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The Thought of Romance: Legacy of the Heart Book One: Arcadia Valley Romance Kindle Edition
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(Though reviews are inherently subjective, I prefer to provide some organization to my opinions through the use of a personal rubric. The following notes may contain spoilers.)
Plot and Setting: 4.3 -- Plot is engaging. Has unique elements and no major holes. Setting is clear and believable. Timeline may be a bit hard to follow. A nice romance, with a large dose of difficult family dynamics, grief, and reconciliation. I appreciated the different elements of the plot and how they fit together into a cohesive whole. The timeline is pretty vague. It's apparently summer, based on gardens producing and day camps happening, but it really never says so. And it's hard to tell how much time is passing between scenes sometimes. Is the next scene days, weeks, or months later?
Characters: 4.3 -- Main characters are relatable, realistic, interesting, and dynamic. Some minor characters have depth, while others may be slightly stereotyped or simplified. Definite depth in some of the relationships between characters. I really appreciated that Layla and Andrew connect in ways that allow them to help each other, and that they each are inspired and supported by the other to make strides toward forgiveness and reconciliation with their fathers. I also liked how they sort of stumbled around each other for a while, then once they started being honest and open with each other, it was much smoother sailing. A lot of minor characters come and go, but a few are developed more and provide good support or advice for Layla or Andrew, especially Allie, Caroline, and Javier.
Mechanics and Writing: 4 -- A handful of typos, punctuation issues, or word errors. (<15/100 pgs) None of the errors seriously hinder understanding. Good use of POV. Generally skillful writing. Errors include: compound word and/or homophone confusion, mild punctuation or formatting issues (including a recurring problem with using hyphens where there should be dashes, and several places where the font got oddly smaller for a time), and some awkward sentences. POV alternates between Layla and Andrew.
Redeeming Value: 5 -- Well-developed, central, uplifting themes. Drugs, alcohol, violence, etc, are not glorified at all. No explicit sex scenes. Clear moral guidelines for behavior. Very clean, with nothing more than some kisses shown. There's also no violence, other than some definite anger and hurt in the various family relationships, which tends to manifest in yelling, making vicious accusations, or running and hiding. All of those things are presented with a slant toward being the one to start reconciliation -- the characters learn to listen to each other instead of just assuming they already know the other's motives, and to be humble enough to be the first to apologize. Also mentions loving people as they are, and touches on the damaging way men are trained not to discuss their emotions.
Personal Enjoyment: 4.5 -- I liked it a lot. Highly enjoyable and very entertaining. One I'll definitely read again.
This is about two people dealing with grief and various issues.
They had to learn to deal with issues and learn to work together with God's help.
As always it is so peaceful returning to Arcadia Valley and learning more about the foodie culture.
I look forward to the next book in the series.