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Gateway Weddings (Romancing America) Paperback – November 1, 2011
Longings lead to love for three Missouri women. Valerie is a virtual prisoner in her own home. Can an ex-con help her escape? Sailor is smitten with a famous romance writer. Can romance and reality mix? Jilly’s foster parents broke her heart years ago. Can an old friend heal the breach?
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Overall, I would give the book 4 out of 5 stars. The author does a good job detailing the characters in all the stories and making them believable. The plots of the first and second stories keep the pages turning a little better than the third story, in my opinion, but overall it is a good read. As with all the books in this series, I like the emphasis that is placed on having a relationship with God and allowing Him to guide you through each and every situation that is encountered. I love the fact that we can read books that encourage people to turn to God through every difficulty and triumph that we face. We see how each of the main characters learns to overcome through the strength and relationship they have with God.
Readers will enjoy reading through the three stories found in Gateway Weddings and I have no difficulty recommending them.
Shy water aerobics instructor Sailor Kern believes herself in love with Chandler Michaels, a romance author she's never met. That's fine with her because she's more comfortable with books than actual romance and teaching over dating. It's not like she meets many men in her line of work anyway. Until Parker Travis shows up for class. Parker isn't your stereotypical hair-stylist, and doesn't appreciate the doctor's RX for back pain: water aerobics. After all, isn't that where his grandmother and her friends play? What a sweet romance! You'll enjoy journeying along as Parker wooed Sailor, showing her that true romance is so much better than her imagination.
Where The Dogwoods Bloom
A broken ankle forces tennis pro Jilly Gardner on crutches and out of work. Burned out Bible College Professor Cam Lane heads to the Dogwood Blossom Inn, intent on spending time with old friends, Harvey and Alice, and leading retreats. He doesn't expect to find Alice in the hospital. Cam's call to Jilly requesting that she come back and help out her foster parents with the running of the Inn surprises Jilly and leaves her even more off balance than her broken ankle. I enjoyed the playful, teasing interaction between old friends, Jilly and Cam. The road to romance was believable and not at all rushed for a book of this length. I like Ms. Johnson's writing style, interjected with spots of dry humor. Filled with romance, a little intrigue, and an oh-so-sweet ending, you won't want to miss this one!
I confess to reading the other two stories in Gateway Weddings first, mainly because I wouldn't typically pick up a book with an ex-con for the main character. But don't let that throw you off reading this wonderful story. Healy Ferguson captured the essence of what it means to make mistakes and suffer through the consequences. Rather than becoming bitter, he allows God to change his heart and his life, and focuses his efforts on helping others see the impact of their bad choices. Valerie Bishop suffers severe consequences, but not of her own making. Unable to leave the prison her house and yard have become, Valerie must come to the point where she's willing to move forward and leave the past behind. Healy helps her see beyond the walls of her internal prison. I enjoyed this sweet romance and the delightful way Ms. Johnson created a hero out of an ex-con. And the ending? Sure to leave you with an "ahhh!" Oh, and I love how the author weaves the title, Autumn Rains, into the story. A book full of healing, redemption, and forgiveness!