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Hearts in Bloom (Love Inspired #254) Mass Market Paperback – April 23, 2004
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Jessica's dance career ended with a car accident that left another man, Adam Crockett, dead. In the meantime, she's discovered that she has the makings of a highly skilled landscape architect and starts her own business. She's also put on about 70 pounds in the process, and this is one character trait I loved about her: she's not tall, willowy, or drop dead gorgeous. She's intelligent, determined, sharp-witted, and shops at Lane Bryant. And Andrew seems to like her this way.
Andrew, meanwhile, is trying to follow both God's will for him and his father's plan for his life, which includes a loveless marriage to a social-climbing shrew named Amelia Crockett, Adam's sister. Amelia and Andrew's father are very one-dimensional characters. I find it hard to believe that any parent would attempt to control his child's life the way Andrew's father does, but then I considered that Andrew's father is a state senator, and knowing how media influence works in politics, it sort of made sense. I loved that Andrew stood up to his father and Amelia on several occasions.
The plot is standard romance novel fodder, but the characterizations of Drew and Jessica make this work. Highly recommended.
But then he met...HER! And she wasn't your typical romance girl. Jessica had gained sixty pounds since her dance career ended, but Drew still found her the most attractive woman he'd ever met.
There were many complications along the way. Drew's "girlfriend," or whatever she was - hated Jessica because she held Jessica responsible for her brother death. Drew's father was against him having anything to do with Jessica and calling off a marriage to Amelia.
These issues, combined with the conflict between Drew and Jessica made the book interesting.