As writers, expanding our literary horizons is one of several keys to getting better. If we narrow our lens into the world, we limit what we can pull out of it and stuff into our toolbox. My natural inclinations may not have me buying tickets for an upcoming ballet performance, joining the local quilting club, or, ahem, reading a faith-based romance novel, but those very disinclinations are exactly why I should do them. Living in an echo chamber isn’t healthy.
Jill Weatherholt’s Second Chance Romance gave me an opportunity to wander off the beaten path for two reasons:
- Jill Weatherholt is an amazing person. It’s quite the coincidence the Harlequin line through which she’s published has Inspired in the title because that’s exactly how I’ve felt as I’ve watched her chase her dreams and actually catch them. She’s the epitome of sticktoitiveness.
- I‘m always striving to improve my writing skills and providing support for Jill was a grand opportunity to do so. Romance and its requisite relationships are such weak spots for me, probably for the very reasons I’ve just explained.
On to the book!
I really, truly enjoyed Second Chance Romance. Jill put together a touching, plausible plot and I caught myself smiling more than once during my reading. It’s a “cute” book, but that’s not a slight–I think that’s the goal, and man, she knocked it out of the park. She hits all the notes of a page-turner by setting up the characters with well-grounded conflict. Painful past events for both the male lead, Jackson, and his love interest, Melanie, drive their thoughts and actions, eventually leading up to the climax and promised happy ending. Throughout, there’s an emphasis on faith and how it affects each individual, but it never felt overbearing.
I’m certainly looking forward to continuing my education with Jill’s next book as well as subsequent releases throughout her career.