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Friday, May 25, 2012

Moving On by Annette Bower

Moving On: A Prairie Romance by Annette Bower
Publisher: XOXO Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (119 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed By Dianthus

Anna is a mysterious woman that has just moved to Regina Beach. The residents of the small town know everyone’s business and they are very interested in discovering Anna’s secrets. Nick was a Sergeant in the Canadian Army, doing active duty until a horrific accident sent him home to recover. He helps Anna feel safe and comfortable in her new environment, just as he has always done for his men in strange, dangerous places. Meanwhile, he focuses on preparing for his future physical endurance test to prove that he is capable of returning to active duty.

Anna doesn’t talk about her past, and Nick doesn’t talk about his future therefore she is shocked to discover that his greatest wish is to return to active duty. She won’t love a man who may die on the job again. Intellectually, she knows that all life cycles end, but emotionally, she doesn’t know if she has the strength to support Nick.

Anna Jenkins is a broken woman looking for solace from the sad eyes and well meaning platitudes of friends and family for grief they couldn’t even begin to understand. Losing her fiancĂ© was bad enough, but as a trauma nurse she's surrounded by daily reminders of his accident. It was enough to send Anna over the edge. While she knew everyone meant well, getting away from it all was just what she needed to begin healing. Murray’s cottage by the lake seemed to be the perfect place to start her new life, away from all the memories. Will Anna get what she needs from this tiny water side town? With Anna’s secrets, she can only hope the locals won't pry and instead will let her be until she's ready to tell them her story, if ever.

Nick Donnelly wasn’t expecting to ever have to come home from the Canadian Forces, until one day an IED took his decision away. The hero has two choices left , heal and find a new path, or be buried by the resentment eating away at the man he is and never heal. The journey is heartbreaking and real and all I wanted to do was hug Nick. His character made me ache from the agony, both emotional and physical, that he was in. The author did a wonderful job of bringing his pain to life in the pages of this book.

When Anna shows up on the doorstep of his B&B, haunted shadows in her eyes and needing a haven where she too can heal, Nick makes it his mission to help her and in turn begins his own healing. When feelings begin to develop between these two broken souls, can forgiveness and moving on be the very thing they both need to find each other in the abyss?

Set in Saskatchewan, Canada, the book was a delightful read. The characters, Anna and Nick were both so broken it would have been easy to write them both off, but Annette Bower made the entire story about healing broken hearts and soothing rioting souls. This was a great tale about forgiveness and moving on from tragedy without harping on all the bad that happened to the main characters. I will definitely read this story again and recommend it to other readers I know. If you are looking for a great story with a wonderful ending, then this is the story for you.