Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Red Door Inn - Liz Johnson

Marie Carrington is broke, desperate, and hoping to find sanctuary on Prince Edward Island while decorating a renovated bed-and-breakfast. Seth Sloane moved three thousand miles to help restore his  uncle’s Victorian B and B–and to forget about the fiancĂ©e who broke his heart.

The only thing Marie and Seth agree on is that getting the Red Door Inn ready to open in just two months will take everything they’ve got–and they have to find a way to work together. In the process,  they may find something infinitely sweeter than they ever imagined on this island of dreams.

     Taken from back of book.

Liz Johnson is a new author to come across my desk. Contemporary literature doesn't usually hold my attention the way a solid historical or creative fantasy can in giving me a world outside my own. That said, Johnson has me from the moment we stepped out onto the cold pier.

Things I loved.

The characters - honestly it was not hard to fall in love with the characters Johnson has assembled for this new series. Marie instantly wormed her way into my heart and I only wish I could pop down the road my very own Caden, Jack, and Aretha. The characters all showed their own unique quirks and development but in ways that felt true to the story and the location.
Honestly, I found myself making comparisons to the tv show Gilmore Girls with the same small town charm and quirkiness and I think fans would find themselves just as at home at the Red Door Inn.

The plot - While I tend to lock in more quickly on stories with something I can identify with, I love how Johnson took the time to give both Jack and Athena their own stories and voices without making their age the central focus or a reason to relegate them to the shadows. All 4 of the characters readers are introduced to are given satisfying stories that intermix and resolve in a clear and understandable way (Caden fans will get to see her story unraveled in book 2 this fall so I'm thoroughly satisfied and excited on that front too).

The setting - Small town P.E.I.! Okay, maybe I was able to connect to Marie a little quicker as a fellow lover of Anne and her wonderful world but I really did enjoy the imagery and way that Johnson was able to enliven North Rustico with that something special those old, little towns have, that history and spirit you can feel in your bones even if the town is past it's heyday.

On a side note,
Marie and Seth's pasts are a central focus within the past and I applaud Johnson for bringing in such  a serious topic. I do think her retelling is leaps and bounds ahead of what I usually come across in Christian lit (so readers do be warned). The time line felt a little rushed at times for Marie's healing but I really appreciated Johnson's willingness to show that journey with its twists and turns as she learned to trust again.

I am so excited to get my hands on book 2 this fall!

4.5 out of 5 stars.

I received a copy of this book from Nuts About Books in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.