Spring Raine by Delia Latham
Published by Pelican Book Group February 24, 2017
Genre: Christian, Romance
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
An uncharacteristic, last-minute decision to do something “wild and crazy” before entering the stressful world of forensic science sends Raine Presley to Cambria, California. Against a cloud of disapproval from her slightly manipulative, over-protective parents, she signs a seasonal lease at the beautiful Paradise Pines Lodge…and winds up over her head in life and love.
Declan Keller’s just minding his own business—literally—when Raine drops into his world and turns it upside down. He’s far too busy carving beautiful shapes out of chunks of wood to be babysitting a gal from Pasadena. Even so, his father’s promise to an old friend obligates him, despite a looming deadline that could make or break his career in the art world. He’s praying for anything but Raine when she comes along.
Neither Declan nor Raine is prepared for the seemingly divine influence of Paradise Pines—and Miss Angelina Love. A mysterious lady who may or may not own the lodge, Miss Angie possesses an amazing talent for mending ruffled feathers, spouting proverbs, and somehow bending even the most determined of hearts to the power of love.
Delia Latham’s first book in the Paradise Pines series will be a delight to her readers looking for a good romance, an insight into the power of Godly relationships, and the joy that comes from discovering one’s true calling in life.
Not having previously read a book by this author, I was curious to see her writing style and ability to create and complete a multi-level plot . There is always a bit of skepticism when I am presented with a new-to-me author, skepticism that thankfully gave way to enjoyment as I read further into Ms Latham’s first Paradise Pines story. I was most happy to see that she made the most of the pages in her story, given it was shorter than the usual length of novels. She jumped right into the story, drawing me in with her lovely descriptions of the Paradise Pines lodge and its unusual owner – making me wish I could spend a vacation in the home of sweet Angelina Love. And her main character, Raine, was one I could relate to, both with parental expectations and discovering the path God has called me to walk. Although my parents were never in any way the extremists that Raine’s parents seem to be, I knew growing up that I was expected to give my best efforts to my schooling and personal life. But Raine finds herself in need of what my parents encouraged but hers did not – a break to decide if her life was headed in the direction that would most glorify God. And her three month stay at Paradise Pines will certainly bring her the answers she desires most – how to honor the time and efforts her parents poured into her life and still do what God would have her do. Ms. Latham used Raine to tell a story that illustrates the importance of a close relationship with God that will lead to finding the path He has planned for you. How fun it was to walk along side Raine as she discovered the joy to be found all around her in the Creation of God as well as opening her eyes to seeing those around her who had lost hope of finding a place to belong. Raine meets two young teens who both seem in need of someone to care that they exist – meetings that spark a desire to establish a place for them and others who need a home and family to call their own. But Raine will have to make the choice of whether to return to the life waiting for her or stay in Cambria to run the new home, Chrysalis. And to all this wonderful drama Ms. Latham adds a sweet romance between Raine and Ms. Angelina’s neighbor Declan Kellar. Declan is happy with his quiet existence, carving works of art from wood in preparation for a gallery showing. He has little time for the favor his father asks of him to keep an eye on a friend’s “spoiled” daughter who is staying next door for the next three months, but he can’t refuse his father’s request. Little does he know that meeting Raine Presley will change his life in many ways, and all of them for the better. I loved that Ms. Latham had them become friends first before they moved on to romance. There was a real credibility that came through and helped me connect with them in a better way – from feeling joy at their first kiss to feeling the intense hurt they both felt when Raine breaks up with Declan after finding out her father hired him as he bodyguard. Ms. Latham’s story was one I truly enjoyed and will most certainly re-read. I loved the way she described the incredible power of God that radiated from Angelina Love and depth of her relationship that would lead Raine to seek a real relationship with God herself. And one of her sub-characters Shay was one of the best I’ve read in some time; her overwhelmingly kind and loving personality reminding me of several friends God has brought into my life. How good it was to be reminded that God gives us just what and whom we need when we are seeking to serve Him with our lives. I will certainly be recommending this story to others and be purchasing a copy of this and the rest of the series in the near future.
I received this E-book free of charge from Pelican Book Group via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.