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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Paradox by JoAnn Carter

Paradox by JoAnn Carter
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Inspirational romance
Length: Full Length (54 pages)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Lavender

Lilly Holland’s passion is flowers-not people. All she’s ever dreamed of was a peaceful life surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation. The exact opposite of what life is like at the touristy Holland Lodge in the small town of Paradox. So, why does she feel like God is nudging her to go? He, if anyone, should know better than ask this of her.

Ric Walker, Holland Lodge’s grounds keeper, is Lilly’s only link to sanity. His steady presence and strong faith encourages her through this trying situation. However, that sanity is threatened as she realizes her feelings for him are changing into something more, something deeper.

Will Lilly learn that Paradox is more than a town’s name, but rather a divine place where God can reveal His power, bring healing, and love, just when she thinks all hope is gone?

Lilly just got blindsided with something she’s not sure she can handle. In comes Ric, a man who works for her parents. They renew a friendship as he helps her deal with a family crisis. Then growing feelings for Ric tug at her heart, and he feels the same way, but with all that’s going on, how can they be anything but friends?

Lilly puts aside her own business, a horticulture shop, to travel and run her family’s ski lodge. She’s not up for it. However, she heads to Paradox, a tourist town, to do her duty. When her employee at the flower shop has to leave town suddenly, what can Lilly do?

On top of all this, she feels distant from her family. Trouble just keeps piling on, and the tension grows in this delightful story. What does Lilly do? She prays, asking for help. It turns out that as a teenager, Lilly was lost; then she found God, giving her an internal strength to guide her through the hard times. She’s an admirable character who takes the high road whenever faced with challenges. Ric is her match. He’s a great guy, well suited to her, but will she drop the walls around her heart and let him in? Her values and faith interfere with her efforts to remain distant from him. She needs to let go of the past, and Ric could help her, if she’ll allow him to. Will Lilly’s parents accept her as she tries to mend the rift between them?

The theme of self-forgiveness is touched upon as Lilly thinks of mistakes she made in the past, and this affects her actions and relationships in the present. Old-fashioned values and the lesson to lean on others in hard times add depth to this short story. Sometimes, leaving things up to God can lead to interesting surprises. For those who enjoy sweet romance and inspirational stories, this one would be a lovely one to read.