Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Review: "Out of the Blue" by Susan L. Tuttle

It's always a good day when I can read a new Susan L. Tuttle book!

Falling in love again wasn’t on her checklist, but he’s about to pencil it in.

Nate Reynolds’s ugly history has dogged him long enough. He has spent years reforming himself, but there has to be a purpose for all the pain in his youth. When he discovers the perfect campground for rehabbing juvenile delinquents, he sees his chance for redemption. Even if it means butting heads with the owner’s granddaughter, Gwen Doornbos, a woman who, for all her sharp edges, possesses a heart similar to his. The more time he spends with her, the more he envisions a future he once thought impossible.

Four years ago, Gwen Doornbos lost her husband at the hands of a troubled teen. Her dream of ministering to kids died with him, and she returned home to help her grandfather run their family summer camp until his retirement. That day has finally arrived, except her grandfather has other plans for Camp Hideaway, and they include the irritatingly handsome Nate, a do-gooder with more brawn than sense who insists on bringing the past right to her door.

When an accident requires Gwen to temporarily assist Nate, she discovers that the campers challenge her in ways she’s not ready to face. Yet if she can find the courage to stay, the darkness that has shrouded her for so long may lift to reveal a love arriving out of the blue.

Out of the Blue is a beautiful story of second chances, forgiveness, and moving on after tragedy. Four years after her husband's tragic death, Gwen is still mired in grief and anger. When she learns that her grandfather has rented out their family campground - the camp she planned to sell - to a man who wants to run a camp for at-risk youth, she is livid. But Nate - and a special camper - slowly begin to tear down Gwen's walls.

Gwen is stubborn, prickly, and hurting. Nate sees the camp as his own redemption story. Both are imperfect and make mistakes. But they also learn and grow and make each other better. I love when characters grow throughout a novel, and that certainly happens here! Also, I appreciated how faith was woven into the story - it didn't feel shoehorned in, but it seemed like a natural progression.

And then there's the romance! Nate and Gwen have snapping chemistry, and watching them dance toward each other was a pleasure. Also, we'd better see more of these characters in the future, as I'm dying to know more about Nate's sister, as well as Gwen's friends! The one thing I didn't like was the NCIS-bashing that went on ... but I guess I can forgive it 🤣 (Also, I'm literally going to pull up last night's episode the instant I hit publish on this post). 5 stars.

Read my reviews of Tuttle's At First Glance (4-1/2 stars), Then Again, Maybe (4-1/2 stars), Love You, Truly (5 stars), and Never too Late (5 stars).

Susan L. Tuttle

ACFW Carol Award finalist Susan L. Tuttle lives in the Mitten State of Michigan where she's a mom of three and happily married to her best friend. Between still homeschooling her youngest and leading the women's ministry at church, she finds time to write stories filled with inspiration, hope, and encouragement. Connect with Susan at susanltuttle.com.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I borrowed this book through Kindle Unlimited. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on 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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