Ethan Willis has made a career out of restoring old houses like the Carter Mansion so he’s an expert with doors and windows. He knows his way around a toolbox, a construction site, and anything else having to do with rebuilding. If only he could do the same with his own life. Tragically widowed and left with a young son, he’s done the best he could, but now that Chase has become a teenager that best somehow isn’t quite good enough.
For his part, Chase doesn’t know what he’d do without baseball, his best friend Elliott and the secret hideaway even his dad doesn’t know about. What he does know is that the reporter lady who suddenly started chatting with his dad can’t be a good thing.
In a small town where everyone knows everything, does an outsider—a young, cute, ambitious reporter-kind-of-outsider like Cameron Dane—even have a prayer of getting to know the handsome but moody builder? Does it matter that they both hold secrets from their pasts? And can Chase ever be freed from the hidden guilt of his mother’s death? Only time, and a special kind of patience, will tell.
Kraus, an interior designer who has coauthored multiple inspirational novels with her husband, Jim, offers a fairly standard but likable Christian romance in her first solo effort. Ethan Willis is a 40-ish widower in smalltown Franklin, Pa., who builds his life and his living around holding on to the past. As a restorer of Victorian homes, Ethan craves historical accuracy. In his personal life, he cherishes the memory of his beloved wife; he has neither recovered from her tragic death nor discussed it with his young teenage son. Cameron Dane is a pretty young newspaper reporter doing a story on Ethan's current restoration project, with a tragic past of her own. Of course, a newspaper interview leads to lunch, which leads to dinner, and readers will be able to do the math and find everything they expect and nothing they don't. (There's no sex, and there's a simple but sincere conversion story as the characters recover their faith.) Kraus focuses on the theme of forgiveness throughout, with quotes at the beginning of every chapter. Ethan's incessant insistence on historical detail may grate on readers' nerves the way it does his client's, and the comparison between holding on to the past in his work and his life is a bit overdone, but the story is enjoyable and will please Christian romance enthusiasts. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved