Carol Award: Short Contemporary: Finalist: Winter’s End
Title: Winter’s End
Author: Ruth Logan Herne
Publisher: Love Inspired (Melissa Endlich, Editor)
Category: Short Contemporary
Reviewed by: Lacy Williams
Hospice nurse Kayla Doherty doesn’t belong in the tough north country, or so rancher Marc DeHollander thinks when he sees her fancy shoes when they first meet. But instead of finding Kayla a flighty, shallow girl, Marc discovers she is a vibrant, warm woman with a gift of healing. Problem is, his heart’s been broken before—he’s not sure he can risk giving it away again.
The romance between hero and heroine is organic, not contrived, and grows at a speed that fits the deeper internal issues.
This debut novel by Ruth Logan Herne deals with some tough subjects: the hero’s father is drawing close to death and the hero must take up the slack in his family, including caring for his teenaged sister. While Herne could have kept this in the background, she chose to use it to deepen the hero’s internal conflict throughout the book and also created a way to show the heroine’s good qualities, including her tender heart.
The romance Herne builds between hero and heroine is organic, not contrived, and grows at a speed that fits the deeper internal issues that both hero and heroine face throughout the story. Secondary characters are integral to the plot and help the romance along, as well as enable healing for both hero and heroine.
This book also deserves to be a Carol finalist because of its authentic and unique setting, and emotional impact including a lovely ending that will stick in your mind for days.
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