WHERE LOVE IS PLANTED by Dawn Kinzer
SERIES: Meriside Romances #1
GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Morningview Publishing
RELEASE DATE: September 14, 2023
She’s bound to past promises.
He’s captive to future goals.
Will their loyalty to others cost them their own happiness?
Or will something beautiful grow where love is planted?
Two years have passed since a tragedy changed Beth Miller’s life forever. Since her father’s and brother’s unexpected deaths, Beth has put her future as a licensed horticultural therapist on hold. The garden center and floral shop that her mom and sister love is struggling. And her young brother’s widow is still trying to find her way. Beth’s devotion puts her family’s needs first.
To further his career and atone for his own tainted past, Tyler Sharp accepts a position as a social worker at a women’s prison. The facility is located near his great-aunt in the small port town of Meriside, Washington. While he’s intrigued with the woman living in the studio apartment behind his aunt’s home, as soon as he can return to Colorado, he and his best friend will initiate a program there for at-risk-kids.
As secrets are exposed and hearts soften, their growing feelings for each other bring new challenges. Will Beth complete a necessary internship if it means helping the person who caused her loved ones so much pain? And if she’s unwilling to leave her family, and Tyler will never intentionally disappoint his loyal buddy in Colorado, how could they ever hope to create a life together?
Join Beth and Tyler in the Pacific Northwest as they explore what it means to sacrifice, hope for the future, and experience miracles where love is planted.
Whew! If you’re looking for a story that tackles some ‘rubber-meets-the-road’ faith issues with grace and authenticity, then you need to read Where Love is Planted by Dawn Kinzer! Both Beth and Tyler have things in their past that they need to deal with, but the one that touched me the most is Beth’s journey to forgiveness. And this isn’t some overblown ‘conflict’ that, in real life, we would grit our teeth and deal with. No, this is one of those things that will make almost every reader sit back at the gut punch, put ourselves in Beth’s shoes, and not be 100 percent sure how we would handle the same situation. This is real life, real grief, real moments where it’s only by the immeasurable grace of God that you come out the other side not just intact but more whole than before.
And yet… it’s not a heavy book. It’s a story full of warm friendships, sweet romance, and true healing. I absolutely loved Beth’s work with plant therapy, very intriguing for this reader who definitely does not have a green thumb. (However, I have managed to keep a peace lily alive for the past almost-two years since my dad’s funeral and I count that a win!) Watching her, not only in her internship with the women’s prison, but with the everyday people whose lives she touches was truly heartwarming. I also loved that we get to see a lot of that latter part through Tyler’s eyes. Tyler’s work with the inmates as a social worker also appealed to me as a reader; we get to see him interact with a variety of troubled young women from diverse backgrounds & with diverse outcomes. His heart to make a difference in their lives gives him something in common with Beth and, honestly, makes him the hero of the book even without the romance. But along those lines, his friendship with Beth that blossoms into more is very sweet to read.
Bottom Line: Where Love is Planted by Dawn Kinzer finds a good balance between wrestling with deeply practical issues of faith and entertaining readers with an enjoyable story. Beth & Tyler’s unique backstories combine with their not-so-different dreams & goals to help readers stay solidly invested in their stories. The narrative itself is a bit dialogue heavy (which more often than not feels somewhat ‘info dump’ or too formal) but other than that, the plot proceeds with wit, charm, and heartfelt explorations of the soul. A lovely read!
(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: 4 stars / enjoyed it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
What about you? What makes you want to read Where Love is Planted by Dawn Kinzer?