Blurb: Memories of motherhood and marriage are fresh for Julia Presley–though tragedy took away both years ago. Finding comfort in the routine of running the Peach Orchard Inn, she lets the historic, mysterious place fill the voids of love and family. No more pleasure of a man’s gentle kiss. No more joy in hearing a child call her Mommy. Life is calm, unchanging…until a stranger with a young boy and soul-deep secrets shows up in her Tennessee town and disrupts the loneliness of her world.
Julia suspects there’s more to Eli Donovan’s past than his motherless son, Alex. There’s a reason he’s chasing redemption and bent on earning it with a new beginning in Honey Ridge. Offering the guarded man work renovating the inn, she glimpses someone who–like her–has a heart in need of restoration. But with the chance discovery of a dusty stack of love letters buried within the lining of an old trunk, the long-dead ghosts of a Civil War romance envelop Julia and Eli, connecting them to the inn’s violent history and challenging them both to risk facing yesterday’s darkness for a future bright with hope and healing.
Review: A story of heartbreak, redemption, healing and learning to love again. This is a low intensity, gently paced book that, while it may have some darker subjects, still focuses on turning all of that towards a positive direction.
Both Eli and Julia are scarred by life and tragedy, but neither character comes across as dependent or hopeless. They may feel beaten down, but they still try to be something better than just broken and needing someone else to fix them. Their relationship is about helping each other rather than needing someone else to take care of it all for them.
It does have a time split between now and events long past. Not often my favorite, but this was done well. We see some parallels between the characters from both time frames so we understand the purpose behind having that in the story beyond just a plot device.
In all a solidly good, sweet story.