About the Book
Annie Payton's lost everything she once held dear. The Village of Hope is her last chance to rebuild the life she's frittered away so needlessly. But as she works to regain custody of her children, she never imagines an unlikely advocate in her corner—ex-husband Ian Montgomery. Ian's always willing to help those down on their luck, but his ex-wife's a different story. Her past betrayal is still a painful memory. As the Village's lawyer, he'll represent her—but that's as far as he'll allow his feelings to go. Can Annie show Ian that she's changed in every way but one—the love she still has for him?
Village of Hope: A community built on love
This book was released in January, 2015
This is a well loved library book that was used for review
“Second Chance Reunion” by Merrillee Whren is the first book of her 'Village of Hope' series and I was hooked after the first chapter or two. I have to say that I just loved this story for it was so different in a lot of ways that really surprised me.
In most stories, if there is going to be someone who is a graduate of the school of hard knocks it is either the hero or heroine, while the other one has almost always had their act together. This is different for both the hero and heroine are graduates of the school of hard knocks. How they are graduates of the school of hard knocks, I am going to leave out for that is part of the story that makes this story so wonderful. I have to say that I was happy to see how these graduates of the school of hard knocks changed their lives, but one character's courage really hit a spot with me. Not because the other character was a coward but because how this character's courage took shape in more ways than one. No, that is not right for really I would have to say that both of the character's showed a great deal of courage just in very different ways.
By the title one might think this is about second chances, and it is, but there is more to it as well. This is also about forgiveness for some deep hurts have been inflicted and when discoveries are made things are not all that easy in that forgiveness department. I have to say this one was one of the better forgiveness stories I have read in a long time for there was more than just saying the words but working through the feelings. We may not see all the details in that path to forgiveness but we do see that it is not an easy road, and I know that from personal experience. I would have to say that this seemed to be a pretty realistic story on the forgiveness, and I felt the emotions of dealing with the graduates of the school of hard knocks though I don't have any personal experience with that.
Annie is a woman with a past and trying to make things right now. She has a lot of help even from places and people that she didn't even expect. We get to see her regret but while she is not sitting around feeling sorry for herself but instead she is doing everything she can to rebuild her life, while reaching out to those around her. Her strength and courage is something that is seen in little pieces here and there, and built upon in each instance. Though at times it seems her courage falters some, she still continues forward which shows her strength.
Ian is a man who has his own secrets and would rather keep them that way. He is a man who only wants to help those who need his help with the law. His heart is for those who are struggling to put their lives back together or who just need the help in general. He has some issues to resolve himself and he seems to struggle through them, but at the end of course, things right themselves out. Ian is a man who is confident in the job he does, but there are areas in his life that he is still uncertain about.
There may not have been any external conflict in the story but the internal conflict was enough to keep this reader turning the page. My adult son who tried to interrupt me once during the book received a sound “leave me alone until I am done” statement for I just couldn't put the book down for any reason. The emotions in the story was written so well that I couldn't help myself feel what the character's were feeling. Of course there is a happy ending (after all that is why I read the romance stories) but there is nothing easy about this couple getting together.
I hope all who read this book enjoy it as much as I do.