This was a solid read – it just wasn’t a good fit for me. I always see Carolyn Brown’s books on the bestseller lists, so it seemed like the right time to check one out. The writing itself is strong, the characters are interesting, and there are little bits of humor thrown into the story. But it was just too sweet and laidback for me, so I got bored with all of the heartwarming moments and slightly preachy tone. There’s definitely an audience for it – I just don’t think I’m the intended reader.
The story follows Ginger, a young woman who finds herself pregnant and homeless. She’s taken in by three elderly ladies who have interesting personalities and a penchant for taking in strays. The ladies have also taken former soldier Sloan under their wing, and it’s through them that the two meet. Sloan suffers from PTSD and still battles his own demons, but he finds a connection to Ginger right away. As old wounds are healed and new bonds are made, this unique family comes together.
It’s got a nice small town feel and a very descriptive, serious tone with as much focus on family as there is on the romance. Though Ginger and Sloan’s relationship is central throughout the book, it’s not developed as well as it would be in a more romance-focused novel. And though there are references to a few adult themes and some potentially triggering content, it’s a clean romance with just a few kisses. There is a focus on religion and a few references to race that I didn’t love but, again, I’m probably not the intended reader for this. All in all, it’s certainly not a bad read, but I was definitely bored and skimming at times, so I can’t say that it was a total win for me either. I received an ARC via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review of this heartwarming book.
A homeless young woman finds an unexpected family in beloved New York Times bestselling author Carolyn Brown’s novel of healing hearts and new beginnings in a small Texas town.
In the fading town of Rooster, Texas, all that’s really left is a service station, a church…and the Banty House, a long-ago Depression-era brothel. For more than seventy-five years, Betsy, Connie, and Kate Carson have called their mama’s house a home. The three eccentric sisters get by just fine with their homemade jams and jellies, a little moonshine on the side, and big hearts always open to strangers. Like Ginger Andrews.
An abandoned teen with a baby on the way and nowhere to go, she’s given a room to call her own for as long as she wants. The kind invitation is made all the sweeter when Ginger meets the sisters’ young handyman, Sloan Baker. But with a past as broken as Ginger’s, he’s vowed never to get close to anyone again. As a season of change unfolds, Ginger and Sloan might discover a warm haven to heal in the Banty House, a place to finally belong, where hope and dreams never fade.