Author: Irene Hannon
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Series: Hope Harbor #9
Release Date: April 4, 2023
One house that deserves a second chance meets two hearts that deserve the same . . .
Buying a haunted house was never in Ashley Scott's plans, but when an intriguing opportunity drops into her lap after a major life setback, she finds herself trekking cross-country to Hope Harbor on the Oregon coast to launch a new life.
Wounded warrior Jonathan Gray isn't sure what to make of the attractive woman on his reclusive older neighbor's isolated property, but her presence is none of his business--until she enlists his help with an ambitious project. When Jonathan finds his interest in the new arrival becoming more personal than professional, however, his defenses go up. There's no room in his life--or his heart--for romance.
Yet as these two hurting souls join forces to restore life, laughter, and love to a historic estate, might they also find healing, hope, and happiness themselves?
Come home to Hope Harbor--where hearts heal . . . and love blooms.
Reviewer: Marie Edwards
I started the Hope Harbor series with the sixth book, Starfish Pier. I enjoyed it so much that I bought books #1-#5 in the series, but books #2-#5 remain on the TBR list. Usually, with a series, it is best to read the previous ones.
Charley is one of the rare characters from the series that has appeared in all novels. I’d love to see him get his own story or a “secondary” storyline.
There is a slight issue with a minor character (who died by suicide before the story’s events). Some people might find a sentence particularly triggering regarding the individual’s disability. Hannon only uses it once as an event in a character’s life which forces them to make a decision. It has no real connection to the plot, either.
The first line drew me right in …
“Maybe buying a haunted house wasn’t her best idea.”
With that first line, Charley and his famous tacos mark Ashley’s arrival in Hope Harbor. Ashley is “partnering” with the house owner (Rose) to restore and use it more purposefully. Ashley sees much potential in the house – though she does have a budget. Her partner, though, is willing to work with her.
Jon is hiding from the scars that he received in Afghanistan. He’s found a job where he can hide from the world. What he doesn’t count on is his lovely new neighbor. He wonders if his scars will cost him the job, though.
Ashley sees beyond that, and the two start a casual friendship to restore the house. Neither one is looking for romance and are content to be just friends. Despite his best intentions, Jon slowly begins to have feelings for Ashley while she tries to see that he isn’t like her ex.
It doesn’t take long for the masks to come off, walls to crumble, and Charley’s advice (and tacos) to reveal the layers of the past and open new doors – along with certain secrets in this heart-warming, heart-wrenching, second-chance romance that teaches us to see past the exterior as well as façades.
With new and familiar characters – Hope Harbor comes alive with each book and draws not only new residents to it but readers as well.
Hannon kept my attention from the first page to the last. The short chapters and fast pacing made this a quick read. I ended up reading it in three hours.
I love how Hannon wove the entire story together and even had me guessing about a 5-year-old named Lucy Lynn that Rose was caring for.
Readers of the previous books will want to check this one out. It reminds me of Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove series. Fans of that series might want to check this one out as well.
While Revell is a primarily Christian publisher and has two “men of faith” in it as characters, the faith references are more character-centric rather than plot-driven.
I am interested in a return trip to Hope Harbor.
Thank you to Revell for providing a complimentary review copy through Interviews and Reviews. A positive review was neither required nor requested. All words are mine.
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
Once again, I let myself be swept away to Hope Harbor, Oregon, in Irene Hannon’s new book, Windswept Way.
I’ve come to love this small-town community filled with caring, engaging, and endearing people. Featuring historian Ashley Scott, who jumps at the chance to turn a historic mansion by the sea into an event center, and Jonathan Gray, a wounded warrior who owns a landscaping business, this tale is full of inspiration and hope. With themes of looking at a person’s heart and what they’re like inside instead of outward appearances, it inspires and lifts without being preachy. I enjoyed seeing Ashley and Jon’s interactions and how their relationship changed and grew.
“Words are fine, but the language of the heart is more powerful.”
