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Monday, September 21, 2009

Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska by Loree Lough

Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska by Loree Lough
Publisher: Summerside Press
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full (304 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Orange Blossom

A former marine is no match for the spunky Sam Sinclair. Bryce Stone has returned to his hometown of North Pole, Alaska, and he’s not very happy about it. “The Town Where It’s Christmas All Year Long” does not appeal to the self-admitted scrooge. What’s worse, Bryce must postpone his dream of opening a furniture shop when his aunt Olive retires and leaves him to manage the family’s cluttered Christmas boutique. When Bryce underestimates Sam, the inexperienced young woman he hires to run the store, it becomes a battle of wills, and the two soon find that they’re fighting for more than just the shop.

Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska is the newest book in Summerside Press’ series. In this story, we have an injured hero and a woman trying to make a place for herself in this world. With the help of God, they just might see what’s been staring them in the face.

Bryce Stone is a Marine and that’s a fact you never forget throughout the book. He served in Afghanistan and sustained an injury both physically and emotionally. Bryce’s injury includes scars on his face and an eye patch. Most people look at him in horror—except his new employee, Sam. His injury has changed his life in so many ways and he’s trying to figure everything out as the story opens.

Sam Sinclair loves the idea of living in North Pole. Having received a job offer as chef of the hotel restaurant, she sells her house and moves to North Pole. Only when she gets there, she finds her job has been given to someone else. What was God trying to tell her? Did he have some other plan for her life? Luckily, Sam is a glass-is-half-full kind of girl. Her spirit and faith are exactly what Bryce needs more than he ever knew.

When Bryce first meets Sam, he’s upset that his aunt hired a woman and he highly doubts she can actually do the job. Boy is he in for a surprise. They butt heads initially since he expects military precision and she doesn't always think everything through. But he had to admit she ran a smooth ship when it came to the shop.

Bryce is such a tragic character in many ways. So many injuries both inwardly and outwardly. What a blessing to see what the love of the Father can do in healing his fractured soul and allow him to love and be the partner Sam needs in her life. You really get a good feel for Bryce and who he is as a Marine and someone who'd fought overseas. Though I loved Sam, I would have thought we'd have seen her cooking more as a trained chef. I would have thought she would have desires and plans to find a way to be cooking again. I didn't feel her chef mind.

Olive, Bryce’s aunt, was a great secondary character. Oh boy, will she touch your heart! In her fifties and finally finding love for the first time, she’s got gumption and you could probably confide anything to her. She’s very down to earth and homey. It only takes a couple hours for Sam to bond with her. And before long, they are keeping each others secrets.

Miss Lough's writing style is straightforward and totally enjoyable. Such lovely, vibrant characters. You really get sucked into the story and find more pages have been read and time past than you thought.

It was great to read about an imperfect hero both physically and emotionally. A lot of heart in this story which touches on every single emotion. It will make you laugh; it will make you cry and in the end you will be very glad you took the time to read it. It’s not very often that a romance novel-even an inspirational one-leaves you with so much on your heart and on your mind. This is one I will not soon forget.

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