This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on June 25, 2019
A new cozy, tender romance set against the turmoil of an old and dark family feud and small town George seemed perfect for a summer read on the porch with my iced lemonade near at hand.
A Rainbow Above Us is the eighth of the Blessings, George standalone romance stories loosely-tied by their connection to the town and the large group of familiar ongoing circle of friends and family that call Blessings home.
Bowie James is returning to a town that he left and swore he would never return to. He has a bad history with one family in the town and he knows his return with stir up the old trouble once again. But, a letter from his beloved aunt means he must come back for her and his grandmother’s sake. He’s a builder of unique homes in out of the way places all over the country so he is exactly the help his family needs to renovate their old home after the floods from the hurricane.
Trouble with the Boones is a short-time in coming, but he’s no longer that scared, skinny fifteen year old boy they nearly beat to death and he has a bitter anger for breaking her mother’s spirit and causing her death all for an old grudge that he was never part of.
He tries to focus on getting his grandma and aunt and the pretty woman they took in after the floods situated into his comfortable and luxurious ‘home away from home’ trailer that he lives in since he travels to his jobs. He and his crew will do his best homebuilding work for the women who gave him love and always a sense of belonging.
It helps that Rowan, the young woman his gran and aunt take in, is a quiet beauty whose sweetness attracts him and he wants to help her get over her own demons caused by the flood destroying her home and taking her daddy from her. For the first time in his life, he is living for a woman’s laughter and cherishing the feeling of having her there when he comes home. Is it finally his chance to have love?
Judson Boone, patriarch of his family, can’t let the old hate go. He sicced his sons on teenage Bowie and drove him and his mom out of town and now he’s poised to take care of him once for all. Only, the dark deeds done against the James family that he was behind are coming to the light of day and his whole world is unraveling. His strong family implodes when the truth comes out and even the town is turning on them. It’s all the fault of Bowie James’ return.
This was a gently paced character-driven story. Bowie is the catalyst for it all and he is the central figure, but it is really the culmination of what happened in the past and continued into the present for the Boones and Bowie. It was a captivating combo of dark family saga, new and hopeful beginnings for some, small town happenings, and a tender romance happening in spite it all.
The conflict in the story is all external to the romance. Bowie and Rowan have enough going on from their respective lives and I appreciated that the author wisely let that stand rather than inserting trouble for trouble’s sake. Bowie was a safe and solid man who gave to ‘his girls’ as he called them out of the joy of giving because he was a lonely man with a sad past. Rowan saw this and appreciated it even if she was tentative because her daddy had selfishly told her she was too plain for a guy to want her, drove off any admirers, and kept her hidden away on the family farm because he wanted her as a companion into his old age. Bowie was patient with her innocence and let her lead in their growing relationship.
There are multiple narrators with each Boone, Bowie, Rowan, and a few other familiar characters getting page time. There are slow moments, but it makes sense as transition spots to advance the story. I was fully engaged in seeing the various story lines play out. I was sad to see the fall-out and how the innocents were the ones hurt most by it all, but the author wrote in some hard consequences for those who did evil, despicable acts in the past which I was glad to see. As always, there is a heartwarming and sweet quality to the story that counteracts the bad making me crave even more from the folk living in Blessings, Georgia.
If you want a mostly sweet, heartwarming romance set against a small town contemporary, you need look no further that this series.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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