Series: Thunder Point #8
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Source/Format: NetGalley (Thanks!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.]
After losing her child, Ginger Dysart was lost in grief. But since moving to Thunder Point, a small town on the Oregon coast, and with the help of her cousin Ray Anne, Ginger is finally moving forward. Her job at the flower shop is peaceful and fulfilling, and she's excited to start her first big assignment, assisting with the Lacoumette wedding.
In spite of her lasting heartache, Ginger finds herself swept up in the pleasure of the occasion. But the beauty of the Lacoumette farm and the joy of the gregarious family are ruined by an unfortunate encounter with the bride's brother, Matt. Struggling with painful memories of his own recent divorce, Matt makes a drunken spectacle of himself and Ginger when he tries to make a pass at her, forcing Ginger to flee the scene in embarrassment.
But when Matt shows up at the flower shop determined to make amends, what started out as a humiliating first meeting blossoms into something much deeper than either of them expected. Discovering they have a lot in common, they form a solid friendship, though everyone around them worries that Ginger will end up with a broken heart yet again. But if Ginger has the courage to embrace the future, and if Matt can finally learn to let go of the past, there may still be hope for a happy ending.
Reading a Thunder Point novel always feels like a homecoming. Every story I’ve had the pleasure of reading so far always immerses me deeply into this little community, reuniting me with old friends and introducing me to new folk to love. A New Hope is certainly no exception to this phenomenon. Not only do I get to see what became of some of my old favorites (Seth, Iris, Peyton, Scott, Grace, Cooper and more), but I also got to meet Ginger and Matt and watch their own little love story unfurl.
Their relationship, and how it unfolds, is very sweet. Both have been burned by past relationships; both are heartbroken souls so wounded that they think shying away from the possibility of love is the best course of action. It is quite satisfying to see how they both slowly open up to one another, hesitant yet hopeful that this could be a good thing; it is even better to watch them wrestle with the demons of their past, occasionally making a mistake or two, in order to find their way to the good future together they so deserve. Even if it felt slightly predictable, it was still lovely to read about the ups and downs of their romance.
But I honestly wouldn’t have been so attentive to their romance had I not developed a fondness for Ginger and Matt as individuals. Ginger is heartbroken over the loss of her son, reeling from the effects of an unhealthy relationship; Matt has had his ideals shattered when it comes to marriage. Yet both are trying, in their own way, to move on, to make new lives for themselves – even before they stumble across each other. I enjoyed getting to see the smart, thoughtful side of Matt, and the strong, friendly side of Ginger, and I definitely think they’re great additions to the Thunder Point clan. (And speaking of that clan, I just love that, as always, the secondary characters get a nod or a mention. Carr integrates multiple story arcs and characters so well into each novel.)
All in all, A New Hope is certainly a charming addition to this series.
(P.S. On a random note, this cover is slightly misleading because it doesn't really fit any particular scene in the book. Just my personal opinion, of course.)