Monday, May 2, 2011

Larkspur Cove - Lisa Wingate

Lisa Wingate is a veteran novelist who has released somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-15 Christian fiction books for women. "Larkspur Cove" can be read as a stand-alone novel. However, it is the first in a series and the second book will be released July 5, 2011. There is a wide variety of books available from this author. She has written several contemporary novels ranging from the fun and superficial (i.e. "Talk of the Town") to the serious and melancholy. "Larkspur Cove" lands on the serious side of the scale.
The book hops back and forth equally between the viewpoints of Andrea, a new divorcee, and Mart, an eligible game warden. Andrea's character is 38 and struggling to recover from her divorce from a philanderer ex-husband. She has a troubled junior-high student and juggles a new job as a Social Services aid. Mart is working through his own issues related to the death of his brother and nephew that took place three years ago. Both characters are flawed emotionally, and the story is about their journey to emotional and spiritual freedom with light romantic overtones and mystery.
On a scale of 1 to 5, I would give this book a 3.5 star. My reasoning is this: the emotions of the characters are deep, the plot is well thought out, but the mystery falls flat throughout the book until the last few chapters when it really becomes a page turner. Until then, reading the story made me feel a little depressed, as though I was taking on the emotional drama and burdens of a friend. Although it ends on a nice note, I wouldn't classify this one as a "feel good" book. I do want to give Lisa props for her description of the game warden; although she kept it safely conservative, the job description and character development of this hero/man's man was hot.
This book was a gift from the publisher in exchange for my free and unbiased opinion.

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