Hope in My Heart is a collection of short, heartwarming stories with characters in need of hope.
In “Love Unexpected,” a car crash brings commitment-wary Sebastian and career woman Chandra together. Neither is looking for romance, but those around them see the potential, and Sebastian and Chandra discover that sometimes love shows up unexpectedly.
Christmastime is the setting for the middle story, “The Best Gift.” Christina desires to lose ten pounds so she can fit into her dress for her sister’s wedding. Jordan wishes her mom would stop trying to marry her off. And Joshua hopes to be reunited with his ex-girlfriend but eventually learns that the best gift this Christmas will be the restoration of his relationship with God.
In “Peace and Love,” three characters living in a metropolitan area are desperately searching. Elle, a starving artist, aspires to become a paid professional. Eric, a divorce attorney, wants to resolve his issues concerning his parents’ divorce. Kristine anticipates finding her birth mom before she marries Derek. All characters pray their searches will conclude this holiday season and fill their hearts with peace and love.
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction
PUBLISHER: WestBow Press
RELEASE DATE: December 15, 2015
Hope In My Heart is, as the blurb said, a collection of short, heartwarming stories with characters in need of hope. While the first novella “Love Unexpected” mainly focuses on Chandra and Sebastian and their story, the other two novellas follow three separate character arcs each. And, Alexis… I’m gonna need a followup novella/book on Essie, ok? lol
My favorite storyline is found in the second novella – “The Best Gift”. I enjoyed following Christina’s arc as she stresses over fitting into her bridesmaid dress and also stumbles across a happily ever after of her own. However, not all of the plots are about romance. There’s also a story of a young woman trying to find a job in her field, a man discovering a relationship with Jesus, and another young woman searching for her birth mother. Each story in Hope in My Heart is ultimately about people in need of much more than what they think they need.
There are some aspects of this collection that I wish had been a bit tighter, a bit more developed, a bit less rushed. Each novella had a wealth of potential and I felt only a small portion of that was mined in the finished product. For instance, in the second and third novellas which followed multiple characters, I kept expecting the storylines in each one to be connected somehow. It’s ultimately fine that they weren’t but the constant switching from story to story within the same novella leaves the reader feeling somewhat disjointed. I feel these would have flowed better as six separate stories. Some of the stories I would even love to see fleshed out as full novels with definite series potential.
Bottom Line: Hope in My Heart by Alexis Goring is a sweet collection of short stories that give hope to those who have given up – on love, on family, on career. With a bevy of characters to choose from, readers will no doubt find at least one with whom they can readily identify and for whom they will be cheering. While the writing could certainly be tighter and more developed, for a first book and a novella collection at that, Hope in My Heart is a pleasant and uplifting read with timeless messages of faith, hope, and love.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 3 stars / Pleasant read
**Hope in My Heart is only $0.99 for ereaders!**
Alexis A. Goring is a writer at heart and a journalist by profession.
She loves the art of storytelling! She was delighted when her first book, an inspirational romance novella called Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories, released in Sept. 2013.
When Alexis is not working on her next book or chasing down the next big story for the newspaper where she works as a freelance reporter, she can be found listening to songs by her most admired musicians, enjoying the food in cafes/restaurants, shopping at her favorite malls and spending quality time with loved ones (family and friends)
What about you? Which story most interests you from Hope in My Heart?