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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Time to Heal by Barbara Johannsen

A Time to Heal by Barbara Johannsen
Publisher: Devine Destinies Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (107 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Fennel

Rachael Walters is a social worker. She identifies with remorse and sorrow almost every day. But it wasn’t always the case. Once, she was a carefree young woman with goals and ambitions, but then a tragic accident left her scared physically and emotionally. Now, just getting through the day, proves to be a challenge. But then a kindly high school teacher, Coach Tom Montgomery, walks into her life and she can’t deny the attraction she feels. But what man would want a disfigured woman? Or one that carries emotional baggage? Can Rachael come to grips with her past and return the love Tom is offering?

What would you do if presented with a case too heavy to carry? Would you struggle on refusing all offers of help, or would you smile sweetly and thank that handsome hunk who offered to relieve you of your burden?

The author gives her heroine, Rachael Walters, the heaviest baggage you could imagine and the book deals with how Rachael copes with the baggage. In places I lost patience with Rachael, because the author has given her a high stress level job that involves her dealing with people of influence in all walks of life as well as the less fortunate, and yet Rachael spends a vast percentage of the book in tears.

Don’t get me wrong, she has good reason for the remorse she carries around like an anchor in a storm, but the way she handles it is so at odds with the cool composure she needs in her job I found myself in total agreement with the author’s hero, Coach Tom Montgomery.

Tom Montgomery has it all. Good looks, a positive outlook on life, compassion, and the ability to fall in love at first sight. Tom is the kind of guy you dream of. He’s there when you need him, but even he is tested by Rachael’s stubbornness.

The story in told in Rachael’s POV alone, which, these days, is unusual. Mostly it worked, but I did sometime want to get into Tom’s head to find out what made him stick around when Rachael kept giving him so much grief.

The secondary characters signal the way as the story unfolds and there are few surprises.

I have marked this review down slightly, because in places I felt I was being rushed through the story, and that left me wanting just a little more. The story is sweet, and though Tom was a great guy, I felt the author could have done more with Rachael. And, there are a couple of typos that pulled me out of the story while I tried to puzzle them out.

While the conflicts mainly deal with Rachael’s inner emotions which are deep, the writing is light and easy to read and the end is guaranteed to leave you with the ‘feel-good-factor’.