Monday, May 29, 2017

Review: What Hope Remembers

What Hope Remembers
By Johnnie Alexander
Misty Willow #3
Revell, 2017


When you need a new beginning, sometimes the best place to start is home

When Amy Somers leaves her job as a lobbyist, she moves to Misty Willow, well aware that she's crossing bridges she'd burned years before. With all the mistakes she's made and the things she's done, she can hardly believe that happiness will find her--especially when Gabe Kendall, her first crush and her first kiss, rides back into her life atop a buckskin mare.

A former Marine, Gabe is at loose ends after serving a prison sentence for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He sees beyond Amy's hard exterior to the girl he once knew and loved, and he longs to see her open her heart. Yet with his vision clouded by shame for his past and fears about the future, it's difficult to see the path ahead.

But the memory of that long-ago kiss just may have the power to reignite a romance that brings out the best in both of them.

My thoughts

The Misty Willow series is one of my favorites. Each story is well written, filled with rich characterization and engaging storylines – and there is a certain “something” that resonated with me and captured my emotions. Amy and Gabe’s story in What Hope Remembers is a poignant, heartwarming conclusion. It’s primarily a contemporary romance with a bit of suspense, especially toward the end.

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness
and in trust shall be your strength.”
Isaiah 30:15

This verse from the beginning beautifully captures the essence of Amy and Gabe, two characters so real that they don’t seem fictional. Amy, a secondary character in the previous two books, wasn’t very likeable and I longed for her story to be told. Christian fiction at its best conveys a redemptive spiritual journey and that’s exactly what we experience as her journey unfolds.

Amy presented a cold exterior; she had worked hard, often at the expense of others, to climb that proverbial corporate ladder – until a life-altering event brings her back to Misty Willow, where she is confronted with a first love. Gabe is such an appealing character and the chemistry between them is palpable.

Both Gabe and Amy have a past, present and future that feature prominently … a past with haunting regrets … a present of uncertainty, not quite belonging, seeking … and a future filled with hope and promise. Most beautiful of all, What Hope Remembers is a story that reflects all that is possible through God’s amazing grace.

Highly recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book from the author and Revell. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Johnnie Alexander is the award-winning author of Where Treasure Hides and Where She Belongs. Johnnie is an accomplished essayist and poet whose work has appeared in the Guideposts anthology, A Cup of Christmas Cheer

In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with her grandchildren, and taking road trips. She lives near Memphis, Tennessee.


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