I love to read Irene Hannon's suspense and thriller novels. I usually get wrapped up in her characters and story lines pretty quickly. So I was intrigued when I discovered that she has written some books in the romance category as well. Recently, her book That Certain Summer was on sale in the Amazon Kindle store, and I bought it. It was a pretty good book, so I jumped at the chance to read and review One Perfect Spring.
One Perfect Spring revolves around the lives of four people in one spring season. David McMillan is the owner of a large development company. He has spent his life building his company, and, since the death of his wife, has come to realize that people, not things are the most important part of life. He has received a letter from an eleven-year-old girl named Haley Summers, asking him to help her next-door neighbor find the son that she gave up for adoption twenty-two years ago. David thinks this would be the perfect task for his assistant Keith Watson. Keith is a great assistant, and a hard worker, but David sees too much of himself in Keith's relentless work habits. He would like to see the young man learn the lessons that he waited too long to learn himself. David doesn't know the personal demons that Keith faces due to some bad circumstances in his childhood. Keith contacts Haley's mother, Claire Summers, to get the information he needs to pursue the task his boss has given him, and they don't hit it off well. Claire Summers is living in a house that's more of a fixer-upper than she first thought. She's been burned in love before, and she's afraid to try again. She only concentrates on raising her daughter and fixing up their little house as the extra money comes available to do so. She doesn't like Keith Watson when she first meets him, but when circumstances--and a few well-meaning friends--conspire to bring them together, she'll change her opinion about him. Claire's neighbor Dr. Maureen Chandler has become a close friend, and in a moment of weakness, revealed to her that she had a son that she gave up for adoption. Maureen is in remission from cancer, but the battle, and the realization of her mortality have left her with a desire to find the son she gave up so many years ago. All of her attempts have been unsuccessful, however, until David and Keith get involved.
It takes a skilled writer to write a story about four people and how their lives intertwine without any of the stories feeling bald or incomplete. Ms. Hannon has in One Perfect Spring managed to tell four complete, yet adjoining stories. No part of the story felt as if it was lacking. I admire her ability to write unconventional love stories. Her romance novels are more than just boy meets girl. They have more depth than that. In this book she features a young divorcee, a widower, a single woman with a daughter and a young man with hidden demons. There is no playing with emotions, no guessing games involved in their feelings for one another, only total honesty about the challenges that they face in their relationships.
These characters feel real to me. I feel like they are people I could know. Keith and Claire like each other, but are afraid to jump too quickly to the "love" stage. They acknowledge their feelings, but decide to figure it out slowly. David and Maureen are also in love, but they, too, decide not to rush, but to wait until she knows if her cancer is still in remission. It was refreshing to read a romance novel where there was no misunderstanding, no mind games and no arguments.
This was a good book, and I enjoyed reading it. However, I prefer Irene Hannon's thriller novels to her romance ones. Although I liked the story, it didn't have that "un-put-down-able" quality that I've come to expect from her novels. I will read any other romance novels she writes in the future, though, but probably not with as much excitement as her thrillers. I'm looking forward to her book Deceived which is due out this fall. That's one I can get excited about!
This has been a very long review, but it was a very involved book. I hope you'll give it a chance, especially if you like nontraditional love stories. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.