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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Finding Joy by Kara Lynn Russell

Finding Joy by Kara Lynn Russell
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary; Holiday; Inspirational
Length: Short (103 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Orchid

Orchard Hill Residents – lock up your hearts!

Pansy Parker and Misty Green are rivals in romance. Each believes she is the town’s best matchmaker. Now, they’re going to settle the question for once and for all. They’re keeping track to see who can make the most matches in a year’s time.

No heart is safe in Orchard Hill – not even their own.

Shy Joy Harper, the organist for Orchard Hill Community Church, has long been overlooked by Pastor Isaac. Then Pansy Parker announces she’s retiring and Joy is asked to fill in as secretary. With an unusually large number of weddings coming up and the Christmas holidays looming, Joy and Isaac put in a lot of hours together and he discovers a beautiful and caring woman beneath Joy’s reserved façade. Can he convince her that the only gift he wants for Christmas is her heart?

In the town of Orchard Hill, romance is in the air. In the last twelve months matchmakers Pansy and Misty have successfully brought together many couples. Now their sights are set on Pastor Isaac and Joy, the organist.

Unknown to the matchmakers Isaac has already fallen for Joy, but is reluctant to act on his attraction in case Joy is not ‘the one.’ He’s all too aware a failed romance would leave Joy open to the caustic comments of the gossips of Orchard Hill.

Shy, withdrawn Joy is attracted to Isaac, but would never dream of making any romantic move toward him. Instead she concentrates on feeding the wild birds in her garden and practicing her music and singing. Joy believes nobody has ever heard her sing, but doesn’t know Isaac has sometimes heard her when she practices in the church.

With two such individuals Pansy and Misty have their work cut out. They begin by making Joy act as the church secretary to bring her into close contact with the pastor. Isaac is worried that working closely with Joy will make things awkward between them.

Joy has decided it is time for her shyness to come to an end. She reluctantly accepts the job and forces herself to take up the challenge.

This book could have been a bit too sweet, but it wasn’t. Instead the feelings of Isaac and Joy were treated with tenderness and understanding. Christmas and religion fitted in perfectly leaving the warm feeling a child usually feels during the festive season. I was touched by the way the story developed and I finished the last page with a deep sense of satisfaction.