Here's a description of the book from Simon & Schuster:
"A fire killed his best friend and his lifelong dream of being a firefighter. The same fire killed her husband and hopes for a family. Can new dreams replace old?
Lucas Vermontez was a proud firefighter like his father. Now, not only has he lost his father and his best friend, Zach, in the fire at the Grove Street homeless shelter, but the devoted rookie can no longer do the work he loves after being crippled in the tragic event. When friendship with his buddy's beautiful widow turns into more, he wonders, what could he possibly offer Jenna?
Jenna Morgan is trying to grieve her husband's death like a proper widow, but the truth is, she never really loved Zach. His death feels more like a relief to her. But that relief is short-lived when she loses her home and the financial support of her in-laws. Now the secrets of her past threaten to destroy her future. Can the two forget the painful past and discover new reasons to live and love?"
My Rating: Spring
Deborah Raney is a talented author! Forever After is well-written, and the story flows nicely. There's a lot of emotional tension and a gentle, romantic plot to keep you turning pages.
Raney's characters have issues--from financial worries to physical impairment--making them realistic. They're the kind of people that frustrate you at times when they're slow to learn (oh, but doesn't that hit home?), and yet the kind of people you cheer for and desire the best for.
I love how dogs (especially one dog in particular) play a role in this book--providing a symbol of healing in more ways than one. Raney does a wonderful job of letting hope occasionally peek through and then eventually shine brightly as Lucas and Jenna find their happily-forever-after.
Near the end there was a jump after the climatic action that was a bit abrupt and didn't leave me completely satisfied in regards to details, but overall I really enjoyed Forever After with its sweet romance and themes of hope and healing. A great read!
*With thanks to the publisher and Glass Road PR for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion. My apologies for the delay in finishing the book and posting my review!*