Seeing some of the characters from previous books in the series and hearing their wisdom and insights was fun. Charlie was there with his tacos and his food for thought. Father Murphy and Reverend Baker and their friendly, funny rivalry added levity. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy heartwarming contemporary romance.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Revell. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Rebecca Maney
"Maybe buying a haunted house wasn't her best idea."
Or perhaps, it was . . . not haunted after all. Honestly, if first impressions made any difference, spotting a chainsaw-wielding stranger at the front entrance was at least minimally unnerving. Transforming a beautiful historic property into an event venue was an ambitious dream, especially when the current owner was reportedly a recluse, but preservationist Ashley Scott was smitten with the thought of bringing the beautiful coastal estate at the end of Windswept Way back to life.
Wounded war veteran Jonathan Gray had come to terms with living a solitary life, his disfigurement only slightly marginalizing his professional landscaping business, but his personal life . . . . . who was he kidding, what personal life? So, "why was a drop-dead gorgeous woman visiting Edgecliff?" and what business was it of his? The next thing Jon knew, he was "sealing the deal" . . on a contract with Ashley Scott, the aforementioned "gorgeous woman".
Restoration; there's so much of that going on in Hope Harbor, isn't there? What a lovely story, written by an author whose characters display bits and pieces of all of us.. . . . coupled with a beautifully staged romance and an octogenarian whose life is far from over, and you have . . . "Windswept Way".
Oops, wait a minute, we cannot forget Charley and his sage advice; "Predictability has its virtues, but too much routine can get stale and bland. A touch of spice is as essential for life as it is for my tacos."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I also purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.
Reviewer: Paula Shreckhise
An enchanting story of a wounded warrior, Jon Gray, who had to change his career plans after extensive injuries.
Ashley Scott had her job go up in smoke but found a new opportunity in Hope Harbor. It was great to go back to one of my favorite fictional settings. I would love it to be real. The familiar people, Charley and his taco truck, the golfing buddy clerics, and even Floyd and Gladys, the seagulls, make it much more enjoyable.
The theme is looking beyond the physical trappings and into the heart. Many things can cause us to be reclusive, but God often works through others.
Ms. Hannon always infuses her stories with hope and faith that we can all take a lesson from. The community is welcoming, and people look out for each other. And romance is there waiting!
I love the premise of Rose wanting to partner with Ashley to bring life back to a beautiful Victorian mansion by making it into a venue for weddings and such. Second chances are not just for old houses but for wounded souls and recluses.
I am excited that there are more stories planned for Hope Harbor. I’m not ready to say goodbye yet!
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Tammy Lunsford
Heart-stirring romances are one of Irene Hannon's specialties. This story definitely pulled on my heartstrings. I actually shed a few tears. Three wounded souls are beaten down, all for entirely different reasons. These three converge on a beautiful estate on Windswept Way on the Oregon coast. They do not initially realize that their encounters with one another will dramatically change each of their lives.
Rose Fitzgerald is an elusive and mysterious lady of the manor who lives on the beautiful estate known as Edgecliff. She is a mystery to almost all in the small community of Hope Harbor. She is a recluse who never leaves the gates of her mansion, and the walls around her home are like a barrier to the outside world.
Ashley Scott takes a chance on an enticing opportunity to work on a rather ambitious project on the massive estate of Edgecliff. Rose and Ashley will soon meet, but Rose will still have a lot of walls up around her personal life, even as they begin to work together.
Jonathan Gray almost gave his life defending his country. In doing his service, he has scars, both visible and invisible, that have caused him to erect walls around his heart. He works in the community, but he is very antisocial.
Once Ashley and Rose establish a partnership to bring life back to Edgecliff, they enlist the landscaping services of Jonathan.
This was a wonderful inspirational story of second chances, renewing faith, and getting past our own human frailties and faults to see past outward appearances and look inside the heart.
The description of the property was breathtaking. I felt as if Hannon was transporting me into this beautiful estate.
