Thursday, July 18, 2019

Review: "The Art of Rivers" by Janet Ferguson

I've read several of Janet Ferguson's books, and they're always captivating stories with enjoyable romances. But her latest novel, The Art of Rivers, is even better than I was expecting!

Rivers Sullivan bears both visible and invisible scars—those on her shoulder from a bullet wound and those on her heart from the loss of her fiancĂ© during the same brutal attack. Not even her background as an art therapist can help her regain her faith in humanity. Still, she scrapes together the courage to travel to St. Simons Island to see the beach cottage and art gallery she’s inherited from her fiancĂ©. When she stumbles upon recovering addicts running her gallery, she’s forced to reckon with her own healing.

After the tragic drowning of his cousin, James Cooper Knight spends his days trying to make up for his past mistakes. He not only dedicates his life to addiction counseling, but guilt drives him to the water, searching for others who’ve been caught unaware of the quickly rising tides of St. Simons. When he rescues a peculiar blond woman and her sketch pad from a sandbar, then delivers this same woman to his deceased grandmother’s properties, he knows things are about to get even more complicated.

Tragic circumstances draw Cooper and Rivers closer, but they fight their growing feelings. Though Cooper’s been sober for years, Rivers can’t imagine trusting her heart to someone in recovery, and he knows a relationship with her will only rip his family further apart. Distrust and guilt are only the first roadblocks they must overcome if they take a chance on love.

I was in a bit of a reading slump when I picked up The Art of Rivers—in fact, it was the third book I'd attempted to read that day. But once I got going with The Art of Rivers, I couldn't put it down!

While this book has the things I look for in a romance—romantic chemistry between the couple, a reasonable conflict, and well-drawn supporting characters—it also pushed me out of my comfort zone a bit ... in a good way.

Addiction factors heavily into this novel, and sometimes it's heartbreaking to read about. Addiction hasn't had a huge impact on my life, but I do have a relative who is an alcoholic, and reading this book helped me to understand a little bit of what this person goes through while fighting to stay sober and gave me a little more compassion.

While this is the third book in Ferguson's Coastal Hearts series, it absolutely works as a stand-alone novel. (I haven't read the first two books, so I'm not sure if any characters overlap.) It's a wonderful story that provides a heartbreaking look at addiction while showing the hope that can be found in Christ. 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Ferguson's Leaving Oxford (4 stars), Going Up South (4-1/2 stars), and Tackling the Fields (4 stars).

Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served her church as a children’s minister and a youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a few cats that allow them to share the space.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from JustRead Publicity Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


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