Wednesday, September 8, 2021

ASPEN CROSSROADS by Janine Rosche, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

Although this book centers around some gritty, somewhat heavy subjects, the author handles them sensitively and carefully, ultimately infusing light, hope, faith, and forgiveness into this compelling story of redemption. Janine Rosche’s signature wit and humor add a layer of lightheartedness to this poignant tale. Though most of the main characters are hurting, broken people, they are realistic and engaging, and I was rooting for them to find success and happiness in their lives. 
With a setting in small-town Whisper Canyon, Colorado, which aptly describes the favorite pastime of many of the inhabitants of the place, and a premise of a handsome, compassionate Jace Daring trying to give victims of trafficking a new start in life, this book pulled me in and kept me riveted to the end. The only part I was a little hesitant about was the cavern scene. Since I’m very claustrophobic, I had to take a little breather to hyperventilate a bit.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy heartfelt stories of redemption and hope, with a caution that there could be triggers due to the subject matter. I’m looking forward to reading more about these characters in the rest of the Whisper Canyon series. 4.5 stars
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author and publisher. All opinions are my own.
BackCover Blurb:
To protect those most vulnerable, Haven Haviland must trust her heart--and her regrets--to a mysterious newcomer in this moving contemporary romance.

Few in the community of Whisper Canyon have actually met Jace Daring, a handsome recluse who lives at Aspen Crossroads, the farm at the edge of town. But that doesn't stop the rumors about the multiple women who live with him. He must protect the truth--that his farm-to-table restaurant will provide new livelihoods for women rescued from human trafficking--or he risks the safety and futures of those relying on him. But he can't do it alone.

Haven Haviland has always been everyone's safe place to fall until one mistake closes her counseling practice and leaves her open to the town's gossip. Trusting men has gotten her in trouble before. However, accepting Jace's job offer to mentor the rescued women seems like the perfect way to right her wrongs.

When the mayor's campaign to clean up Whisper Canyon targets Aspen Crossroads, the restaurant comes under fire, dangers from the women's pasts are awakened, and Haven's sins are exposed for all to see. Jace would sacrifice himself to save Haven and the women under his care, but his efforts might not be enough. And in the end, it might not be the women most in need of saving after all.
Berkley Publishing, August 2021
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