Fan favorite Irene Hannon brings a whole new cast of characters to life in a charming Oregon seaside village. Emotional and heartwarming, this story invites readers to come home to Hope Harbor, where love and hope bloom--and hearts heal.
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By Irene Hannon
RevellCopyright © 2015 Irene Hannon
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Closed until June 13
Michael Hunter stared at the hand-lettered sign on the Gull Motel office, expelled a breath, and raked his fingers through his hair.
Not the welcome he'd been expecting after a mind-numbing thirty-six-hour cross-country drive to the Oregon coast.
And where was he supposed to stay for the next three weeks, until the place opened again?
Reining in the urge to kick the door, he leaned close to the glass and peered into the dim, deserted office. Rattled the rigid knob. Scanned the small, empty parking lot.
The sign hadn't lied. This place was out of commission.
He swiveled toward the marina down the hill, where boats bobbed in the gentle swells. The motel might be a bust, but at least Hope Harbor was as picturesque as promised. Planters overflowing with colorful flowers served as a buffer between the sidewalk and the sloping pile of boulders that led to the water. Across the wide street from the marina, quaint storefronts faced the sea. A white gazebo occupied a small park where the two-block-long, crescent-shaped frontage road dead-ended at a river. More shops lined the next street back, many adorned with bright awnings and flower boxes.
The town was exactly what he'd expected.
But with the only motel closed, it didn't appear he'd be calling it home during his stay in the area.
A prick of anger penetrated his fatigue. Why had the clerk let him book a room if the motel was going to shut down for several weeks? And why hadn't someone corrected the mistake in the thirty days since he'd put down his deposit?
If shoddy business practices like this were indicative of the much-touted laid-back Pacific Northwest lifestyle, the locals could have it — especially since such sloppiness meant he was now going to have to find another place to rest his very weary head.
He reached for the phone on his belt, frowning when his fingers met air. Oh, right. He'd taken it off as he'd rolled out of Chicago two days ago — a very deliberate strategy to make a clean break from work. Wasn't that the point of a leave of absence, after all?
But the cell was close at hand.
Back at his car, he opened the trunk, rooted around in the smaller of his two bags, and pulled it out.
Three messages popped up once he powered on, all from the Gull Motel.
He played the first one back, from a woman named Madeline who identified herself as the manager.
"Mr. Hunter, I'm afraid we've had an electrical fire and will be closing for about three weeks for repairs. Please call me at your earliest convenience so we can help you find other lodging." She recited her number.
The second and third messages were similar.
So the shutdown had been unexpected, and someone had tried to call him.
Slowly he inhaled a lungful of the fresh sea air, forcing the taut muscles in his shoulders to relax. Driving for fifteen hours two days in a row and getting up at the crack of dawn this morning to finish the trip must have done a number on his tolerance. Giving people the benefit of the doubt was much more his style. Besides, he was used to operating on the fly, finding creative solutions to problems. Glitches never phased him. His ability to roll with the punches was one of the things Julie had loved about him.
His view of the harbor blurred around the edges, and he clenched his teeth.
Let it go, Hunter. Self-pity won't change a thing. Move on. Get your life back.
It was the same advice he'd been giving himself for months — and he intended to follow it.
As soon as he figured out how.
Fighting off a wave of melancholy, he tapped in the number the woman had provided, his index finger less than steady on the keypad. For a moment he examined the tremors, then shoved his hand in his pocket. He was tired, that's all. He needed food and sleep, in that order. The sooner the better. Things would seem brighter tomorrow.
They had to.
If this trip didn't help him sort out his life, he was out of options.
While the phone rang, he looked toward the harbor again, past the long jetty on the left and the pair of rocky islands on the right that tamed the turbulent waves and protected the boats in the marina. His gaze skimmed across the placid surface of the sea, moving all the way to the horizon where cobalt water met deep blue sky. From his perch on the hill, the scene appeared to be picture perfect.
But it wasn't. Nothing was. Not up close. That was the illusion of distance. It softened edges, masked flaws, obscured messy detail.
It also changed perspective.
If he was lucky, this trip would do all those things for him — and more.
"Mr. Hunter? This is Madeline King. I've been trying to reach you."
He shifted away from the peaceful panorama and adjusted the phone against his ear. "I've been traveling cross-country and my cell was off. I'm at the motel now. What can you suggest as an alternative?"
"Unfortunately, there aren't many options in Hope Harbor. But there are a number of very nice places in Coos Bay or Bandon."
As she began to rattle off the names of hotels, he stifled a sigh. He hadn't driven all the way out here to stay in either of those towns. He'd come to spend time in Hope Harbor.
"Isn't there anything closer?"
