Sharon Sala comes to the blog today with the seventh book in her Blessings, Georgia series: the small Georgia town that seems to be a backdrop to hope, healing and new love with
Forever My Hero
There’s a hurricane menacing the small town of Blessings, and everyone is frantically working to ensure their own (and their neighbors) survival and safety. Like small towns everywhere, Blessings has its own cast of ‘characters’ who appear regularly and add that sense of community and constancy to the series, even as they also reinforce the ‘everyone knows your business’ vibe. And that’s not unusual for this little town, it seems to be a place where the grieving and wounded come to heal, and often they find more than simple hope and peace here. Such is the case for the couple highlighted in this story. Dan came to Blessings and left his high-powered legal career in the rear-view mirror when his wife and son were killed in a car bomb meant for him. He’s not interested in relationships, and while his own sense of honor (and job as a property manager) won’t allow him to remove himself from the day-to-day interactions, he’s determined to keep them superficial. He’s not going to have someone he loves ripped away from him again. Surprisingly, a bomb played a large part in Alice’s relocation to Blessing with her children. Her dead husband blew up their house (it was an accident of his own making) and his family dumped her and the children in the town. After her years with his addictions, while arriving penniless and homeless with children in a new town wasn’t ideal, it was a chance for her to ‘make up’ for their early lives and point them all toward a new future. With a job in the local hardware store and the kids settling in to school and friends, she’s got reason to be thankful that Blessings was the end of the journey with her former in-laws, and things are starting to look up. She’s not really interested in anther relationship, but Dan is intriguing and their friendly interactions when he comes to the store make her smile.
The hurricane (and Alice’s injury) bring them closer together than one would expect, and the friends to more vibe is strong. Of course, it’s a small town and the gossip is rife, resulting in Alice’s daughter being bullied at school, and the kids are still feeling the loss of their father and the terrible way in which they came to town. Here is where Dan seems to excel – not pushing but allowing them their moments to ‘feel’ everything that confuses them, angers them and even gives them the space and place to feel without worrying what others will think. What emerges is Dan making the ‘moves’ to rescue Alice and her family from the dangers around them (hurricane, in-laws and bullies) when he wasn’t able to save his own. And Alice, despite her determination to make it on her own, is intrigued and sees the possibilities, even if she’s not sure she’s interested. Fortunately for them both (and the story) Alice is upfront about her concerns, desires and dreams – forcing Dan to do the same and honestly discuss the possibilities and their growing attraction. With several insets from other characters that are familiar from earlier books, a bunch of moments where breath is held and outcomes aren’t always clear, the story provides a realistic-feeling path to a second chance for them both. A bit over-reliant on head-hopping that isn’t always clearly delineated, it frequently took a few lines before a moment was ‘clear’, but overall, this fits the mold that Sala has created for this series.
Narration for this story is provided by Amy Rubinate, and I was pleasantly surprised to note the improvement in the quality and performance. Having first encountered her work some four years ago, I was encouraged by positive reviews and grabbed this title. This turned out to be a solid choice, her flow has improved, the story is clearly leading the way as she moves seamlessly between characters and moments. Voices had solid tone and delivery variations to note different characters, and she allowed the emotion of the moment to take over, never over-emphasizing emotion. The story flowed and presented an engaging listen, as her performance enhanced the story and allowed it to unfold as I listened.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4
Title: Forever My Hero
Author: Sharon Sala
Also in this series: For Your Love, Crystal Clear
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Small Town
Narrator: Amy Rubinate
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Tantor Audio
Published on: 5 March, 2019
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 4 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
Every storm they've weathered...has led them to each other
Dan Amos lost his wife and son years ago, when they inadvertently got in the way of a death threat meant for him. He's never had eyes for anyone since, and he doesn't want to. But fellow Blessings resident Alice Conroy sparks something inside him...
Newly widowed, Alice was disillusioned by marriage and isn't looking to fall in love anytime soon. Then a tropical storm blazes a path straight for the Georgia coast, and as the town prepares for the worst, Dan opens his heart and his home. The tempest is raging, but Alice and Dan are learning to find shelter...in each other.
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.