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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Love in Bloom

Love in Bloom by Jules Bennett
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Books
Review by Sunflower

Claire Wilson's life was never more promising. She has boyfriend and a budding career as a nature photographer…until an accident robs her sight.
Now with no boyfriend, no career, Claire has chosen to shut the world out. Holed up in her little cottage, she is more than content to let life pass her by. Her dreams for tomorrow were stolen from her along with her vision.

Charming, single father, Jackson Akers has been paid in full for a landscaping job and he intends to see it through to the end – no matter how rude and irritated his new client is. When he learns of Claire's blindness, his creative mind kicks into high gear. She may want to live in seclusion, but he's hoping to change her mind.

Will Claire appreciate the heavily scented flowers and plants, the trickling waterfalls, and the textured paths Jackson has made for her? Claire has shut out the world, but has Jackson found a way in?

Claire Wilson lost more than her sight in the horrific car accident that also claimed a small child’s life. She lost her photography career, her self-confidence--even her willingness to leave the house. Her blindness could be temporary, if she can gather the courage and strength to undergo counseling. But right now, Claire wants only to be left alone, to wallow in self-recrimination and pity. Amy, her best friend, hires a team of landscapers to create a garden paradise in Claire’s backyard, hoping that Claire will come out of her shell. At first, Claire is unmoved, but as she gets to know the handsome head gardener, Jackson Akers, and his darling daughter Emma, she is drawn into a relationship that may heal both her heart--and her eyes.

Love in Bloom is a gardener’s delight. As Claire’s new garden takes shape, so does her relationship with the hunky Jackson, a long, tall Southern gentleman of the old school. The characters are well drawn, and because the author takes the time to give us their hidden thoughts, we feel we know them very well. The story itself is simple, and though the ending is never in doubt, there are enough trials and tribulations along the way to hold the reader’s interest. Jules Bennett takes us into Claire’s backyard, describing the sights, sounds and smells of a delightful variety of plants and features. The garden almost becomes a character in its own right, and Ms. Bennett knows how to make it come alive and grow.

A good spring or summer read that will have you out planting your own flowers.