At his abrupt interruption, the woman stopped speaking. "Um ... not anything I'd recommend. I could probably find you a B&B that's closer, but those are on the pricey side. Most people book them for a night or two at most, and I believe you intended to stay for several weeks. Plus, B&Bs tend to be geared to couples."
Good point. A cozy inn would only remind him how alone he was.
"Okay ... why don't you line me up with someplace for a few nights while I decide what I want to do. Bandon would be my preference, since it's closer."
"I'll get right on it."
"Don't rush." He inspected the two-block-long business district, such as it was. "I'm going to wander around town for a while and grab a bite to eat."
"Sounds like a plan. And again, I'm sorry for the inconvenience."
Once they said their good-byes, he grabbed a jacket from the backseat and locked the car. The midday sun was warm, but the breeze was cool — by his standards, anyway. Perhaps a slight nip in the air was normal for Oregon in the third week of May, though.
Stomach growling, he started down the hill. If he weren't famished, he'd head the opposite direction and check out the big, empty beach at the base of the bluffs on the outskirts of town that he'd spotted as he drove in. A walk on the sand past the sea stacks arrayed offshore would be far more enjoyable than wandering along — he glanced at the street sign as he arrived at the bottom of the hill — Dockside Drive.
The two-block waterfront street didn't take long to traverse, and by the time he was halfway down the second block it was clear his food options were limited to a bakery and a bait-and-tackle shop with a sign advertising takeout sandwiches for the fishing crowd.
All the real restaurants must be in the business district, one street removed from the marina.
Just as he was about to retrace his steps, a spicy, appetizing scent wafted his way. He squinted toward the end of the block, where a white truck with a serving window on one side was perched at the edge of the tiny waterside park with the gazebo. Charley's, according to the colorful lettering above the window where a couple of people were giving orders to a guy with a weathered face and long gray hair pulled back in a ponytail.
Another whiff of an enticing aroma set off a loud clamor in his stomach.
Sold. Whatever they were cooking, he was eating.
With a quick change of direction, he stepped off the sidewalk to cross the street.
"Hey! Watch it!"
At the frantic female voice, he swung around ... and jumped back just in time to avoid a collision with the bicycle heading directly toward him.
The cyclist, however, wasn't as fortunate.
She swerved away from him. Tottered a few more yards. Crashed to the pavement in a tangle of arms, legs, groceries, and wheel spokes.
It took him no more than a few seconds to recover enough to go to her aid, but by then she was already scrambling to her feet.
"Are you okay?"
She glared at him with vivid green eyes, rubbing her hip with one hand and shoving back the golden-brown hair that had escaped from her ponytail with the other.
"I'll live — but next time you might look before you charge into traffic."
"I'm sorry." Lame — but what else could he say? "Let me help you with your bike." He reached for it, but she beat him to it.
"I've got it." She set it on its wheels and gave it a quick once-over.
"If there's any damage, I'll be happy to pay for it."
She lowered the kickstand. "It's in better shape than my groceries." Expression peeved, she surveyed the broken eggs on the pavement, then began gathering up the canned goods that had rolled a few yards away.
While she corralled the wayward tins, he picked up a package of ground beef and a semi-mashed loaf of bread. He also retrieved a crinkled white bakery bag. Through the gap in the top he spied a crushed cinnamon roll.
An instant later the bag was snatched from his grasp. "I can take it from here." She held out her hand for the bread and meat too.
His stomach bottomed out at the blood oozing from a nasty scrape on the fleshy part of her palm, below her thumb. "You're hurt."
She gave the abrasion a quick inspection as she plucked the meat and bread from his grasp. "It's not bad. I'll deal with it after I get home." She turned her back and continued to repack her plastic grocery bags.
"Look ... let me replace the damaged food at least."
"Don't worry about it." She tucked the bags into the baskets on either side of her back fender and swung one long, jeans-clad leg over the bar on the bike. "Just look before you leap next time, okay?"
With that, she pushed off, did a U-turn, and pedaled back down the street.
Michael followed her progress until she disappeared around the corner, then shoved his hands into his pockets.
What else could go wrong today?
Appetite evaporating, he detoured to one of the benches spaced along the waterfront. Nice of the town to provide a spot for residents and visitors to chill out and let their cares melt away.
Except his didn't.
Instead, the familiar emptiness and dark despair that had been his steady companions for the past eighteen months crept over him, casting a pall nothing could overcome — not the bright sunlight, not the two thousand miles he'd put between himself and his memories, not the upbeat name of this town that had beckoned him, holding out the promise of a better tomorrow.
He rested his elbows on his knees and dropped his head in his hands, snuffing out the idyllic view.
As far as he was concerned, whoever named this place had goofed.
