Adult Contemporary Romance Published June 30, 2015
Author's Website | Goodreads | Buy the Book on Amazon
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Elliot Champ, a charming but solitary bachelor who has sworn off romance, is closer than ever to realizing his childhood dream of moving to Miami—until a chance letter lands on his desk, and changes everything.
The letter takes him to Echo Glen, a secluded retreat outside of Seattle, where he meets David Hadley, an elderly man who needs Elliot’s help fulfilling a promise to his wife, June. But along the way, it is Elliot whose life will be changed, as he’s introduced to a cast of colorful characters who conspire to draw him ever deeper into a whimsical world, where falling in love is all about letting go.
From the green mountains of the great Pacific Northwest to the scarlet poppy fields of northern Spain, this unique and heart-wrenching love story will take you on an emotional journey to that ever-elusive place called true love. Another must-read romance from Ryan Winfield that is guaranteed to draw tears, put a smile on your face, and have you, too, falling for June.
This book was such a refreshing read. It's a romance, but more than anything this is a story of how friendship can form in the unlikeliest of situations. In Elliot's case he meets David at a time in his life when he is at a crossroads and his relationship with David is what will determine the course that the rest of his life will take.
Elliot is a man who, from a very early age, was turned against the idea of love. His mother left him with his father when he was only three years old and his father never quite recovered from the heartbreak. He dates, but he's determined that love isn't something he will ever need in his life. He's never seen this modeled in his life so he thinks his life will be just fine without it. Elliot works for a company that buys out mortgages on home properties that are struggling to stay afloat. One day a letter comes across his desk and while it intrigues him, he's passes it on to be picked up by someone else in the office. On his 33rd birthday he can't seem to get the letter out of his head so he digs it out and decides to pay the man a visit. It turns out to be the best decision he ever made.
"I think sometimes life lines up to give you exactly what it is you really need, and on my thirty-third birthday that's exactly what happened to me."
Elliot meets Mr. Hadley and over the course of a couple of days his life changes. David tells him the story of June and how they met and fell in love. His story is compelling and has the power to change how Elliot feels about love. Elliot may have fallen for June, but I definitely fell for David. He's in his early 50's when he initially meets June who becomes the love of his life. She changes his life in such an amazing way and David does the same for Elliot as he's relaying his love story with June to him during their visits.
There is a thread of a love story going on in the present with Elliot and Estrella, but it's not the driving force of the novel and it doesn't really happen until David makes Elliot believe that a true and lasting love is possible.
"Find yourself someone worthy of your love, and love her with all you've got. It's the only thing that's worth a damn in this life."
I have never read The Notebook, but I did see the movie years ago and this reminds me a little of that for some reason. I think it's the dual story that's happening and the fact that the major love story happening is the one that is already coming to an end in the present. I freely admit that there was some sobbing going on even after I had a feeling what the end was going to bring. I was finishing the book on a break at school and I had to put it down a couple of times so I could compose myself.
While I still think that Jane's Melody is my favorite of Ryan's books, this is most definitely a close second. I will say this again and again, but it's always true, there is such a lyrical quality to the writing and there are lines that you just have to highlight because you don't want to forget them. This is a beautiful story with characters that you will absolutely fall in love with. They have grand adventures complete with skydiving in Spain. I also happen to know that Ryan Winfield is a big believer in researching what he writes about, so you can be assured that when he describes the skydiving scenes he is doing so from a point of experience.
This is also a clean romance which was kind of unexpected because there are some very sexy love scenes in the Jane's Melody books. I have to admit, though, that some stories just need to be told in a certain way and I think that adding sex scenes into this particular one would have somehow taken away from David and June's story. This is a book that I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who believes in long and lasting love. If you don't believe...read this book, it may just change your mind.