Liz Johnson is not a writer. She is a world builder inviting readers into the lives and journeys of her characters with each flip of the page.
I, for one, am so excited to have had the chance to dive back into the world of Rose's Red Door Inn.
Alright, I may be biased but Liz's first foray into this series was a definite highlight in my reading calendar only marred by a lack of Caden (which I understood as she wasn't the center focus) so I was delighted to hear Caden would be front and center for book two and neither Caden nor Liz disappoints!
Although Caden has grown since book 1 she is still sweet, lovable Caden. Always ready to help a neighbour, still deeply in love with the wonders of her island, still a bit quirky and definitely still her sweet insecure self - Caden sort of reminds me of a more insecure Canadian Sookie (yes I may have finally started watching my tv list from a decade ago, I fall a little behind on tv) Though Caden feels like the underdog in her town she is most definitely the girl I would hope to make friends with if I stopped by North Rustico.
On the other hand, Adam Jacobs is a man with a past, one that he'd rather forget. I loved the contrast between these two characters and the way Liz allowed them to bring healing to each other. I found Adam's guilt based story line to be a fascinating choice for the character and one that worked well. The journey from his parents to the hut overseas was expertly reveled throughout the books thanks in part to secondary character Levi (honestly I hope Levi and Esther appear later in the series, I adored that couple). having spent some time in the counselling world his grief and pain seemed so believable and again either speaks to Liz's research, experience, talent, or all three.
I also appreciated the reality of Adam and Caden's relationship. It wasn't instantaneous, in fact, Caden's annoyance at the invasions of her kitchen almost got in me in trouble as I came this close to waking the kiddo's with my giggling. I also appreciated the struggles they had to overcome due to their own assumings and hidden pasts. I felt like this just added another layer of realism and helped breathe life into their characters. I can't stand mushy romances with no struggle there's no reality to help anchor the escape. Liz's world is so real you can almost smell Caden's cinnamon buns.
5 out of 5 stars
I received this book as part of the Revell Reads book tour in exchange for my honest opinion.