Is it Any Wonder by Courtney Walsh
Published by Tyndale House Publishers April 06, 2021
Genre: Christian, Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Can a promise made as kids bring them back together as adults? In this Nantucket-set beach read, “master of the genre” (Midwest Book Review) Courtney Walsh delivers a sparkling inspirational romance about first love and second chances.
Twelve years ago, Cody Boggs and Louisa Chambers made a pact that no matter where their lives took them, they’d return to Nantucket Island’s Brant Point Lighthouse on July 30, their shared golden birthday, and continue their tradition of exchanging birthday wishes. But that was before a tragic accident upended both of their lives, irrevocably pulling them apart.
Their worlds collide just months before that particular day when Louisa’s fledgling event planning company is hired by the local Coast Guard station, where she discovers Cody has recently returned to the island as the second in command. As they plan a regatta fundraiser, hoping to promote positive PR in the community, neither can deny the fireworks each encounter ignites. But working together also brings up memories of the day Cody’s father died, revealing secrets that have Cody and Louisa questioning everything they thought they knew and felt about their families and each other.
Courtney Walsh brings readers another marvelous Nantucket Love Story that deals with loss, love and finding your way home again.
Courtney Walsh is definitely aiming at the heart with this latest story taking place in Nantucket. Louisa Chambers is an event and experience planner for the Island and loves to make special moments in other’s lives even better with the perfect setting. Her young business has finally begun to hit it’s stride and gain the needed reputation to bring people to her instead of her needing to seek clients out. And the fulfillment she finds in her every day tells her that she is just where she is meant to be. Too bad her parents and ex-boyfriend can’t seem to understand that. If they would only take her dreams seriously, they might see that she’s happy and doesn’t need anyone else to direct her life. But there is sadness that lingers in Louisa’s soul over the loss of her best friends’ dad 12 years before that caused Cody to disappear from her life. Louisa feels she is to blame for what happened and nothing she does seems to lessen the pain of that loss. So, she pushes the dark thoughts to the back of her mind and works hard to make others’ lives brighter. But the past never stays behind for long and the pain will be shoved back into Louisa’s focus again with the appearance of her former best friend, Cody Boggs. Coast Guard Executive Petty Officer Cody Boggs has been stationed on the last place he ever wanted to be again – Nantucket Island. It holds both the best and worst memories of his life and was the place of his father’s accidental death – a death Cody is responsible for. His first training outing with the team comes with a scary task: rescuing a swimmer being pulled out to sea. Finding it impossible to remain on-board ship when he knows he can safely rescue the swimmer, Cody disregards procedure and dives right in. Returning to the ship with the unconscious woman, he prays he is not too late. Thankfully, the woman coughs up the intake of sea water and regains consciousness quickly, revealing the last person Cody ever wanted to see again – Louisa Chambers. Hoping he can return her to shore and go back to his life without future interactions, Cody ensures Louisa is taken to the hospital to be checked out. But they will be spending more time together than he wants because his Master Chief is looking to boost the CG image on the island and has designated Cody to work with Louisa on a morale campaign. While both of them see the merits of this idea, neither Cody nor Louisa want to relive the pain of the past. However, if they are going to move beyond the past, they will have to face it and forgive each other for what happened. And as they work together on the campaign, they will discover that the friendship they once had is still there, and a chance for something more if they are brave enough to reach for it. This book was such a heart-wrencher but in the very best way. The pain, angst and loss was so very strong for both Cody and Louisa and I found myself recalling the pain of my own losses in empathy. They lost so many things with the death of Daniel Boggs and neither of them had really dealt with any of them. I was so glad to see that Ms. Walsh let them work through all the aspects of those losses in the pages of this story. It gave the story depth and gave me a great connection to the characters. I also loved the rough but beautiful romance that grew between them. It was not perfect in any way other than they ended up together but that’s what made it strong and real. Louisa and Cody had to work through their own assumptions, pain and emptions and each challenged the other to become better people. When their first kiss in twelve years finally came, wow! was it a good one. Ms. Walsh put it at the perfect moment and I did a happy dance when I read it. I was so glad to see good finally come through all the hurt and that they were going to take a chance on a future together. I will certainly be recommending this story to others and hoping they will find it as wonderful as I did. I will also be adding a physical copy to my shelves because I already want to read it again.
I received this temporary complimentary (free of charge)E-book from Tyndale House Publishers in order to provide a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.