* * *
Anna Williams handed her money to Charley Lopez as he passed her order through the window of the food truck, then sniffed the to-go bag. "Smells delicious. What's the secret in- gredient today?"
Charley's smile revealed two rows of gleaming white teeth in his latte-colored face. "Nothing special. A fish taco is a fish taco."
"Not when you make them. What kind of fish did you use?"
"You planning to give me some competition?"
She snorted. "I'm sixty-nine. My professional cooking days are over."
He rested his elbows on the counter, looked left and right, and lowered his voice. "Halibut — with a touch of cilantro. The rest" — he winked and snapped his fingers — "is magic." Leaning sideways, he snagged another parchment-wrapped bundle and held it out to her. "Would you mind giving this to that guy on the bench as you pass? He seems like he could use a pick-me-up."
Anna shifted sideways. The man's back was to her, but it didn't take Oprah-level empathy to recognize his posture of defeat. "Any idea who he is or what's wrong?"
"Not a clue."
Nor would their local taco expert attempt to find out. The man didn't miss a thing that went on in town, yet he never asked questions. Never gossiped. Never passed judgment.
Maybe that's why they got along.
"I guess I could give it to him." She took the extra order. "You want me to pass along a message too?"
"Yeah." Charley grabbed a slip of paper, scribbled a few words, and folded it in half. Resting an elbow on the counter, he leaned across and tucked it in a fold of the parchment paper. "I'd take the tacos over myself, but I've got more customers on the way." He gestured behind her as several guys in hard hats crossed the street, heading their way. "That repaving on 101 might be annoying for drivers, but it's been a boon for my business."
"Will you be cooking tomorrow?" Anna eased away from the window as the road crew approached.
"Depends on the weather and the catch of the day and my mood." Flashing her one more grin, he turned to greet the new arrivals.
Juggling her bag and the extra order of fish tacos, Anna started toward the man on the bench. Only Charley could have persuaded her to approach a stranger. Why, she hardly talked to people she'd known most of her life. What was the point? No one cared about you except family, and once they were gone ... well, it was best to make your peace with being alone.
Her step faltered, and she pivoted back toward the food truck. There was a line now, and Charley was bustling around inside. If he wasn't so busy, she'd march back there and tell him to deliver his own freebie.
On the other hand, he'd never asked a favor of her before — and it was hard to fault a kind gesture.
Resigned, she continued toward the bench, giving the man a once-over. He was still sitting with his head in his hands, a few flecks of silver glinting in his dark brown hair. Not one of the vagrants who occasionally passed through town, though. His jeans might be worn enough to put him in that category, but his shoes were polished leather. She shook her head. The way people dressed these days. This guy could be a yuppie — or whatever they called those upwardly mobile younger folks who liked to defy convention and do things their way. For all she knew, he was some Silicon Valley start-up executive who'd taken a road trip up the coast to bemoan the loss of a million-dollar deal.
No reason to feel sorry for someone like that.
Straightening her shoulders, she cleared her throat to get his attention. "Excuse me."
The man didn't respond.
"Sir? Excuse me."
At her more forceful tone, he lowered his hands and twisted around to face her.
Instantly the air whooshed out of her lungs.
Was that ...?
She dropped the extra order of tacos on the seat of the bench and groped for the back to steady herself.
"Ma'am?" The man rose, concern creasing his brow. "Are you all right? Would you like to sit down?"
She focused on his eyes. Blue, not brown.
It wasn't John.
Of course it wasn't.
John hadn't set foot in this town for almost twenty years — nor was he likely to ever again.
But if, by chance, their paths ever did cross, she'd recognize him, thanks to today's wired world. And except for the eyes, this stranger could be his double. Same color hair, same build, same mid- to late-thirties age, same six-foot-twoish height.
What a bizarre coincidence.
She sucked in a shaky breath. "I'm fine. You just ... you remind me of someone I haven't seen in quite a while."
"Why don't you sit for a minute?" He picked up the order of tacos she'd dropped, making room on the bench.
Easing back, she started to shake her head. She'd be fine as soon as her heart stopped pounding. There was no reason to linger.
Yet looking at this man ... The resemblance was uncanny. It would be easy to pretend he was John.
A powerful yearning crashed over her, stalling her lungs again — but she quashed it at once. Wishing wouldn't change a thing. It was too late for such nonsense. What was done was done.
Still ... what harm could there be in indulging her little fantasy for a few minutes?
"I believe I will." She lowered herself to the bench, perching on the edge.
The man retook his seat and held out the order of tacos.
She waved it aside. "Those are for you. Compliments of the chef." She hooked a thumb toward the food truck.
Surprise flattened his features, and he turned toward Charley, who touched the brim of his Oregon Ducks baseball cap in salute.
