Cassie Haddon is useless—at least, that’s what she believes. She comes from a wealthy family fallen on hard times and must find a way to support herself and her mother when no abilities seem to reside in her. Enter Jacob West, a well-respected grocer and restaurateur who has experienced hard times in his own past.
Love’s Sweet Beginning is the third book in Ann Shorey’s series Sisters at Heart, and the story is as sweet as the title and cover suggest.
Cassie is one of those people you want to cheer on because she’s just so doggone nice. Each time she succeeded in doing something she didn’t think she could do, it brought on a smile. She’s so proud of herself and I was proud for her.
The story begins three years after the end of the Civil War and is told mostly through Cassie’s point-of-view. Jacob’s point-of-view pops in here and there, especially as he’s dealing with a threat from his past and his jealousy over a possible rival for Cassie’s affection. He’s a successful businessman now and well-respected in the town of Noble Springs, but if who he used to be comes to light, he fears that might change.
The secondary characters stole the show for me. Cassie’s mother is one we’d all be glad NOT to have. But Ms. Shorey gave her readers an antagonist with a motivation that raises sympathy even when we don’t like her. Jacob’s cook, Jenny Fielder, is a nice touch. She’s crotchety and protective of her kitchen. The plight of Wash and Becca provides an opportunity to admire them and the hero and heroine.
I enjoyed this book and liked the writing and the characters. However, being a reader who savors suspense, I would have liked a little more of it in connection to Jacob’s situation. It ended a bit too easily. As well, I wanted more from his point of view. I wanted to get to know him better.
Also, though it never bored me or seemed slow, I felt a shorter word count would have fit the story better. (Have you ever been in a movie you’re really enjoying, yet trying to see your watch in the dark and wondering how much time was left?) Others, I’m sure, will find Cassie’s struggle and romance sigh-worthy and long for more.
So if your reading taste runs to good writing and a gentle romance, I definitely recommend Love’s Sweet Beginning.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This book came to me free from the publisher, Revell, with the hope that I would mention it on this blog. There was no requirement for me to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.