A HAVEN FOR HER HEART
SERIES: Redemption’s Light #1
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: October 13, 2020
Homeless after being released from a women’s reformatory in 1939 Toronto, Olivia Rosetti is taken in by an angel of mercy, Ruth Bennington. The two discover they share a painful past and together decide to open a maternity home for troubled women.
Despite the success of the home, Olivia is haunted by her inhumane treatment at the reformatory and the way her newborn son was taken from her. She feels undeserving of love–until she meets businessman Darius Reed. Although his attention makes her heart soar, he can never learn of her past.
Greek widower Darius Reed is determined to protect his daughter from the prejudice that killed her mother. He’ll ensure her future by marrying a woman from a respected Toronto family. But when Darius meets Olivia, he’s immediately drawn to her beauty and compassion.
Can love prove stronger than prejudice and past mistakes? Or will Olivia’s secrets destroy any chance at a future together?
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“God wouldn’t want you to remain a prisoner of your shame, Olivia. You are His beloved child, forgiven and redeemed.”
Wow. This book took me through the gamut of emotions & reactions and – let me just say – there are several people on these pages who need a good old-fashioned purse whomping. And I’m happy to load my tote with my heaviest hardcovers and join in the doling out. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to know that, while this novel is fiction, it’s partially based on true events & a real person’s experiences. But for every person in this book that I wanted to purse whomp, there are just as many people in A Haven For Her Heart who are actively being the hands and feet – and love – of Jesus to a hurting world, and they are what gives this emotional story its heart & its hope.
Olivia Rosetti is an incredibly compelling character, and her inner strength, the way she uses her pain to make things better for other young women in desperate situations, is so inspiring. It reminded me of Joseph and his words recorded in Genesis, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” (Gen 50:20, NLT) Yet even the strongest warriors carry battle scars, and Olivia is no exception. Neither is her rescuer, Ruth Bennington. I loved how these two wounded souls unite to change the outcome for other women, and I thought Mason did a beautifully tender job of telling their stories. (Also, can we talk about how pretty that cover is?!?)
And now we come to Darius and Sophia, his adorable little girl. For all storm clouds of emotion on these pages, Sophia is a ray of sunshine who brings smiles & laughter & joy wherever she goes. I adored this little imp and how she ministered to Olivia with her pure-of-heart ways. As for Darius – sometimes you’ll want to purse whomp him (not gonna lie) and the rest of the time you’ll be fanning yourself over his swoony kisses. But you’ll also be rooting for him as he finally solidifies his own convictions and stands behind them – and Olivia.
Perhaps my favorite part of A Haven for Her Heart, though, is the multiple ethnicities and walks of life that are represented in this story: immigrants, wealthy widows, single fathers, unwed mothers, businessmen, abused wives, priests, prostitutes, working class men & women, disgruntled neighbors, corrupt officials, frazzled social workers, and troubled debutantes. It’s unusual to get a glimpse of Canada (or any setting, really) from so many different angles in one story, and to have them flow naturally into one seamless narrative. But the author pulls this off with apparent ease.
Bottom Line: A Haven for Her Heart by Susan Anne Mason is not an easy read and your emotions will be a little bruised by the time you turn the last page. But you will also find healing and hope here, an unequivocal reminder that God is not the author – or the retainer – of shame and that, no matter how deep is the pit you find yourself in, His love and grace are deeper still. The story is so gripping that you won’t be able to put it down, and your reader heart will be forever touched by this parade of people who are wounded, yes, but also dearly loved of God. In meeting them on these pages, you may very well see your Savior in their eyes. And that, my friends, is the mark of a book that will stay with you for years to come.
(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I read via Kindle Unlimited. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 stars / unforgettable story!
KissingBook Level: 4 / keep those fans & fainting couches handy!
Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that there is mention of medical abuse, marital abuse, and the traumatic loss of a baby to forced adoption. If any of these topics might be triggers for your own still-healing heart, you may want to save this particular book for later ♥
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Also available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited
Susan Anne Mason’s historical novel Irish Meadows won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA as well as the Christian Retailer’s Choice Award for Debut Novel. A member of ACFW, Susan lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children. She can be found online at www.susanannemason.net.
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What about you? What makes you want to read A Haven for Her Heart by Susan Anne Mason?