"Why?" Her bench partner examined the package.
Excerpted from Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon. Copyright © 2015 Irene Hannon. Excerpted by permission of Revell.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Never disappointed when reading this author. Can't wait to start book 2
I have times that I have trouble concentrating. When this happens I read romance books. In my opinion you don't even have to think when reading this genre. I'm definitely not a fan. I have read this author's suspense books and enjoy them. This book was sooooo predictable and really drug on and on. Conversations were very repetative. It was not one of Irene Hannon’s better reads. Just my opinion.
In Irene Hannon's book, Hope Harbor, you find Michael Hunter rolling into Hope Harbor, Oregon, only to find the hotel, where he had booked reservations, locked down with no explanation in sight! Michael is taking a leave of absence from his job in Chicago in the hopes of sorting out his life. Now he simply must find a new place to rest his head for the next few weeks. When Michael visits the beach area and he meets Anna Williams, it seems he has found an answer to his problem. Anna has an annex on her house that is available for rent to tourists. Michael latches onto this opportunity for a quiet spot to rest while he continues searching for a new direction for his life! After Michael literally stumbles into Tracy Campbell, he has no idea that they each both have pain from their past that needs healing. Watch and see how God will intervene and meet Michael and Tracy's needs in this little coastal town that lives up to its name, Hope! http://penlessreview.blogspot.com/
Irene Hannon is a new author to me. This book won't be the last I read of hers, that is for sure. "Hope Harbor" is a contemporary romance, full of tension and excitement. I loved every single thing about it, especially the fact that it is a clean romance novel. (Thank you, Irene, for that!!) I loved learning of Michael and Tracy's stories, and those of the other Hope Harbor residents. It is a love story, yes, but also holds stories of deep forgiveness. I am fairly sure this is going to be a series and I certainly hope so, because I am hooked and I want more!!!
Deb’s Dozen: Hope Harbor: Where Hearts Heal … Love Blooms. Christian Romance at Its Best! It’s my week for Irene Hannon—and a switch from suspense/mystery to straight romance—and Irene satisfies both needs. She is equally facile in both genres. Michael Hunter, a recent widower, drives from Chicago to Hope Harbor to honor a promise to his wife. She loved Hope Harbor and wanted him to feel the same. When he arrives, tired and hungry, to his surprise, the hotel where he had reservations is closed. Finally, turning on the cell phone he’d shut off for peace and quiet, he found several messages from the proprietor trying to advise him of their closing. She finds him a room in nearby Coos Bay—a disappointing turn of events for Michael. Following a near disaster after almost bumping into a bicycle carrying a beautiful young woman, which crashes avoiding him, he slumps on a bench in the town gathering area, and attempts to regroup—Hope Harbor definitely doesn’t seem to offer him hope. A reclusive woman, Anna Williams, sees him sitting there as she orders her lunch from Charley Lopez’ fish taco stand. Neither recognizes the stranger on the bench. Charley sends Anna over to Michael with a bag of tacos and a note. As Anna sits next to him, she is shocked to realize he looks almost exactly like her estranged son, John. The bicyclist, Tracy Campbell, loves Hope Harbor. She has been working overtime to try to keep her late parents’ business, Harbor Point Cranberries, solvent. In addition to part-time work as a CPA, she also volunteers many hours at Helping Hands. Crashing because of the clumsy stranger was not on her agenda for the day. Hope Harbor is a wonderful, well-written story of triumph overcoming life’s tragedies; a heart-warming tale of people who are believable and lovable characters, albeit carrying deep secrets. I loved Michael and Anna and Tracy and Charley Lopez. You will too. Four stars and well-worth the pleasurable read. Irene is the best-selling and award-winning author of more than fifty novels. She is the seven-time nominee and three-time winner of the RITA Award from the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and is a member of the RWA Hall of Fame. In addition to her suspense/romance series, she has written three entrancing romance books: That Certain Summer, One Perfect Spring, and Hope Harbor. Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, gave me a copy of Hope Harbor in exchange for my unbiased review.
I love reading books that draw me in and make me wish I was there. This book and the small fictional town of Hope Harbor did that for me. It would be so awesome to visit a place like Hope Harbor. The first time I heard of fish tacos about four years ago, I was not interested. If I could go to Hope Harbor right now and get an order of fish tacos at Charley’s, that’s where I would be headed. The author made them sound so appetizing. That was just a small part of the appeal of the book. Often the hero and heroine of a book have hurts and pain from the past. They weren’t the only ones this time. It seemed that the hurts and struggles of some of the other characters helped Tracy and Michael in dealing with their own, or possibly it prodded them to have renewed hope. I enjoyed the way Irene Hannon wove her faith throughout the story and how it played into the lives of the various characters. This is a beautiful story of Christianity in action. I recommend it especially to anyone who needs to jumpstart their hope.
