Book Review: A Place to Heal by Allie Pleiter

Posted August 27, 2022 by meezcarrie in Allie Pleiter, Christian, contemporary, romance / 7 Comments

A PLACE TO HEAL by Allie Pleiter
True North Springs #1

GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Love Inspired
RELEASE DATE: June 28, 2022
PAGES: 205

She’s found the perfect place for her camp.
But will he agree to her terms?

Opening a camp for children who’ve dealt with tragedy is former police detective Dana Preston’s main goal in life. After wandering the country, she’s finally found the perfect location—Mason Avery’s expansive Arizona mountainside property. Convincing the widowed dad—and the town—to agree might take a little prayer and a lot of hard work. But Dana’s never backed down from a challenge yet…


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Oh y’all. This book WRECKED me. In all the best ways. (The pond. I can’t even. I was a mess. When you read it, you’ll know what I mean.) I expected that I would easily fall in love with the characters and with the town – and that Mason’s young son Charlie would tug at all my heartstrings – because that’s the way that Allie Pleiter’s books roll. But I didn’t expect to be moved to tears (the sweet kind) so often or for my heart to literally ache for Mason & Charlie as they worked through the continued emotions and ambushes of grief on their way to healing. And watching them both fall for bighearted Dana? Oh mercy, be still my heart!

Pleiter’s characters always feel so real because she doesn’t shy away from giving them raw emotions, the kind (be they joy, love, grief, anxiety, etc.) that just well up in you until they have to come out. Her Love Inspired books may be relatively quick reads but they are far from shallow. The depth and layers engage reader emotions and keep her characters in the center of your heart long after you’ve put the book aside. And as far as depth and emotions and layered characters go, A Place to Heal is perhaps her best yet. (I seem to say that about each new Pleiter book, I know, but it’s because it’s true!!)

Mason and Charlie are a father-son pair of wounded hearts, grief still holding them hostage in many ways despite the fact that several years have passed since the tragic – and violent – loss of their beloved wife and mother, respectively. Grief certainly has its own timeline, as I have discovered in the last few months since my dad’s death, and I really appreciated how the author respected that personal nature of grief while also gently reminding Mason & Charlie (and readers!) that at some point you have to begin living life again while still honoring your loved one’s memory. Enter Dana, a former police detective who has seen her fair share of violence and the trauma it leaves in its wake. She’s wounded, too, but in different ways, and her heart for children & families who have been rocked by tragedy is exactly what Mason & Charlie need. And maybe the fight they’re up against, to get the camp approved by the zoning committee, is what all of three of them need to find their own healing, individually and together.

Bottom Line: Oh my goodness, how I adored A Place to Heal by Allie Pleiter. Mason & Charlie’s shared-but-also-different grief juxtaposed against the tenderness of them both tentatively opening their heart to love Dana just did me in – all. the. feels. Pleiter painted these sometimes-raw emotions in ink tinged with grace and empathy, and she also gifted readers with moments of well-timed adorableness and humor that soothed the sore places in our hearts. Not to mention that the romance is exquisitely sweet & swoony. I loved every page, and I can’t wait to revisit True North Springs in the next book!

(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: 5 stars / fabulous!

KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion

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An avid knitter, coffee junkie, and devoted chocoholic, Allie Pleiter spends her days writing books and finding new ways to avoid housework. She grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in Speech from Northwestern University, and speaks nationally on writing, faith, and creative productivity. Allie currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. Sign up for her newsletter HERE.

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