Title: The Rain Sparrow
Series: Honey Ridge, Book 2
Author: Linda Goodnight
Publisher: HQN Books
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
ARC Received From: Harlequin
Reviewed For: TLC Book Tours
A stranger's arrival in a small Southern town stirs up old secrets and new dreams in this beautiful story full of hope and haunting mystery, and with the power to win your heart
Renowned yet private, thriller writer Hayden Winters lives a life colored by lies. As he is deeply ashamed of his past, his hunger for an honest relationship and dreams of starting a family remain unsatisfied, and he can trust no one with his secrets. He's determined to outrun his personal demons, but the charming old Peach Orchard Inn and a woman whose presence is as gentle as a sparrow's song stops him in his tracks.
Carrie Riley is afraid of everything from flying to thunderstorms, and pretty much of life itself. But meeting the enigmatic writer staying at the inn emboldens her to learn everything about him. When they discover a vulnerable boy hiding at the inn, Hayden is compelled to help Carrie protect him. Soon they're led to a centuries-old mystery that haunts Hayden's sleep, and his only safe haven is Carrie. As the secrets of the past and present cause their lives to become entwined, all that's left to come to light is love—if the grim truth doesn't tear them apart first.
Hayden went to Honey Ridge to research for his next book. He didn't plan on meeting and making a connection with the local librarian Carrie. Carrie is an absolute darling. Her fear of pretty much everything made her one of the sweetest of contemporary heroines I've read about lately.
This probably could've been a typical modern day romance of famous guy meets small town girl, they fall in love, and have a happily ever forever. Except it wasn't.
Entwined with Hayden and Carrie's is another story, one that dates to post-Civil War and, strangely, mirrors their own.
The back and forth between times, present and 1867, brought a sense of foreboding and hope. Long buried secrets and pasts best left forgotten come to the forefront, not to be ignored but to be faced.
You know, I kept thinking, You can pick your friends but you can't pick your relatives, throughout this entire story. And while that does have some truth in it, the biggest truth was you are not defined by your past, your family, or their actions.
I really liked this story. It's sweet and intriguing, thought-provoking and evocative. In light of all I've read lately, the sweetness of this story took my breath away. If you don't mind dual timelines and/or dual romances under one title, you'll probably enjoy this as much as I did. It's a definite read and right up the alley for anyone wanting something clean, sweet, and gut-wrenching yet surprisingly amazing.
New York Times and USA Today Bestseller, Linda Goodnight is the winner of the RITA and other highly acclaimed awards for her emotional fiction. Active in orphan ministry, this former nurse and teacher enjoys writing fiction that carries a message of hope and light in a sometimes dark world. A country girl, she lives in Oklahoma.