There is a solid foundation of background story and current plot lines from various characters' points of view, mainly Tracy and Michael's. The romance between the two of them alternated with too much holding back, then methodical rationalizing. Both were equally burdened with grief and guilt from their past relationships which helped with the give and take balance of support they shared. When they finally moved past the issues restraining them, the chemistry was pretty good, but still tempered by caution due to their fragile hearts. There are also tender mercies from heaven sprinkled in their experiences together and with other friends in the town. I loved the cast of community members and their influence on the different facets of the story. There is a real lesson of lifelong regret from the life experience of Anna, Michael's reclusive landlord that shares her tragic secret with a family in need to prevent them from making the same mistake. Another favorite is Charley, the fish taco food truck vendor who unobtrusively shares pearls of wisdom along with his unconditional friendship. (Thank you to Revell Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
Hope Harbor is very different from Irene's popular suspense novels, and that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned. Although suspense isn't my favorite genre, Irene Hannon is one of the few suspense authors that I do enjoy - yet it's her contemporary romances that I enjoy most. Rather than being action packed, Hope Harbor is a heartwarming story, poignant, uplifting - and, as the title suggests, filled with hope. It is a character-driven story with sweet romance, charming setting, and characters so real that they could live around any of us. The story is set in the fictional small town of Hope Harbor, Oregon - and I could so easily visualize an evening walk on the beach with the famous sea stack rock formations in the distance. The small-town, coastal setting and close-knit community brought Macomber's Cedar Cove to mind. Tracy's family cranberry farm also featured prominently and I enjoyed learning about the methods and hard work that go into the process. Tracy and Michael's growing feelings for each other are first based on friendship, which is something I love to see in a romance novel, and the chemistry between them feels real. Michael's landlady, Anna, has a strong role, and all three of these characters are burdened with guilt and devastating regret over past actions. Who of us can't relate to that in some form or fashion, having discovered that guilt has only one cure? And then there's Charley, with his much sought-after fish tacos, who has an almost supernatural insight into people's deep, unspoken needs. I suspect there's some spiritual symbolism embodied in this beloved character. As I reflect back on Hope Harbor, I'm impressed at the way Irene brings these characters into interaction, using both their natural talents and spiritual giftedness - all in a way that begs the question, coincidence, fate . . . or God? I loved Charley's pointed words to Anna that coincidence is "God's way of remaining anonymous." The spiritual theme of forgiveness is unmistakably, but gently, woven throughout - forgiveness not just of others, but of self. This story made me step back and reflect on how I treat loved ones, impressing upon me how essential understanding and empathy are, and how crucial being willing to take that first step to initiate reconciliation can be. Above all, Hope Harbor is a story of hope. I have become invested in this community and eagerly await the next Hope Harbor book, coming in summer 2016. Highly recommended to all readers. Thank you to Revell for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
The previous books I've read by Hannon have all been suspense books, and I was curious how she would handle a contemporary romance novel. HOPE HARBOR lays all the ground work for a continuing series set in fictional Hope Harbor, one of those ideal small towns, similar to Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove (although a little quieter). A quick glance at the last pages show advertising that another book RETURN TO HOPE HARBOR will follow next year, yet I never felt like this first book was overladen with extra characters who would likely reappear in later works. Hannon centers this story on Michael Hunter, a Chicago nonprofit executive who has come to this western small town for an extended visit. Clearly he has a reason for coming, but readers have to wait awhile before they discover why. Hunter's vacation does not start well -- first, he finds the small motel where he had reservations has suddenly closed. Then he accidentally runs into a young woman on her bike, causing her to loose her groceries and hurt her hip. Of course, you know that there will be romance between the two, and you won't be disappointed. Hannon has created very likable characters in both Hunter and the young, hardworking Tracy. Local color comes from the struggling cranberry farm which has been in Tracy's family for years and the eccentric food truck owner Charley. Faith lessons in forgiving oneself and second chances are there for both Tracy and Michael, while Michael's new landlord, widow Anna has need for a different kind of forgiveness. Warm hearted and sincere, this novel is a quick read, but one that will leave you satisfied; it is perfect for a late summer read as you travel. Personally, I will welcome novels by Irene Hannon. She's shown she is a success at writing suspense series and now contemporary romance. I would like to see her branch out again, into those contemporary novels which go beyond romance into deeper stories of character and faith. I received a copy of HOPE HARBOR from Revell Reads for my honest review.
