Hooper Safe Haven by author Rachel Skatvold is part of the Independence Island contemporary fiction series by various authors. If you have not read any in this series it is no problem to pick up this one. The books share some characters but can all be read as standalone. After reading one of these delightful island tales, I found myself yearning to read the others.
This is a sweet romance with a touch of mystery. It is the story of Alicia and Jace. These two are lovable yet flawed individuals. Each one of them has past baggage weighing upon them. The chemistry between them seems to pop off of the pages. The author did a beautiful job writing it. Author Skatvold has an unique style of writing. The first half of her book has their relationship moving rather swiftly. The second half has characters dealing with issues in their relationship. Conversations flow evenly and sound normal. Secondary characters are extremely well written as is the entire book.
The story is fascinating and interesting all of the way until the end. The two main characters are lovable and each have issues that plague them. Alicia has relocated to Hooper Island and takes a job working on the mobile vet clinic. She has had some past hurt that still lingers making her shut down any conversation about God.
An injury dashed Jace’s hopes of a career with the Major Leagues. Now he helps his father at his apartment complex and also leads contemporary music at his church. If you are an animal person like me, you will find Cooper, a sweet service dog, especially endearing. Jace is drawn to Alicia because of her sweet, delightful personality, but he can tell she is hiding something.
This is a sweet inspirational contemporary romance filled with lessons on hope, healing, family, faith and love. The message of faith is heavily sprinkled throughout this endearing story. There are so many lovely lines in this book, but I believe this is my favorite: “The safe haven she’d been searching for wasn’t a physical place at all — it was a peace inside her heart she could never lose, a gift from God.” Isn’t that true for us all?
I highly recommend this lovely book. It is a short one that can easily be read in an evening. I was immediately engaged in the story and with the characters. This would make a nice book club or small group selection even though there are no discussion questions. If you have a reader on your Christmas list, this is a very nice book to get for them. It gets a five out of five star rating from me. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but these are my own honest words.