Review: Love Blooms
LOVE BLOOMS - Jamie Pope
Kensington Dafina/Romance
BUY
July 2017
Contemporary Romance
REVIEWER:  Brenda Larnell | RATING: A
REVIEW: After reading HOPE BLOOMS by Jamie Pope, I knew that two secondary characters from that novel had to be featured in their own book. The author did not disappoint. LOVE BLOOMS is the story of single mother, Nova Reed and Ex-Army Ranger, Tanner Brennan. Martha’s Vineyard is the backdrop for this heartwarming story of two people desperately trying to come to terms with their traumatic pasts, and to move forward to a promising future.

Despite being raised by an alcoholic mother, beaten and abandoned by a drug addicted husband, Nova is determined to make her skills as a cosmetologist pay off for her and her young son, Teo. This Native-American woman has set up shop on Martha’s Vineyard among the rich and famous. After a devastating childhood and marriage, she joins her grandmother and brother who also reside on the island. Tanner also lives and works on the island, and he and Nova are known to exchange insults and off-handed remarks to mask their growing attraction to each other. Even though their backgrounds are different as night and day, Tanner is determined that he, Nova and her son will be a family where love blooms. Before he can make that happen, the hero must find answers to the questions that he has about his estranged family, and the heroine has to come to grips with a tragic, impoverished childhood and a devastating first marriage. Their story is engaging, urgent and promising.

The secondary characters are, for the most part, family members of the hero and heroine. For Nova, her brother and sister-in-law (Wylie and Cass, the stars of
HOPE BLOOMS) her son, and grandmother (Mansi) compose a support circle who love her unequivocally. At the opposite end of the spectrum are the secondary characters who comprise Tanner’s family. They live the lives of the rich and famous, along with harboring secrets that inadvertently affected Tanner throughout his life. From his grandfather, the Senator, his grandmother, Mariam to his parents, they are pivotal in advancing the storyline. There are two key secondary characters who emerge in the latter pages of the novel. One of them is from Nova’s past, and the other one is tied to Tanner’s past, and they both deliver a semblance of closure. Epic scenes! I’ll let you discover who they are. No spoilers.

In the beginning chapters, author Jamie Pope utilizes a writer’s technique in presenting Nova’s backstory. Italicized passages reveal the heroine’s life as a child through her ill-fated marriage. Not only is it very effective in highlighting those troubled times, but it also provides insight into Nova’s behavior. The HEA is absolutely gratifying! It will appeal to every Romance reader’s sensibility.

LOVE BLOOMS is a well-written sequel to HOPE BLOOMS. Although it would be to your advantage to read HOPE BLOOMS first for continuity, LOVE BLOOMS can be read as a stand-alone. Nova and Tanner’s story is compelling and endearing, and I recommend it.

3rd August 2017 | romcol@caribsurf.com