Michael Hunter is trying to get his life back on track and he really does not want to get close to anyone. Tracy Campbell is back to her home again where she was a young child. She has come home to be alone with her secret and does not want to share it with anyone. I have read a lot of books by author Irene Hannon and I have liked them. You start to think that you really know these characters and how they act. I liked this story and kind of wished for a little different ending. I give this book a 4/5. I was given this book by Revell Publishing and all opinions are mine.
What an enjoyable read as several characters crushed along life’s path find themselves in the same small, beach town, Hope Harbor on the Oregon coast. Is it really a harbor of hope? Tracy Campbell works to save her family’s cranberry farm against many odds along with her aging uncle. Michael Hunter temporarily flees his fast paced life in Chicago to seek solace by the sea and can’t imagine how he will heal his guilty and aching heart. A widowed hermit digs herself away from her former life accepting the longterm alienation from her only family member. How will Hope Harbor open them up to an abundant life full of caring friends and purpose? Can people find their way by helping others even when they are seeking solitude and space? Themes of forgiveness, healing, and selflessness flow throughout this book. Irene Hannon has written a beautiful novel that speaks of our need for each other in our imperfect humanity. I highly recommend Hope Harbor! I received this book from Revell Reads/Net Galley and am delighted to have given my honest review.
The one thing about our pasts is that no matter how far we try and run from them, they still remain. Such is the case for Michael Hunter, a man searching for answers in a world that seems to have spiraled out of control. He heads to Hope Harbor along the Oregon coast hoping to find a fresh start for his busy charitable work in Chicago. After losing his wife, he is hoping that Hope Harbor lives up to its name. However when he arrives, he finds that his lodging accommodations have been changed due to an unexpected fire and just when he thinks he will have to move on further up the coast, things change. Call it a coincidence, luck or just simply God's way of remaining anonymous, when long time recluse Anna Williams offers Michael a room to rent. Seems she doesn't talk to anyone and Michael has provoked a long seated emotion that has been locked away for decades. Just when things are beginning to look up, Michael quite literally knocks Tracy Campbell off her feet or off her bike, when he steps out on the street in front of her causing her to crash and lose some of her groceries and sustain minor injuries. Giving Michael a bit of well placed advice to watch where he is going, she rushes away before she has to speak with him any longer than necessary. The news she has for her Uncle Bud about their family business Harbor Point Cranberries. It seems unless they can find a way to infuse more money into the business they might have to sell to companies that are more efficient and can turn a bigger profit than what her and her family have been struggling to do for years now. If only there was a way to find the answer to keeping the family business quite literally afloat. I received Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon compliments of Revell Publishing and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review outside of a complimentary copy of the novel and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. I think my favorite quote from this novel is simply this, "You know what they say about coincidence - it's God's way of remaining anonymous." This is so true for each of the characters that are joined together from Charlie, the lunch truck driver who doles out Scriptures along with his world famous fish tacos, to Anna Williams who rescues animals she meets along her walks in town, to the unlikely couple found in Michael and Tracy, who are both grieving from their past relationships and looking for a future that God seems to be masterfully orchestrating. Come home to Hope Harbor, where hearts heal and love blooms! This is the first novel in the Hope Harbor series and I can't wait for more, this one deserves a 4.5 of out 5 stars in my opinion and will be checking out Irene Hannon's other novels as well.
I love Irene Hannon. After reading Hope Harbor, I have officially added her to my favorite authors list. While this book is quite different from the thriller I read (Buried Secrets - Men of Valor series), I enjoyed this sweet, sweet romance very much. I was turning page after page to find out what the outcome of the changing tide for Hope Harbor would be. I could relate to both Tracy and Michael's pasts. I think that's why I loved them so much. Their struggle with the tragedy and the guilt, anger, and loneliness that results from grief is something I can certainly identify with, and the author handled these feelings and emotions without bogging the story down with them. The progression of each character in the story felt natural and flowed flawlessly throughout the book. I loved reading about Anna and her hurts and hopes, too. Her side story was just as interesting and exciting as the main story. The message of the book, as the overview states, is about change. Sometimes, letting go of the past regrets, failures, hurts, and anger is the hardest thing we will ever do. In the end, though, it's so worth it. Each of these characters had to battle their pasts in order to embrace the future God wanted for them. I loved how the author mingled a healthy dose of faith, love, and grace in her story, as well as the hard feelings of bitterness, anger, and regret. Overall, Hope Harbor certainly lived up to it's name. It has renewed my hope in the future God laid out for me. God certainly knew what he was doing when I was given a copy of this book. I look forward to more exciting, faith-filled works from this amazing author. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Revell Reads blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*
Wonderful romance. Wonderful characters
