go back and read the first. These are characters I truly fell in love with.
There will be a third book coming in October. I'm happy about that as Hope’s Crossing has quite a few characters who deserve a story of their own. I'm anxiously awaiting the release of this one.
FTC Disclosure: NetGalley provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
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And now...a guest blog from the author...RaeAnne Thayne about writing for category romances vs. single titles.
A couple of years ago, I did something scary. I announced to the world (well, to my agent and my editor, anyway!) that after writing thirty-something category romances, I would like to branch out into single title. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing for the series lines at Harlequin/Silhouette. They have always been my favorite books to read and writing them takes tremendous effort and skill. Coming up with something fresh and unique in the tight format of those wonderful books is a challenge, every single time.
I was very happy writing for Special Edition and was gratified by the response of readers to my books. But I was beginning to feel a little like a one-hundred-pound Labrador retriever trying to exercise in a small dog crate. I had stories I wanted to tell that didn’t quite fit the somewhat linear scope of a category romance. I’ve always written books where community was important but I wanted to expand on that, to build a much more layered story that wasn’t only focused on the hero and the heroine coming together.
I was very thrilled when HQN offered me that chance in my Hope’s Crossing series. The first book, Blackberry Summer, was released last summer. The second book in Hope’s Crossing, Woodrose Mountain, is available now and the third book, Sweet Laurel Falls, will be out in October 2012.
In Woodrose Mountain, Brodie Thorne is a loving father who will do anything for his daughter, Taryn, who was injured in a terrible car accident and faces extensive rehab. Brodie believes Taryn’s very best at returning to a normal life is Evie Blanchard, who used to be a pediatric physical therapist but has left that world to work in the bead store in Hope’s Crossing. Evie doesn’t want to get involved in Brodie or Taryn’s lives, for very good reason. She is still reeling from loss and pain of a difficult year and is now guarding her heart carefully. But when Evie reluctantly agrees to help Taryn for only a few weeks, she finds herself beginning to care deeply for the girl – and for her father.
Woodrose Mountain is a story about healing, about redemption, about wounded people who find the courage to move forward after being slammed with rough situations. It’s a story that wouldn’t have worked well as a category romance because, while it’s definitely a romance at heart, it’s also a story about the healing between a father and a daughter, between friends who have drifted apart and of a town struggling to find its way.
People have asked me which is easier to write and I would have to say easy and writing are two words that don’t go together in my head. It’s all hard!
I have really savored the chance to add layers and nuances to my single title books that I just don’t have space to do in a category romance. It’s very rewarding to build a community like Hope’s Crossing with texture and depth and fill it with interesting secondary characters (who might some day have books of their own!).
At the same time, when I switch back to writing a book for Special Edition – like my latest Cold Creek book, A COLD CREEK REUNION, which is also in stores this month – I feel a little like I’m coming home, as it’s the pacing and the rhythm I find most familiar.
Really, I guess I have the best of two worlds. I love writing both category and single title for different reasons and don’t expect to be giving up either kind of story any time soon!