Thursday, April 20, 2023

Review: Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon

Series: Hope Harbor #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Revell 
Released: June 30, 2015
346 pages
About the Book:

Tracy Campbell never wanted to leave Hope Harbor, Oregon, or the idyllic three-generation cranberry farm where she grew up. But life--and love--altered her plans. When tragedy strikes and changes her plans yet again, she finds herself back in her hometown with a floundering farm to run and a heartbreaking secret. Romance is not on her agenda. Nor is it on Michael Hunter's. The visitor from Chicago has daunting secrets of his own. But when Tracy recruits him to help save a struggling charitable organization, the winds of change begin to sweep through Hope Harbor, bringing healing, hope, and love to countless lives--including their own.


My Rating & Thoughts:    

We meet Michael who has just arrived in Hope Harbor and he's on a leave of absence from work for a couple months and trying to find some peace and make decisions about the future. He is a recent widow, about 18 months ago he lost his wife. He meets Tracy who is a Hope Harbor resident and runs a cranberry farm with her uncle, who is basically raised her. Tracy is also a widow after losing her husband. Both say they are never getting married again, they loved their spouses but feel like their previous actions show them that they are not spouse material. We also meet Anna, the self-imposed hermit, whose life completely changes after one little act. She randomly ends up inviting Michael to live in her guest house for a little bit after meeting him at the harbor. Michael is able to draw her out a little bit and share her story. Tracy and Michael are both in their late 20s/early 30s and Anna is retired with a son around Michael's age.

Playing a prominent role is Charlie who is a taco stand owner and an artist and lives as a free spirit doing his own thing. He is an eccentric character and seems to always tell Tracy and Michael what they need to hear at that exact moment. I felt like the story moved a bit slow at times and the number of widow’s kind of bothered me. In addition to Tracy, Michael, Tracy’s uncle, and Anna being widows there is also mention of a seagull said to be a widow after losing his partner. It was a bit overwhelming and I was like can we get some other back story for characters.

I struggled to connect with either Tracey or Michael, and this made it hard for me to cheer for them. There were times I really liked Tracey but there were also times when she annoyed me, such as when she was rude to Michael for no good reason. My favourite characters were two secondary characters, Anna and Uncle Bud. I loved how Uncle Bud teased Tracey but also voiced his true opinions to her which got her to evaluate her true feelings. I became invested in Anna’s story wanting to know what caused her to shut the world out and how her life would be changed, I was pleased with the ending she was given. 

The descriptions of Hope Harbor were so wonderfully don that I could easily picture the setting. Irene Hannon is one of my favourite authors and just because this book didn’t have me loving the main characters it won’t stop me from reading her books. 

(I purchased my copy of this book; opinions expressed 
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

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