_________________________________________ *My Thoughts* My original opinion of Irene was a lot different then it is now. I had just read another book with the same story line and I wasn't quite sure my opinion. In order to be fair, when her book, Buried Secrets, came up for review, I requested it. I LOVED it and I knew I should give this one a try. Oooh, I am sooo happy to share this with you!! This has a little less depth in it then her suspense novels, obviously, but I was glad for that. The characters were just like real people and we got a lot of background. Using her usual fabulous writing, Irene pulled me in from the start and I was immersed in the story for hours! Hope Harbor has a tremendous amount of faith, love, and second chances. Definitely worth a read...and a second, third, fourth...You get the picture! Can't wait for book two! _______________________________________ *My overall thoughts* Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon is a contemporary romance. With Irene's excellent writing and a lighter story line then some of her other books, this is a perfect beach read! Irene just keeps getting better! __________________________________________ *My Rating* I give Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon... 5 stars!! *I received this book from the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have given. All thoughts were my own and I was not compensated in any other way. http://bookreviewsforchristians.blogspot.com/2015/08/revell-review-hope-harbor-by-irene.html
Hope Harbor is a novel about forgiveness, second chances, and starting over. I have only read Irene Hannon’s suspense books before and this is the first contemporary romance of hers that I have read. This dealt with two widows and a widower who all were carrying the baggage of guilt and regret. I really liked how all of their stories unfolded as the story was told and Ms. Hannon managed to keep me turning the pages to know what these deep seeded hurts were. And I especially enjoyed the way they all began to rejoin life and the hope that took root and bloomed for all of them in a very special place called Hope Harbor. I think my favorite character was Charley with his yummy sounding fish tacos and the mystery of his wise and sage advice. I received a complimentary copy for an honest review from Revell Publishing and the opinions are my own.
Hope Harbor was such a beautiful story, full of characters with complicated pasts, and unsure futures. I really enjoyed this story and they way the author allowed the reader to slowly unfold the layers of secrets, regrets, and guilt that various people in the story carried around. Another thing that made this book such a joy to read was the way the author intertwined the characters and their journeys. Tracy and Michael are the two main characters. They are a widow and a widower who both feel that there is no hope for them to ever move past the tragedies of their spouses’ deaths. What a journey they take in this story! Another beautiful story line is Anna’s growth from recluse with a hardened heart, to a woman with hope for the future and the rebuilding of her life. She also has some reconnecting to do with God. There are other interesting characters that provide great depth to the story. I really enjoyed this book from start to finish and recommend it to fans of contemporary fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.
"Closed until June 13." Not exactly the words you want to read when you pull into the motel where you are planning to spend the next couple of weeks, but that is exactly what Irene Hannon's main character, Michael Hunter finds when he arrives for a much need break in Hope Harbor. This unfortunate event makes the perfect set up for the plot in Hannon's novel to unfold throwing together characters that are rich, vulnerable, and real. They are hard working, honest, kind, and caring. Yet, they have also had a world of trouble and trauma in their lives. The fact that these characters are still able to function is pretty amazing, but for them to maintain an attitude of kindness gave me pause to think. When life truly throws some awful things your way (and it will), you can make it out, but you can thrive. I enjoyed reading about the beach and the cranberry farm. I was also motivated by the organization within the local churches in this community of Hope Harbor that set aside their differences to help community members in need through local volunteers. Irene Hannon's novel Hope Harbor is just that a story of hope! This is a story of romance, forgiveness, healing, love, kindness, and HOPE! I truly enjoyed reading this one. I highly recommend it.
Hope Harbor By Irene Hannon Hope Harbor was suppose to offer him a chance to regroup and refocus his life, a chance to heal from his loss. But Hope Harbor has some surprises in store for Michael Hunter, starting with his lack of accommodations. And then there is a near accident with Tracy Campbell, who is dealing with her own losses. But these seemingly random unfortunate events are about to bring unexpected blessing to not only Michael and Tracy but Hope Harbor itself. And second chances are not only a possibility but about to become a reality in this small Oregon community. And with second chances comes healing and forgiveness. When you take one hurting CEO, a struggling cranberry farmer, and a hurting recluse you get a story that will touch your heart. Hope Harbor is a story of hope - hope of healing, hope of love, hope of reconciliation, and hope of starting over. This is a stand-alone book that if you are unfamiliar with Irene Hannon's work would be a perfect introduction to her books. This is a delightful and touching story that leaves you with an uplifted frame of mind and spirit. From the opening line you will be drawn to Hope Harbor and its residents and their hopes, dreams, and struggles. I have to admit I wouldn't mind a second trip to Hope Harbor with a chance to meet and learn more about the residents of this Oregon community. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Revell through their blogger program in exchange for my honest review.
