Author: Tari Faris
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Restoring Heritage #2
Release Date: September 8, 2020
Welcome back to Heritage, Michigan--the small town with a big heart.
When she hears that the town of Heritage is looking for a new librarian, Libby Kingsley jumps at the opportunity. Little did she know the library is barely more than a basement room stuffed with dusty, outdated books. What the community really needs is a new building. But the only funds available are those being channeled into the new town square, and the landscape architect in charge of the project wants nothing to do with her plans.
All Austin Williams wants to do is get the town square project finished, and he hopes it is enough to save the family business. Then he can extricate himself from the town that reveres the brother who cost him so much. But the local media and the town's new librarian seem to be conspiring against him at every turn. Will the determined bookworm find her way into his blueprints--and possibly even his heart?
Reviewer: Rebecca Maney
"Why do we have such a hard time being friends?"
It may have all started after Libby Kingsley's dog postponed Austin William's opportunity to breed his own dog, due to a not-so-little- as-it-turned-out misunderstanding about fences. Libby's welcome mat shrunk even further when her brother and sister-in-law unexpectedly headed to the hospital with a medical emergency just minutes after her arrival in Heritage, leaving Libby alone in their home with several simple tasks; one of them being, "Would you mind delivering the cookies while they are fresh?". And thus, the so-called "friendship" with Mr. Mean Hot Neighbor began.
Libby had come to Heritage with high hopes of starting over. Becoming the librarian in the small up and coming (they hoped) little town was a dream come true for her. However, her expectations quickly dimmed when the town's library turned out to be an old dusty room in the the basement of Heritage's town hall; piled high with dirty, outdated books. Would moving and renovating an old one room school house into a new library be worth working with Austin Williams and his brother, Nate? Now those two have a history of their own that needs a make-over.
Grace and forgiveness take center stage in this light, easy read. Or perhaps it isn't so light after all when you consider the spiritual challenges this book navigates with the steadying power of the Gospel. While the characters and dialogue could benefit from a bit more development, the messaging is authentic and the romantic tensions more than guarantee some intense page turning.
"Forgiveness is never deserved. It's a gift. It you can earn a gift, it's not a gift anymore - - - it's a wage."
I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishing through Interviews and Reviews. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
"Forgiveness is never deserved. It's a gift. If you earn a gift, it's not a gift anymore - it's a wage... Unforgiveness breeds anger and bitterness. I don't want that for me. And I don't want it for them. Because that kind of bitterness spills all over those close to you."
What an incredible novel. Until I Met You is one of the best summer reads of 2020! Tari Faris' second novel will make you laugh, dance with joy, sob with the heartbreaks yet remain hopeful as two couples find themselves and each other in a small Michigan town called Heritage. This book has everything a reader could ask for in an inspirational contemporary romance book - fun antics and great banter between Austin and Libby, achingly beautiful friendship with regrets between Nate and Olivia, outside forces pulling the brothers Austin and Nate apart, broken pasts that need to be forgiven, and grace that covers all. You will never want to leave Heritage once you step inside this town and get to know the people who make Heritage what it is. I would recommend reading the prequel novella and the first book in the series to acquaint yourself with the cast of characters; it will make for a richer reading experience.
Nate's brother Austin is in town to rebuild the town square as a landscape architect to resuscitate his family's business. Luke's sister Libby becomes Austin's next-door neighbor. She is also new to town as the town librarian hired to revive the library. Their first encounter starts on the wrong foot, and their interactions go further sideways every time they meet. Austin's grumpiness and Libby's anxiety both hide their past hurts, but their softer and sweeter sides emerge as their relationship blossoms.
Nate, the pastor in town, and Olivia, a journalist whose roots are in Heritage, are not newcomers to the series, but their story finally plays out in this book. Nate's struggle with his past and truly accepting forgiveness and Olivia's frustration with finding peace and fulfillment in love and career are real, raw, and heart-wrenching.
I received a copy of the book from Revell/Baker Publishing Group. I was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
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