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Friday, April 10, 2009

Lasting Love by Sharon A. Donovan

Lasting Love by Sharon A. Donovan
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Short (17 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 3 books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

When Vermont florist Abbey Jordan’s nursery manager quits a few days before Easter, she is left up the proverbial creek without a paddle. However, when she places it in God’s hands, she finds lasting love in a garden of roses. Brady Jones has a daughter to raise, is out of work, and knows a lot about cultivating roses. When Abbey meets him and hires him as the Horticultural Manager of her nursery, it seems like the answer to both of their prayers. Just on the brink of a budding romance, a fire destroys the nursery and buries all hope of love. Will their passion spark and resurrect or stay unlit beneath the burning bed of ashes?

Donovan’s "Lasting Love" is a short contemporary romance with a very direct plot and an engaging premise. The highlight of this work is the amazing and beautifully detailed backdrop. You can almost see the orchids, imagine the bouquets, and with very little effort, the warm dampness of a green house will fill your senses.

However, it is a small gem of a story that manages to be both predictable and overly precious. It is emotional while failing to be evocative.

The main character, Abbey Jordan, does have great depth, and it is quite easy to sympathize with her. Brady is certainly attractive – and their interest in one another is well established. The personal tragedy Abbey will face, and questions and reactions to blame, do not place her in the greatest light… and instead of rising to the occasion, seeking a resolution… her resolution feels overly contrived.

The quality of the writing certainly leaves nothing to complain about and perhaps ‘depth’ is the wrong thing to seek in this short a tale. I cannot say it was a favorite, as I’ve read this author’s work before and she typically does a wonderful job, although I still can imagine a whiff of that lavender. I’ll definitely read Donovan’s next effort, because I know she’s a talented author, and because it’s all there, just not quite here.