Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Review: A Notion of Love (Shore Leave Cafe #3) by Abbie Williams

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A Notion of Love
Shore Leave Cafe #3
By:  Abbie Williams
Published:  October 21, 2013
By:  Central Avenue Publishing
Source:  Publisher

GR's Summary:

Twelve years ago, Jillian Henrinksen gave up any hope of finding love again. After suffering the loss of her husband to a tragic accident, she clung to the only remaining stability she had: her young son, her family of women, and her job at their restaurant, The Shore Leave Café. Now it is summer again, and change is in the hot and humid air, including the arrival of Jillian’s older sister Joelle, home now to stay. And then there is Justin Miller, a longtime family friend, dangerously sexy and yet made bitter from a terrible accident sustained five years before. Can Jillian and Justin dare to risk their broken hearts and take a chance on love?

Shore Leave Cafe Series:

My Take on this Journey:

Notion of Love, by Abbie Williams, is the first book in the Shore Leave Café series that I have ever read.  I was very touched by this story and now want to  go back to read the first two novels in this series.  This story takes place in 1984, in Landon, Minnesota.  The whole theme of the story centers around the Shore Leave Café, which is run by a multi-generation of women in the Davis family.  The characters are so charming, funny, witty, loving, and bluntly say what they what they are thinking at times.  The women are all strong willed, strong minded, know what they want, and go after  it.  (Some more subtly then others.)

Notion of Love begins at the big blowout party for both 16 year old Jillian, (Jills, Jilly Bean) and her older sister, 17 year old Joelle (Jo.)  Jillian is very down to earth, a little on the shy side, who appreciates the small things in life, and never desires change from her life at the Shore Leave Café.  On the other hand, Jo is wild, crazy, and wants to start a life far away from her home town.  Everyone in town comes to the end of the summer blow out.  There is an array of characters that attend, drawn together with a throw back feeling, and music that reminds Jillian of her childhood. Jillian's good friend, Justin comes to the party with his b**** of a girlfriend, Aubrey, and there are underlining feelings that are set off between Jillian and Justin, though they always keep everything light and friendly.  

Chris Hendrickson is Jillian's long time friend since she turned 15 years old, and tonight he asks her to become his girlfriend.  He gives her a promise ring, with the promise to be engaged some time soon.  The two are madly in love, and Chris is a very sweet and tender guy, and together they make a really cute couple.  The ladies of the Café love Chris to no end.   Jo's boyfriend is the starting quarterback at Landon High, and he is always in trouble, but Jo is crazy about Jackie and the danger that follows close behind him.  The women at the Café don't want Jo with Jackie, but are hard pressed to find a way to get her away from her knight and shining armor.  Two years pass, and straight out of high school, Jillian and Chris marry, and nine months later have a son named  Clint.

This novel spreads through decades.  The reader is thrown into the tragedies of the characters in the town, and especially the one that hits home, the death of Chris in a tragic, avoidable  accident.  The prose tore at my soul.  The grief and devastation felt real, and as Jillian was totally ripped of her soul, I felt her pain to my core.  This novel will reek havoc on you, and will also bring joy.  After several long years of being alone, and Justin marrying and  divorcing Aubrey, Jillian and Justin become real friends and together depart on a journey of faith, renewal of love, and both learn how to heal and  live again.

This was a wonderful story about triumph of the spirit, and rejuvenation of the soul.  Get your tissues ready girls cause this is definitely a tear jerker!  This story brought back the feelings of fluttering butterflies with first love, the devastation of fate's cruel twist, and the renewal of second chance love.  Ms. Williams did a great job, and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

I give  A Notion of Love, by Abbie Williams, 4 Living in the Moment, Determined by Fate, Long Lost Loving Stars!

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About Abbie Williams:

I am writer Abbie Williams, and I have been addicted to love stories ever since first sneaking my mother's copy of The Flame and the Flower; since then, I've been jotting down stories of my own in notebook after spiral-bound notebook. Well, that is until I got a computer that was equipped with Word, one fine day. 

My day job is teaching English at the high school level (which I dearly love). I spend my days with my own true love, our three daughters, and a very busy schedule. I am most happy when I can sneak in a few hours to write and thereby indulge in visiting the characters in my stories. 

When I'm not writing, teaching or spending time with my family, you can find me listening to my favorite musical groups of all time: Alison Krauss and Union Station, the Wailin' Jennys, and Red Molly. If there's time in the evening, I might watch a few episodes of Hell on Wheels and eat a jar of crunchy peanut butter. 


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