Saturday, April 18, 2015

Spring in Sweetwater County by Ciara Knight

Published & Release Date: Defy the Dark Publishing, April 29, 2014

Time and setting: Present Day, USA      

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length: 196 pages

Heat Level: 1 Sweet Heart

Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns

Forty years after the death of her true love, Judy Gaylord discovers he’s alive. With the guilt of her falling into the arms of his cousin to console her grief, she now must face the man she betrayed. 

Dr. James Benjamin has dedicated his life to helping people deal with their post-traumatic stress disorder in hopes of forgetting about his own trauma. Not wanting to risk the safety of others, he’s spent decades alone, but when he sees the woman he never forgot from before the war, his heart awakens. 

When circumstances force Judy and James to work together, they soon discover old feelings never faded. Judy must forgive herself and James will have to face his fear or they will miss their second chance.

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Vikki’s Musings

What a great addition to the Sweetwater County series! I liked Judy Gaylord's character a great deal in the first book and was pleased to see that this second book was about her and her lost love, James Benjamin. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I am a new fan of Ciara Knight. Her writing style is smooth and flowing and the pacing is fast, especially for a sweet romance.

Judy had been engaged to James Benjamin, but before he was due to come home from Vietnam, she receives the terrible news that he was missing in action, presumed dead. Crushed, she turns to James' cousin for comfort, which turned into a bit too much comfort. When Judy discovers she's pregnant, she marries Michael.

While she grows to love Michael, it is never the heart pounding, breath taking kind of love she felt for James. Now Judy is a widow, her son Eric is grown and getting married. Her business with Lisa is taking off, and she's content with her life.

All that chances when James shows up in town to find papers, proving he did return from Vietnam after all. When she meets him again all the same old feelings return. Suddenly Judy has the opportunity to realize her long lost dream, but so much time has passed. Is it too late for them? Can they re-ignite their love and fulfill their dreams from all those years before, or will the nightmares that kept James from returning to her drive them apart?

While this story is shorter, more of a novella than a full length book, it is a fully fleshed out story with wonderful characters. I enjoyed reading about Eric and Lisa’s continuing romance. That is one of the things I like most about series is getting to see glimpses of favorite characters from previous books.
I do want to mention the narration. Lisa Baarns does an excellent job, bringing each character to life. I could easily distinguish between the characters through her change in voice tone and speech patterns. For Judy, she would speed up, allowing me to hear the vibrant personality of her character. At other times, she speaks slower, such as with Lisa, giving me the chance to hear the calm demeanor of her character. That is a great technique, one that I have not noticed before.    

Spring in Sweetwater County is the best kind of reunion story. It shows that love can endure, even when time and distance keeps this couple apart. The feelings are real and painful for Judy and James. This is a story of finding lost love for a couple approaching their golden years. That is a story line rarely explored. Ms. Knight does it in this charming and emotionally –charged love story. I highly recommend this wonderful, sweet romance. I am confident that you will enjoy James and Judy’s story as much as I did. Happy reading!

Author Bio:

Ciara Knight writes to 'Defy the Dark' with her young adult speculative fiction books. Her most recent Amazon best-seller, Escapement, book I of The Neuamrian Chronicles, released to acclaimed reviews securing a Night Owl Top Pick and five stars from InD'Tale Magazine.

When not writing, she enjoys reading all types of fiction. Some great literary influences in her life include Edgar Allen Poe, Shakespeare, Francine Rivers and J K Rowling.

Her first love, besides her family, reading, and writing, is travel. She's backpacked through Europe, visited orphanages in China, and landed in a helicopter on a glacier in Alaska.

Ciara is extremely sociable and can be found at Facebook @ciaraknightwrites, Twitter @ciaratknight, Goodreads, Pinterest, and her website

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