Summer is a time of beauty in an orchard, but spare a
thought for those who work keeping the trees pruned and
healthy, reducing weeds, picking the ripe apples. Jenna
Crest works with her father in this gentle romance APPLE
ORCHARD BRIDE. Having had some bad experiences, and low in
confidence, Jenna has been content to hide away on the
family farm and oversee the orchard.
Toby Holcomb who went to school locally, has endured a
depressive few years but got back on his feet. He now has
custody of a seven-year-old niece. There's no better place
to raise a child than the town near Lake Michigan that he
once scorned. Even if he has to eat his words, he's coming
home. Jenna, however, is not pleased to see Toby, who was
known for going off the rails. But when her father comes
down with a scary and progressive illness, she realizes she
has no choice but to accept the help being offered.
I like the realistic coverage of a progressive disability,
PPMS. The household has to adapt to having someone who is
less able to walk or carry glassware. A motorised wheelchair
is an advantage because Jenna's dad no longer has to use his
energy getting around, so he can do more with the family.
But it will require a ramp and reorganization of rooms.
Quite typically, as the onset of the illness was gradual,
the house has become run down; ill people do not have the
energy to do more than urgently needed work. Jenna can see
that a strong pair of hands would be useful.
This series is called 'Goose Harbor' and clearly a whole
community has been established in the books by now. I had
not read any before, but we meet the good folks at church.
Kasey, Toby's niece, is a well-realized character in her own
right, and the fact that she has her own store of sad
thoughts gives her a lot in common with Jenna. Coping skills
come better with maturity, so Jenna is finally able to share
her thoughts and help the lonely child. This is a really
nice touch. Expect a lot of honest discussions and sharing
of emotions, with several mentions of inspirational strengths.
The title APPLE ORCHARD BRIDE and cover, rather reveals the
outcome, but Jessica Keller isn't writing for suspense fans.
Enjoy this summertime romance tale full of wholesome
flavours like apple pie, cider, apple dumplings, apple
butter, and jelly.
When Toby Holcomb becomes guardian to his cousin's daughter,
he goes from hard-living bachelor to father without a clue.
One thing he can do is give Kasey a stable home.
Returning to Goose Harbor, he takes a job at his childhood
friend's apple orchard. But Jenna Crest isn't ready to
forgive him for his past mistakes. Desperate for sweet
Jenna's help in raising his little girl, Toby vows to make
amends to the woman he wronged so many years ago. Suddenly,
he and Jenna and young Kasey are feeling more and more like
a family. But convincing Jenna he's a changed man will take
all the love in his heart.