“A Haven on Orchard Lane” by Lawana Blackwell

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First of all, can I just say, I love this cover! And pretty much all Mrs. Blackwell’s cover’s for that matter. They just give me the most delicious feeling! The best part is that they reflect the style of writing that is inside the pages of the book: homey, comforting, muted and yet rich descriptions. Just beautiful!

Secondly, I would like to apologize because this review is long overdue. 😦 I read this book probably 2 months back, but my excuse is that there has been a lot going on in life, and it’s taken a bit of time for things to settle down (mainly my brain :-)).

So without further ado…

An urgent escape . . . a wounded heart . . .
Will Charlotte find the solace she longs for at the cottage on Orchard Lane?

Famed actress Charlotte Ward stepped away from the Victorian London stage five years ago. Now in desperate circumstances, she tries to restart her career–only to experience a complete collapse. Against her better judgment, Charlotte’s estranged daughter, Rosalind, comes to her mother’s rescue and moves her to a quiet English coastal village where her mother can evade the gossip columnists, at least for a time.

Charlotte is grateful to re-establish even tenuous family ties with Rosalind. As one with regrets over her own romantic past, she’s happy to see love blossom for her daughter. For Rosalind, however, it’s time away from teaching, and now she must care for the mother who wasn’t there for her. And what could possibly be more complicated than romance?

But there can be no permanent escape from the threats of recent months. As the privacy they seek is threatened, mother and daughter must make some difficult decisions–ones that jeopardize those they care about most.”

As I mentioned above, I loved the writing style of this book! It wasn’t a cliff-hanger, a suspense, or a thriller. But it was written in a style similar to Elizabeth Gaskell that kept me going back for more. It was a story of trust and forgiveness in more lives than just one.

Rosalind had to find forgiveness for her mother, and Jude Pearce also had to find forgiveness for his family. There were many other wonderful themes throughout the book, and I think my favorite storyline was that of Danny and Albert Fletcher. Oh, my heart just went out to them, and Danny especially was just so sweet, but Albert’s frankness was wonderfully refreshing too!

I will say the one drawback to the story was the fact that Charlotte left her husband (at the beginning of the book) and felt justified in doing so. She was not in an abusive relationship, though he did manipulate and control to large degree. At the end of the story she realizes that she made a mistake in marrying him, but the fact still remains that when we make choices, even bad ones, we must live with the consequences.

So I think, overall, I would give it 4 stars (if not for the one drawback above , it would have been 5). A very enjoyable story!

*Disclaimer: I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

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