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5 Stars *Reviewer TOP PICK* "I really enjoyed this first book in the Welcome To Redemption series...The chemistry between these two characters was instantaneous...I really wanted Lauren and her kids to find happiness again and I definitely felt that Caleb was the perfect man to do just that for them. Overall, I thought this was a great story and I would highly recommend it to other readers!"
~ Diana Coyle, Night Owl Reviews
From the Author
USA Today Bestselling author Donna Marie Rogers inherited her love of romancefrom her mother. Romance novels, soap operas, Little House On the Prairie - hermother loved them all. And though it wasn't until years later Donna would cometo understand her mother's fascination with Charles Ingalls, Donna's love of theromance genre is every bit as all-consuming.
A Chicago native, Donna now livesin Northeast Wisconsin with her husband and children. Most days you can find hersitting at the computer, creating exciting, memorable characters, fresh newworlds, and always happily-ever-afters.
It's a good thing this is a pretty short read, because once I started it, I couldn't put it down! I read the first two books out of order, and after falling in love with the second book (A Fair to Remember), I was sure I'd be disappointed. Instead, I found a completely different love story set in the same lovable town with a couple of the same characters.
The chemistry between Caleb and Lauren is instantaneous. Watching him handle Max, her rebellious son, and coddle Emma, her adorable toddler, you'll probably fall in love with Caleb a little, too! I will warn you that it isn't a realistic romance at all. They meet, fall in love, and decide they want to spend the rest of their lives together in a week's time. However, the intensity of their romance does make for a good, interesting read, and there are other aspects to their relationships that are enjoyable. Caleb reconciles with a man who was like a father to him, and he's able to earn Lauren's trust, even though her last relationship was abusive and lacking trust. You'll likely enjoy this story if you decide to take a break from reality and dive in!
A Fair of the Heart (Welcome to Redemption - Book One) Haircuts and A Handy Man! Who would have thought that a hair cut could lead to happily ever after? Well at least puts them on the path.
Welcome to Redemption focuses on a small Wisconsin town and its citizens. While each story can stand alone, it is fun to get to know the people, and expand on your friendships. See if you can find the character that appears in every book of the Welcome to Redemption series. I'm not telling. Get to reading!
I am ready to contact Tara and start looking for a home in Redemption! These authors write with the same voice. You forget that there are two authors, the story line is seamless. Stacey and Donna paint such a picture with their words! I see the the town of redemption so clearly. I want to stop in at "Coffee to Chai For" order a cup of tea and tasty treat walk across the street to check out a book from the library. I continue down the street waving to friends and neighbors. I stop in the park to watch the dogs and owners play and enjoy the day.
I want more! The characters have come to life. I feel as though I have expanded my family. I have so many new friends!
Other Books by Donna Marie Rogers: Foolish Pride Golden Opportunity A Fair of the Heart - Welcome to Redemption (1) The Perfect Blend - Welcome to Redemption (3) Home Is Where The Heart Is - Welcome to Redemption (5) Never Let Go - Welcome to Redemption (7) There's Only Been You (Jamison Series) Meant To Be (Jamison Series) Welcome to Redemption Box Set
If you follow my blog or my activity on Goodreads, you may have noticed I reviewed book two of the Welcome to Redemption series before reviewing book one. Somehow I managed to read the books in reverse. Normally the review order wouldn't concern me but this case is an exception. You see, book two reveals the climactic scenes in A Fair of the Heart. Having read the books in reverse, I am left questioning how much of my enjoyment was curtailed by this disclosure.
To Rogers' credit, I really like the premise here. I married a man with a child and while I don't necessarily seek out these books, I enjoy and appreciate writers who tackle the challenges of relationships where children of previous relationships are present. A lot of people can relate to Caleb and Lauren's situation which lends not only a realistic quality to the story but a human one as well.
On the other hand, the timeline didn't make a lot of sense. Running into a relationship is one thing; running in with kids is another matter entirely. A Fair of the Heart takes place over a period of days. To my mind this is far too short a time to commit to such a complicated relationship. I have similar trouble buying into Max's transformation from ten year old delinquent to model child over the same period. Here again, the amount of time didn't seem appropriate for the course of events.
One final note before I wrap up. It takes a certain level of skill to depict intimacy on paper. Some authors hint at it but ultimately imply more than they depict. Some opt for more detailed descriptions and venture into the realm of erotic lit. Some even go all out, issuing forth what can only be described as pornography. Rogers doesn't belong to any of these groups. Her scenes are carefully crafted, well-illustrated and tasteful. Well played madam, well played.
Sweet story with a few issues but not too bad. Language left something to be desired but I'm willing to overlook that. Seriously considered abandoning the series after reading book two but am on the fence after reading A Fair of the Heart.