On Love’s Gentle Shore (Prince Edward Island Dreams #3) by Liz Johnson

Genre: Romance
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: July 2017

Fifteen years ago, Natalie O’Ryan escaped her suffocating little hometown and the people who showed nothing but disdain toward her and her family. In a new city, far from her ghosts, Natalie manages to reinvent herself and create a good life. Now she plans to marry music producer Russell Jacobs. But when he attempts to surprise her and books their special day on the very island she’d hoped never to set foot on again, Natalie must either come clean with her fiancé about her past or face the very people who once turned their back on her.

Justin Kane never forgot his childhood best friend and the girl he loved. He also definitely hasn’t forgotten the pain she left in her wake when she ran away disregarding their dreams and plans. But now Natalie has returned threatening to upheave the life he’s so carefully reconstructed. When Natalie’s reception venue falls through, Justin’s barn seems like the only place big enough to host such a crowd. However, working together to restore the rundown building could lay the foundation to repair past hurts or lead to broken hearts anew.

With this beautiful tale of love and forgiveness, one of my favorite series sadly comes to a close. On Love’s Gentle Shore delivers a poignant story that introduces readers to new friends, reunites us with old ones, and brings us home to Prince Edward Island. Liz Johnson knows how to tug at the heartstrings while creating flawed and relatable characters.

Considering Natalie was engaged to another man, the amount of time she and Justin spent together — especially considering their romantic past — was unwise. It was unfair toward both Russell and Justin. In that, I struggled to connect with Natalie. However, I could empathize with the pain and anxiety she carried from her childhood and understood the reasons for the walls she’d built around her heart. Despite addressing deep hurts and broken backgrounds the author still infuses the pages with hope.

I recommend On Love’s Gentle Shore to fans of The Prince Edward Island Dreams series and romance readers looking for a plot and characters that go deeper than just the surface. While the novel could stand alone, the entire series is too good to miss.

Review copy provided by publisher. Thanks!

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Character Spotlight: Liz Johnson’s Justin and Natalie

About the Story:

Fifteen years after she left Prince Edward Island, Natalie O’Ryan had no plans to return. But when her fiancé, music producer Russell Jacobs, books their wedding in her hometown and schedules a summer at Rose’s Red Door Inn, she sets out to put the finishing touches on the perfect wedding. But she can’t possibly prepare for a run-in with Justin Kane–the best friend she left behind all those years ago after promising to stay.

Justin’s never forgotten Natalie or the music career he always dreamed of pursuing. He’d been prepared to follow her off the island until his dad died and he was left to run the family dairy farm. He’s done the best he can with the life that was thrust upon him–but with Natalie back in the picture, he begins to realize just how much joy he’s been missing.

After Natalie’s reception venue falls through, she must scramble to find an alternative, and the only option seems to be a barn on Justin’s property. As they work together to get the dilapidated building ready for the party, Natalie and Justin discover the groundwork for forgiveness–and that there may be more than an old friendship between them.

Meet Natalie

Image Credit: Pinterest

Resembles: Jessica Chastain

Physical description: She’s a petite redhead with all the pale features of her Irish heritage. She has blue eyes and a smattering of freckles across her nose.

Age: 32

Loves: She’s exceptional at keeping track of the details and pleasing people. But what she really loves is verbally sparing with Justin, a pastime that she’s missed terribly in the last fifteen years.

Hates: Gossip—especially when she’s the one being gossiped about. And she hates being the center of attention.

Favorite flower: Purple orchids

Favorite song: One that Justin wrote called “On This Shore.”

Favorite cake: Caden’s lemon cake with raspberry filling and whipped lemon frosting.

Biggest struggle: She’s not always honest with herself about what she wants, and she struggles to tell her fiancée the truth about why she left PEI and never wanted to go back.

Background: She’s an only child with a childhood that was filled with pain and neglect. She longs to forget the past, but is stuck reliving it upon her return to PEI.

Work: She’s the concierge at a ritzy hotel in Nashville, serving many of Music City’s elite.

Meet Justin

Image Credit: Pinterest

Resembles: Christian Kane

Physical description: Justin is a stocky dairy farmer. He has black hair that he wears in a ponytail. He always keeps his sideburns long too. His eyes are a piercing blue, and he perpetually has a five-o’clock shadow.

Age: 33

Loves: He’s always dreamed of having a music career, but he’s settled for playing shows in his small PEI hometown. He spends his free time writing songs in his favorite place, an old lighthouse on his family’s property.

Hates: He hates watching Natalie pretend to be someone she’s not. And he hates having to pretend not to care about her while she’s engaged to another man.

Favorite song: “Good-bye, girl,” a song he wrote after Natalie left. It’s become a local favorite and reminds him how much she’s hurt him, and somehow that pain is better than letting her memory go.

Favorite cake: The same as Natalie’s. (But, really, he’s not picky about cake.)

Biggest struggle: He can’t seem to forgive Natalie for leaving the island and him behind.  

Background: Justin is the oldest of three siblings. When his father passed away, he took responsibility for his family’s dairy farm, which he runs with his mom’s help.

Work: Early morning chores on the farm, and now he’s agreed to fix up the old barn on his property for Natalie’s wedding.

About the Author:

By day Liz Johnson is the marketing director for a radio network. She finds time to write late at night and is a two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist. Liz makes her home in Tucson, AZ, where she enjoys theater, exploring local history, and doting on her nieces and nephews. She loves stories of true love with happy endings.

Connect with Liz through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Where Two Hearts Meet (Prince Edward Island Dreams #2) by Liz Johnson

Where-Two-Hearts-MeetGenre: Romance
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: October 2016

In the kitchen, Caden Holt can tackle any challenge. Outside it, life proves to be a little more complicated. When a travel writer visits the struggling inn where she cooks, her boss and friend asks Caden to show him the best places the island has to offer in a desperate attempt to save the inn.

A forced sabbatical and an undercover assignment have landed journalist Adam Jacobs on Prince Edward Island, and he’s none too happy about it. However, when he tastes Caden’s mouthwatering concoctions, Adam just may have found a way to survive the summer, that is, if he can convince her to stop kicking him out of her kitchen.

Feelings start to blossom as the pair wade through their hurts and insecurities. But when Caden discovers that Adam isn’t who she believed, the Red Door Inn’s survival hangs more precariously than ever, only now Caden may lose her job, as well as her heart.

Liz Johnson pens a sweet tale of love, hope, and second chances. Where Two Hearts Meet invites readers to bask in the beauty of PEI, and more importantly, in the knowledge that God calls us in spite of imperfections.

Compelling and relatable characters drew me into the book. I often saw myself reflected in Caden — if only I could make cinnamon rolls like hers too — and I loved watching her and Adam fall in love. Johnson’s skillful storytelling transported me to the island and its breathtaking shorelines, and I’m pretty sure my muscles ached after experiencing Taco Bed. At times, I would have sworn I could hear the tinkering pans and smell the delicious aromas wafting from Caden’s kitchen. A word of advice, don’t read this while you are hungry.

The author weaves an ever-present but never overbearing thread of faith into the novel, reminding readers that no one is beyond grace. Romance fans won’t want to miss this delightful continuation to the Prince Edward Island Dreams series.

Review copy provided by publisher. Thanks!

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