Sweet Laurel Falls: RaeAnne Thayne
Surprises come when you least expect them and some you might want to live without. About to enjoy her Christmas Party with her book club Maura McKnight never expects two unexpected visitors that would bring her past back into her present. Leaving 20 years ago, Jackson Lange never turned back, never it appears gave her a second thought and lived his own life becoming a successful architect. So, what would draw him back to Hope’s Crossing and what would cause him to stay? Maura McKnight- Parker lost her youngest daughter in an accident. Several teens went out drinking and never thought about the consequences about what would happen when you get behind the wheel of a car. Dealing with her loss and trying to cope with life she is excited to set up this Christmas Book club in her bookstore. Imagine what happens when Jackson walks in along with her daughter Sage.
Jackson Lange never knew that Sage was his daughter or that he even had a daughter in college. Maura kept it a secret. But one look at her, asking her who her parents were, revealed more than words could express. Jackson disliked Hope’s Crossing in this small town of Sweet Laurel Falls. Not wanting to remain there he left only to return to learn about Safe. But, things start to heat up, old feelings arise, tempers flare and two people have to come to some kind of truce. Sage, accepting his presence, still missing her sister Layla that was killed in the accident, is anxious and thrilled to have Jack in her life. But, what about her mother? What about the people in the town and their reaction to Jack? Added in we meet his cantankerous, difficult and impossible to get along with father, Harry Lange one of the wealthiest men in town and who seems to have his hand on the pulse of the economy. So, when Sage invites her father to dinner, prepares a great meal for both of her parents imagine Maura’s reaction when she states that she is not going back to college for the next semester. Taking time off she feels will help her to cope with her sister’s death, decide what she wants to do and be around her mother to help in her bookstore and take online classes too. Maura none too thrilled and definitely set on Sage following her destiny back to school could not believe what happened next.
Not wanting to lose any more time with his daughter he considers moving to Hope Crossing, opening an office and hiring his daughter to work for him giving her a coveted internship in architecture. As the night progressed you can see that the feelings between Maura and Jackson are still there but will their fire ignite along with the flames in her fireplace? Coming out of a relationship with an man named Chris will she reconnect with her first love? As truths come out and the past might reflect on the future Maura learns that Jackson never received the messages that she called tried to stay in touch with her and never returned her calls. Twenty years is a long time and now what will they do as the reason for his return is revealed. Coming back to speak in one of Sage’s college classes, speaking with her and then realizing who she is makes for an interesting story. Will they decide that the second time around just might make it right? But sometimes connections are made even when you least expect them to be. One father who has just entered his daughter’s life is more perceptive than Maura thinks. Concerned about what might be causing Sage to become so tired and pale both Jack and Maura have different thoughts. When expressing his concerns to Maura and what he thinks might be the cause of Sage’s tiredness and lethargic behavior, Maura defends her daughter but agrees to seek medical help for her. But, when the truth comes out and Sage tells them the problem they ban together to help her.
Renter the book club that for some reason never read this month’s book but instead is about to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Evie to Brodie. Reminding readers of how they met after the tragic accident that took Layla’s life and critically injured Brodie’s daughter, Taryn, things start to come together for one young woman but what about Maura and what will she and Jack do about the secret that Sage has finally revealed? As Harry attempts to put out an olive branch to his son, Jackson, Sage learns something that might change it all. Secrets, betrayals, lies and hidden feelings are primary in the final chapters of this outstanding novel. Learning what Sage will do with her problem, dealing with telling the truth and facing the world, learning something about the Angel of Hope things take an interesting turn for everyone.
The recreation project given to Jack, remaining in Hope’s Cross a viable option but will all of his effort reunite him with Maura and what will the final outcome be? Then a formal memorial for Layla that means so much to Sage and equally to Maura just might cement their love even more. But, Maura just might not be the only one caught by the love bug and opinions and feelings might just change for someone else. Can everyone put the past behind them and realize that people can change? Can they learn the true meaning of forgiveness and embrace a new life? An ending that only author RaeAnne Thayne could create and a family’s whose lives will never be the same. One young girl would change it all for both Maura and Jack. What about Harry and Mary Ella? The answers can only be found in her soon to be released new novel in April: Current Valley Creek.
Hope’s Crossing, just the name alone brings you warmth, love and makes you smile. The special butterflies at the memorial for Layla reminded me of how much my late sister loved them too. So, to all of the special characters in this book and to our Five Star author let’s give this book: FIVE GOLDEN BUTTERFLIES TO BRING JOY TO EVERYONE WHO READS THIS NOVEL. Can the past really become your present? Only one way to find out: Read Sweet Laurel Falls and find out.
Fran Lewis: reviewer
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