One man is looking for answers by running away and a woman is looking for answers by struggling to stay. Michael Hunter and Tracey Campbell are unexpectedly thrown together in their totally opposite pursuits. Both have faced the loss of their spouses in very different ways, and grappling with moving ahead. Yet they are not the only ones in the seaside town of Hope Harbor that need healing and solutions. Anna Williams, a widow, has never healed over the death of her husband and estrangement from her only son. Then there is Grace, the unwed teen and her family that desperately need relationships repaired from years of misunderstandings. God joins all of them by surprising circumstances. He uses their hurts and godly characteristics to help one another. This is a delightful story with so many facets; romance, godly love, self-sacrifice, faith, and forgiveness. On the opposite of the spectrum there was stubbornness, pride, guilt, unforgiveness and bitterness. These myriad emotions made the characters seem real. It reminded me of how I have seen God work in my life and others by means we could never imagine. As I read the book, and was able to look into each character’s hearts and minds, and I could see where they were fighting God and trying to choose their own paths, attempting to “fix” their problems. I saw myself at times when I have not trusted Him for the results and made things so much harder on myself. Just as most people tend to do, each person had put God in a box, deciding their “impossible” situation was hopeless and refusing to give the Lord control. This book is not only extremely entertaining, but a wonderful testimony of God’s power. Can’t wait for the sequel! I do wish the author had included the recipes mentioned in the book. Especially for Tracey’s cranberry bread! I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I have shared are my own.
Hope Harbor is an enchanting story! Irene Hannon does a wonderful job of bringing this special Oregon community and its residents to life. I loved the richly layered story line and appreciated the complexity of the characters and their dramatic, emotional journeys. I really enjoyed Tracy and Michael’s story, and was touched by several secondary characters as well. Reading this story made me want to walk along the beach, visit Charley’s taco stand, and enjoy some fresh cranberry nut cake. Hope Harbor is a story of hope and healing that warmed my heart and brought a smile to my face! I received a complimentary copy of Hope Harbor from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. I appreciate the opportunity to read this story and share my thoughts.
Hope Harbor Irene Hannon Book Summary: Tracy Campbell never wanted to leave Hope Harbor, Oregon, or the idyllic three-generation cranberry farm where she grew up. But life--and love--altered her plans. When tragedy strikes and changes her plans yet again, she finds herself back in her hometown with a floundering farm to run and a heartbreaking secret. Romance is not on her agenda. Nor is it on Michael Hunter's. The visitor from Chicago has daunting secrets of his own. But when Tracy recruits him to help save a struggling charitable organization, the winds of change begin to sweep through Hope Harbor, bringing healing, hope, and love to countless lives--including their own. Fan favorite Irene Hannon brings a whole new cast of characters to life in a charming Oregon seaside village. Emotional and heartwarming, this story invites readers to come home to Hope Harbor, where love and hope bloom--and hearts heal. Review: I love the flow and writing of Irene Hannon. This book is no different. While the story line was not my typical type, I still find myself captive to the book. I liked the variety of stories going on all at once and the flow from one group of characters to the next. I did find the overall story line between Tracy and Michael to be fine and what their secrets were, for me they were alluded to before they told the each other the story. I really liked the story of Anna. That was my favorite story. The novel was very gripping and the characters were varied and plentiful. It was truly a slice of life that seems caught in time with great interaction between characters. For those who love Irene Hannon or new to her writing this is a great example of her skill in storytelling. I would like to thank Net Galley and Revell for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
Hope Harbor is the first of Irene Hannon’s books that I’ve read and I give it five out of five stars. I’m excited to have found a new author with a plethora of books to choose from. My “To Read” pile just grew! Hope Harbor is appropriately named. The beauty of the location and the small town atmosphere is a perfect setting for the hopeless to heal. It’s home for Tracy and a place of refuge and contemplation for Michael. Tracy loves her home and finds purpose and devotion in working the family farm. Her devotion has cost her dearly in the past and she must decide if it’s all really worth it. Michael is longing for resolution and hopes to find it in Hope Harbor. Although he thinks he’s going to spend the time deep in thought Michael finds himself pouring out his gifts in those around him and in doing so, he may find the answers he is longing for. By far, my favorite character is Anna Williams. Anna has a haunting past that has cost her everything that ever meant anything to her. In isolation and seclusion, Anna has learned to survive but the loneliness she feels cannot be replaced by the surrogate friends she’s surrounded herself with. Without her knowledge or approval, Michael Hunter has managed to break through the prison of isolation and in doing so, he has caused Anna to reevaluate her situation. Broken hearts need time to mend and grief has no time limit. Hope Harbor is about finding healing, letting go of the past and being willing to take the steps necessary to do both. I loved this book with it’s powerful message wrapped in a charmingly sweet story. I received this book from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review which I’ve provided here.