"He'd loved me even then. Why hadn't I had the eyes to appreciate it?"
" . . . he simply couldn't imagine loving another, couldn't imagine them not being together. Who else could he laugh with, fight with, cry with, love with? Who else could he picture by his side into old age?"
It seems that Josie Martin and Tripp Colton have love issues; it's not that they don't love, can't love, haven't loved, could love . . . but the possibility of love has taken a gargantuan step backward . . . for the two would soon become three, and therein lies the problem. And Tripp doesn't even know it yet. Would he even try to understand if he did?
Instead of being forthright with her family about her expectant state, Josie Martin arrives home and pulls the entire crew into her mother's dream; converting their great aunt's grand Victorian home into a bed and breakfast plus bookstore, using Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House as an inspiration. But all the hammering and nailing and restoring does little to soothe Josie's heart when it pitter-patters at an accelerated rate every time Tripp Colton steps into a room. She has pulled the two of them into an impossible situation, were it not for grace.
A lovely story that amplifies the trials and triumphs of authenticity, demonstrates what it means to love unconditionally and reminds every reader how much courage it takes to forgive, even when it's impossible to forget.
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms."
* 3.5 stars. I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.
Ashamed of being duped by her handsome psychology professor, Josie Martin returns to Maine too proud to admit her foolishness to those closest to her. As the one-year anniversary of her father’s death approaches, she seeks solace in an old friend, Tripp Colton, and a new business venture that will prove to herself and her loved ones that she is still capable of success despite her overwhelming failure.
When Josie announces she will not return to school to finish her graduate degree but wishes to remain in Camden to help her mother achieve a lifelong dream, the entire family gets behind her idea to open and run a bed and breakfast inspired by Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House. Even Tripp gets excited about restoring Josie’s great-aunt's Victorian home for the purpose, but when Josie’s unexpected news is revealed, their friendship and the new feelings blooming between them are threatened.
As summer gives way to fall, Josie struggles with decisions regarding her family’s future, dealing with past mistakes she cannot run from, and her feelings for Tripp. When the opportunity for grace comes along, will she take it? Or will she continue to allow her failures to define her worth?
This is Book 1 in The Orchard House Bed and Breakfast Series. A contemporary twist on the well-loved classic, Little Women, readers will fall in love with the Martin family—Maggie, Josie, Lizzie, Bronson, Amie, and their mother Hannah—each trying to find their own way in the world and each discovering that love, home, and hope are closer than they appear.
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