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Love in Bloom Paperback – March 31, 2009

23 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Heart Lake Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Hope, although in remission, seems permanently scarred both physically and emotionally from her mastectomy and withdraws socially. She is content to arrange other people’s flowers and love lives until Jason walks through the doors of her florist shop and is immediately attracted—not to her, but to her vivacious but shallow younger sister Bobbi. Piqued, Hope signs up for a plot at the community garden and meets Amber, a young mother whose husband has also become withdrawn after losing his job, and Millie, a recent transplant from the East Coast with a self-absorbed daughter and grandkids. Roberts writes compellingly about the issues faced by these three women in different stages of life and uses the language of flowers to great effect as the women draw closer and share their particular strengths. Readers may empathize or become impatient with Hope’s continued insistence on physical perfection as a prerequisite to being loved. --Lynne Welch


“A sweet tale of unexpected friendships blossoming in a community garden, this well-written story will have readers sympathizing with the characters' plights -- and itching to get their fingers digging in the dirt!” ―RT Book Reviews

“Gardening, girl talk, and a gorgeous guy underpin this tale of what constitutes beauty and one's true self.” ―Library Journal

“A congenial cast of subsidiary characters ... meet Hope at a community garden plot and share their stories there. Roberts effectively knits these troubled but kindly characters together in a story line that throws the reader a few unexpected twists.” ―The Seattle Times

Love in Bloom is a wonderful story with characters so real and defined I feel like I am personally acquainted with them. ... There is humor and emotion in large quantities in this fantastic book that is next to impossible to put down. Kudos and a large bouquet of flowers to Sheila Roberts for giving us one of the best books of the year.” ―Fresh Fiction

“A great read.” ―BookLoons


Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (March 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312384815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312384814
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,175,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sheila Roberts lives on a small lake in the Pacific Northwest and has three children and one long-suffering husband. Her books have been printed in a many different languages. Her Christmas perrenial "On Strike for Christmas" was made into a movie for the Lifetime Channel and her novel "The Nine Lives of Christmas" was made into a movie for Hallmark. When she's not playing with girlfriends or on the tennis court Sheila can be found writing about those things dear to women's hearts:family, friends, and chocolate.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mary E. Johnson on July 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an enjoyable little love story. The characters were well developed. I enjoyed the interaction of the older widow and the young business owner. The relationship of the sisters was also handled nicely. I like the way the author handled the body image of the breast cancer survivor. I also appreciate her for giving us a strong male character with sensitivity and a good heart. I'm married to a good man, and I like seeing males portrayed in a positive light.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Maudeen Wachsmith VINE VOICE on April 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Watch out Debbie Macomber, we have another author of heartwarming, charming stories set in the Pacific Northwest who is going to be soon be sharing your readers. Her name is Sheila Roberts and this is a name to remember because if her future books are as outstanding as LOVE IN BLOOM she should become a household name soon.

Heart Lake is a small, tight-knit community in western Washington. Its beauty and charm has attracted newcomers and keeps many native residents.

Flower shop owner Hope has recently recovered from breast cancer. Although she had reconstruction, she is very self-conscious as the surgery left her with scars, as many emotional as physical. She feels that she is never going to be attractive to men again. When the very attractive Jason enters her shop, both she and her sister Bobbi are instantly attracted to him, but feeling about herself as she does, she helps Bobbi try to snag "Mr. Right" even though she would love to get to know the handsome contractor better. It isn't long before Jason takes the bait and begins to date the fun-loving Bobbi, who, to try to make herself more attractive to him, tells him little white lies regarding her life and the activities she enjoys. Will he ever find out that he really has more in common with Hope?

Seventy-seven year old Millie is new to town. A widow, she has moved in with her busy divorced daughter Debra to help her care for her grandchildren. But Debra is quick to take advantage of Millie's generosity leaving very little time for Millie to have a life of her own. An avid gardener, Millie soon finds out about the community garden and doesn't waste anytime staking out her own plot. Soon a flower-delivering mishap changes her life in a way she could have never imagined.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
Thirty years old Hope Walker physically survived breast cancer, but mentally the mastectomy has left her doubting she is a complete woman; consequently Hope no longer dates. Instead, she hides in the Changing Seasons Floral shop she owns; enhancing her lovely flower arrangements with beautiful written poetry. When contractor Jason Wells enters the florist, Hope realizes he is the first man she has found interesting since the operation. However, she knows she has no chance after he meets her whole sister Bobbi.

Septuagenarian widow Millie Baldwin moved to Heart Lake to move on with her life and assist her acrimonious recently divorced daughter Debra and two grandchildren. Also newly arrived in town is Amber Howell seeking to start over at a time when she feels she has nothing. These newcomers and Hope meet at a community garden plot project and becomes friends nurturing one another as they struggle to start over.

Bobbi is attracted to Jason's friend Duke whom she meets after she starts dating Jason. Millie meets the younger Altheus and encouraged by her two garden buds over the objections of her offspring, decides to see him. Amber struggles with her depressed husband Ty, whose feelings of failure after their restaurant went bankrupt leaves her alone to raise their son and bring in income while he wallows his life way.

This is a profound character study of three females at different points in their respective lives summed up nicely by Millie who poignantly realizes that strangers make her feel needed and wanted more than her family does. The ensemble cast is fully developed so everyone matters. With plenty of metaphors between gardening and living, fans will relish the adventures of the three amigas as all kinds of relationships blossom when LOVE IN BLOOM is flourishing.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The community garden in the small Washington town of Heart Lake brings together three women facing obstacles in their lives. Hope Walker is a 30 year old breast cancer survivor who has built a lovely life for herself - a life that includes everything except romance. Hope's surgeries have left her with scars, emotional and physical, and she can't believe that any man will want her so she firmly closes the door on that part of her life. Millie is a 77 year old widow who has moved across the country to live with her divorced daughter and two grandchildren. She soon finds herself at loose ends, unable to connect with her bitter, self-centered daughter and spoiled grandkids. Amber is a young mom barely clinging on to a faltering marriage and struggling with financial hardships. Over a period of several months the women form a bond and offer each other advice and support as they work through the challenges in their lives as well as their gardens.

This was a lovely book; sweet and uplifting. I liked the way the women's individual stories were woven throughout the book and Hope's story was particularly touching. The character of Jason, Hope's "love interest", was nicely written and Hope's sister, Bobbi, offers some comic relief. If you're reading this for the romance you might be disappointed - the focus is on the women and the strength they draw from each other. Jason and Hope's relationship is more of a side story but it is engaging none the less.

The setting is present day Washington state; some mild swearing with no explicit sex.
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