The Red Door Inn – Liz Johnson – Prince Edward Island Dreams #1 – Revell – Published 1 March 2016
Marie Carrington is running from a host of bad memories. Broke and desperate, she’s hoping to find safety and sanctuary on Prince Edward Island, where she reluctantly agrees to help decorate a renovated bed-and-breakfast before it opens for prime tourist season.
Seth Sloane didn’t move three thousand miles to work on his uncle’s B&B so he could babysit a woman with a taste for expensive antiques and a bewildering habit of jumping every time he brushes past her. He came to help restore the old Victorian–and to forget about the fiancée who broke his heart.
The only thing Marie and Seth agree on is that getting the Red Door Inn ready to open in just three months will take everything they’ve got. Can these two wounded souls find hope, healing, and perhaps a bit of romance on this beautiful island?
It took me two tries to read this book. I’m not sure what happened the first time as on my second go I was sucked into the story and more than happy to stay there. Great scenery is perhaps an understatement, as The Red Door Inn is set on Price Edward Island (yes, home of L.M. Montgomery and our favourite red-haired orphan). And there is a romance to match the charm of the rolling seas and windy coastline. But what is most alluring about this story is the characters.
Marie is on the run from a past she doesn’t even like to think about. She’s not sure where she is going, she just knows she can’t look back. But with less than a handful of change to her name she knows she might need to take up the offer a kind stranger on the Prince Edward Island ferry proffers – come and stay at his B&B and help him finish its design in time for its opening in a few weeks’ time. But she doesn’t count on the kind man’s nephew – tall, burly and kind of unfriendly Seth – also staying and working at the Inn, nor how interacting with the two men along with the other residents of the small coastline town would challenge her to step outside the shadow of her past and maybe even learn to trust again.
Marie’s story is completely heartbreaking. I love her strength and determination and understand her fear. Her past is slowly revealed through the chapters, and as she shares her story we learn that Seth too has a past that has left him wounded. I thought the characters shone in this charming story, even the secondary characters. And the romance is very sweet, as what starts as a fearful and antagonistic relationship slowly works through the stages of tolerance and curiosity to trust and friendship. There are plenty of ups and downs in this love story.
Great scenery. Good food. A strong sense of community. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series which will continue the story of the Red Door Inn and the people who love and work in it.
Genre: Christian contemporary.
Themes: Romance, B&Bs, renovation, house decoration, Prince Edward Island, faith, community, sexual assault, relationships.
Published: 1 March 2016 by Revell.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 336 pages.