Addie Mayberry left her job as a head librarian to open a children’s bookstore and she’s turned it into something magical. When 8-year old Bella Barrett wanders into the store, she and Addie develop an immediate bond. Her father, Drew Barrett, a highly successful surgeon, recently relocated to Shadow Creek, returning to his hometown to try and salvage his daughter’s childhood, which had been devoid of any meaningful parental attention. His marriage ended miserably with his ex-wife not even wanting shared custody of their child.
Don’t be fooled by the light-hearted cover as this story is steeped in serious issues. Drew’s neglect of his daughter was real and he’s working hard to turnaround that relationship. Addie had an extremely difficult childhood, the subject of cruel bullying for years and the target of a hypercritical and insensitive mother. That damage left indelible scars to her self esteem but not to her wonderful spirit. Her relationship with Bella is just heartwarming and goes a long way in guiding Drew’s sincere intentions in the right direction. Of course, it was inevitable that they’d be drawn to each other but theirs was an uneasy road.
I really loved this story as it dealt with some very tough issues not easily resolved. Bella was adorable and I liked how her innocence provided Drew a light towards a path to forgive himself and Addie a sense of self worth. Every story in this series deals with meaty issues and this was no different. I didn’t want this one to end.
- Release Date: November 12, 2018
- Series: Shadow Creek, Montana #6
- Page Numbers: 141
(I received an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review)