I adored the characters of Father Murphy and Reverend Baker, who were both men of faith and leaders of their respective congregants. They loved to golf together and endlessly tease one another. They had me laughing out loud in several parts.
I wanted to protect the character of Jonathan. We are so judgmental of beauty or lack thereof, and his heart was broken so many times that it caused my heart to break for him.
Irene Hannon has once again crafted a poignant tale of romance that will fill your heart to overflowing. You will fall in love with the characters of this book and this entire series.
Thank you to Revell Books for a courtesy copy of this book through Interviews and Reviews. I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Reviewer: Conny Withay
“A beautiful woman would never want a man like him. He’d made his peace with that long ago…,” Jon reminds himself in Irene Hannon’s novel Windswept Way.
The ninth in the Hope Harbor series, this three-hundred-fifty-two-page paperback targets those interested in a romance about how inner beauty trumps outward vanity when living in a small town. Using slang words such as heck, dang, and drat, there is no profanity or overtly sexual scenes. The topics of war injuries and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes an excerpt from another book series, acknowledgments, the author’s biography, and advertisements.
In this current-day story based in a fictional coastal town in Oregon, thirty-two-year-old Ashley has left her job and a broken relationship in Tennessee to take a chance in restoring and promoting an old run-down Victorian house on the coast. With the elderly owner’s approval, she wants to turn it into a showplace for beautiful events. When she meets wounded warrior Jonathan, she must consider what “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” really means. As the house gets restored, Ashley and Jon have to move on from their pasts to heal their shattered hearts.
This is a quick read about abiding love and strong faith in one another as hurting souls restore life, laughter, and love. I appreciate Rose’s role in how life changed for her. If you have read others in the series, you will remember some of the cherished characters, such as Charlie, the clerics, and two seagulls. I live in Oregon, and I like how the book’s scenery is well-depicted, and the town is realistic. It can be read as a stand-alone book.
Those who do not like continuing stories of small-town living and everyone knowing each other’s business may not care for this clean Christian romance. Those who do not believe in God may pass it up, although it is not the book's theme. The romance is predictable.
I loved that maps of the town were included, but a list of characters would be helpful. I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.
If you like a romance that focuses on one’s inner, not outer, characteristics, this tale of acceptance in a small town would be a cozy read on a stormy day at the coast.
Thanks to Revell and Interviews & Reviews for this complimentary book. I am under no obligation to give a positive review.
Reviewer: Monica Huyser
Ashley Scott needed to find a new job. She loves being a historian but felt she needed a new adventure. In Windswept Way by Irene Hannon, Ashley moves to Hope Harbor in the 9th book in the series.
As Ashley works to turn a beautiful older Victorian house into an event center, with the help of the elderly owner named Rose, she meets a variety of townspeople. I love that characters from past books continue on in the series. Charlie, the artist with a taco stand, is one of my favorites.
In Windswept Way, Ashley gets to know Jonathan Gray, a former vet who owns a landscape company that she hires to do work to restore the gardens and grounds to get the mansion up and running for events. Will the sparks that fly between Ashley and Jonathon lead to more?
I enjoyed Windswept Way so much that I read it within a few days. I like that Hannon had a male main character who is a veteran and has physical imperfections as a result. I could understand the challenges he faced in our Instagram-perfect society.
I appreciate how the characters handled certain situations and how real they seemed to be. Their conversations seemed quite realistic. I also liked how faith played a part in this book and seemed quite genuine in several characters, as well as how it was presented. I always appreciate Charlie's elusive nature, gentle faith, and practical guidance. He certainly is a favorite character.
Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was the older character Rose. She slowly grew emotionally and spiritually to make changes in her life to help others too. It is a good reminder that we are never too old to try new things or be used by God to help others. As I shared, Windswept Way is a part of the Hope Harbor series, but it could also be read as a stand-alone and enjoyed that way.
I received a complimentary copy of this book courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews. All opinions within this review are my own.
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