Book Review (and a Giveaway!): The Art of Rivers by Janet W. Ferguson

Posted September 26, 2019 by meezcarrie in Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Janet Ferguson, romance / 15 Comments

Coastal Hearts #3

GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Southern Sun Press, LLC
RELEASE DATE: June 30, 2019
PAGES: 249

Rivers Sullivan bears both visible and invisible scars—those on her shoulder from a bullet wound and those on her heart from the loss of her fiancé during the same brutal attack. Not even her background as an art therapist can help her regain her faith in humanity. Still, she scrapes together the courage to travel to St. Simons Island to see the beach cottage and art gallery she’s inherited from her fiancé. When she stumbles upon recovering addicts running her gallery, she’s forced to reckon with her own healing.

After the tragic drowning of his cousin, James Cooper Knight spends his days trying to make up for his past mistakes. He not only dedicates his life to addiction counseling, but guilt drives him to the water, searching for others who’ve been caught unaware of the quickly rising tides of St. Simons. When he rescues a peculiar blond woman and her sketch pad from a sandbar, then delivers this same woman to his deceased grandmother’s properties, he knows things are about to get even more complicated.

Tragic circumstances draw Cooper and Rivers closer, but they fight their growing feelings. Though Cooper’s been sober for years, Rivers can’t imagine trusting her heart to someone in recovery, and he knows a relationship with her will only rip his family further apart. Distrust and guilt are only the first roadblocks they must overcome if they take a chance on love.

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“There is life after death, here and now.”

Ferguson’s ability to craft heart-gripping characters and beauty-from-ashes plots shines brightly in her latest novel, The Art of Rivers!

The beautiful setting of St. Simons Island serves as an ideal backdrop for this touching story of tragedy and grace and restoration. The ocean, the sand, the sunsets – and that sweetly gorgeous cover – all undergird the story in subtle ways. Especially with the reminder that what brings us more pain than we ever imagined can also bring healing we never dreamed of, that sorrow and strength often beat together in the same heart.

My heart broke for Rivers and Cooper both, but at the same time I fiercely admired them for their strength to overcome (even when weak). Ferguson doesn’t shy away from the uncomfortable reality of grief or addiction; she also doesn’t water down the power of grace to redeem lives from the pit. Jesus is front and center in The Art of Rivers and, given the authenticity of the story & the nature of addiction, He needed to be exactly that. Because Cooper & Rivers are ‘creatives’, they experience life, even worship, on a different level than I do – and sometimes that made me uncomfortable as I read…I’m not a demonstrative person when it comes to worship. BUT even this stayed true to their characters, to what they’ve struggled to overcome, to the Hope that addicts (who might pick up a book but not set foot n a church) need to hear about, so it ultimately didn’t take away from the book for me at all.

Bottom Line: If you can read The Art of Rivers and not come away with a new compassion for those who struggle with addiction, then something is wrong with your soul! Ferguson takes us inside that struggle through flawed characters we quickly come to love, through their battle to stay sober, through their emotions and fears and courage, through the people who love them & refuse to give up. Along the way, we also get plenty of humor and smile-inducing scenes and romantic moments to ease the heaviness just when it’s most needed. The Art of Rivers is a powerful journey toward hope, grace, forgiveness, love, and restoration, all wrapped up in a tender, passionate, and entertaining story of falling in love. Janet Ferguson gets better and better with each new book, and this latest one is no exception! (PS – please can we have more of Davis??)

(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I purchased for my own library. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / love it

KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion

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Also available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. She writes humorous inspirational fiction for people with real lives and real problems. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space. 

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Other Books by Janet W. Ferguson

Janet Ferguson is offering an ebook copy of The Art of Rivers to one of my readers. Open internationally except where prohibited by law or logistics. This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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15 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): The Art of Rivers by Janet W. Ferguson

  1. Winnie Thomas

    This is a fantastic book! Janet’s writing just keeps getting better and better!

    Thanks for the review! I already have a copy of the book, so I’m not entering the contest!

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