Review: On Love’s Gentle Shore – Liz Johnson

Liz Johnson. On Love’s Gentle Shore. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2017.

Sometimes, I find it very challenging to decide which book in a series I like the best.  However, this series does not have that problem, as the author showed tremendous growth throughout the development of her novels, culminating in her final and most recent book.

Ms. Johnson finishes her Prince Edward Island Dreams series with On Love’s Gentle Shore.  Natalie O’Ryan grew up on Prince Edward Island under less than ideal circumstances.  While she was taken under the wing of some of the families in her hometown, she continued to face cruel gossip as a result of her parents’ poor choices.  After leaving PEI at the end of high school, Natalie never planned to return to her hometown, until her fiancé decided to surprise her with planning their wedding there.  In the weeks leading up to the event, Natalie finds herself making final preparations by herself, even as her plans continue to fall apart.  With the help of her childhood best friend, Justin Kane, Natalie finally begins to make progress planning a party worthy of her fiancé’s Nashville friends.  However, the opportunity to work together soon rekindles old memories and a second chance for them both.

On Love’s Gentle Shore serves as a heartwarming conclusion to the Prince Edward Island Dreams series.  Readers will enjoy seeing many of their favorite characters return once again, while gaining a fresh perspective on the townsfolk and staff of Rose’s Red Door Inn.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading On Love’s Gentle Shore.  Ms. Johnson shows continued growth in her writing and character development throughout this series, reaching a new high with this novel.  I especially thought that her pacing was much improved in this novel, as readers will feel much more connected to this set of characters than some introduced in other books in the series.  Natalie and Justin’s story also presents a greater focus on the families of the island, rather than characters that arrive from outside of the area.  As a series focused on island life, I would have expected to see a greater focus on these types of characters and stories much earlier on in Ms. Johnson’s other novels.  However, the inclusion of these aspects makes for a much more interesting and entertaining story in On Love’s Gentle Shore.

Readers who enjoy relatively light contemporary Christian fiction will enjoy On Love’s Gentle Shore, especially if they appreciated Ms. Johnson’s previous novels in the series, including The Red Door Inn and Where Two Hearts Meet.  Also, fans of Christian fiction that takes place in Canadian or seaside settings will also want to read this series.  With the novel’s PEI connection, fans of L.M. Montgomery may find this series to be worthwhile.  However, the modern-day PEI and Ms. Johnson’s writing style are significantly different from Ms. Montgomery’s tales.

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Amazon – On Love’s Gentle Shore

Review: Where Two Hearts Meet – Liz Johnson

Liz Johnson. Where Two Hearts Meet. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2016.

After reading dozens of books over the last year, I still can’t decide if I enjoy the beginning of a series or the continuation of one more.  This week’s review features the second novel in a series first introduced in March of this year.  In this case, I can honestly say that I prefer the sequel to the first book in the set. :)

Ms. Johnson continues her Prince Edward Island Dreams series with Where Two Hearts Meet.  Following the events of The Red Door Inn, Caden Holt thrives as the executive chef of Seth and Marie Sloane’s inn on Prince Edward Island.  However, the Inn faces financial challenges without the necessary marketing to bring in new visitors.  Fortunately, a travel writer arrives on the Inn’s doorstep!  Marie insists that Caden show off the Island to their newest guest, in spite of Caden’s hesitancy to leave the safe world of her kitchen.  Adam Jacobs left behind his position as a journalist after his international story led to tragic results.  On a sabbatical, Adam needs the calm atmosphere of Prince Edward Island to regain perspective and hopefully rediscover his passion for writing.  In a case of mistaken identity, Adam finds himself as the subject of Caden and Marie’s marketing pitch for the Island, even as he finds the atmosphere of Caden’s kitchen to be the most effective form of recuperation.  Together, Adam and Caden must overcome their fears to find a way to save the Red Door Inn.

Where Two Hearts Meet offers a heartwarming continuation of Ms. Johnson’s Prince Edward Island Dreams.  In the novel, Ms. Johnson comes into her own as an author of contemporary Christian fiction.

Overall, I quite enjoyed Where Two Hearts Meet.  While The Red Door Inn made for pleasant reading, I never completely lost myself in the characters.  In comparison, Where Two Hearts Meet was a much more interesting story, with a more compelling plotline and better pacing that will keep readers fascinated.  Ms. Johnson benefits from having established much of her setting and quite a few characters in her earlier novel.  However, this book offers a story and characters that are strong enough to stand alone.  The setting on Prince Edward Island also comes into its own in this novel, as the food, culture, and location are featured heavily based on the travel writing and foodie emphasis of the characters and story.  After reading a brief preview of the next novel in Ms. Johnson’s series, I look forward to continuing to review her future books!

Readers who enjoy relatively light contemporary Christian fiction will enjoy Where Two Hearts Meet, especially if they appreciated Ms. Johnson’s previous novel, The Red Door Inn.  Also, fans of Christian fiction that takes place in Canadian or seaside settings will also want to read this series.  With the novel’s PEI connection, fans of L.M. Montgomery may find this series to be worthwhile.  However, the modern-day PEI and Ms. Johnson’s writing style are significantly different from Ms. Montgomery’s tales.

Ms Johnson will release the next novel in the Prince Edward Island Dreams series in the summer of 2017!

Special thanks to Revell Reads Blog Tour for the advanced copy of Where Two Hearts Meet!

Looking for this book? Support the Books and Biscuits blog, while shopping at:
Amazon – Where Two Hearts Meet

Review: The Red Door Inn – Liz Johnson

Liz Johnson. The Red Door Inn. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2016.

In the midst of an absolutely crazy week, I was able to finish only one book.  Granted, it was a pleasure to read a novel by a relatively new author. :)

Liz Johnson kicks off her Prince Edward Island Dreams series with The Red Door Inn.  Marie Carrington finds herself with no money and few options, with a ferry ride between her and her dream of reaching Prince Edward Island in Canada.  Through the kindness of a stranger, this American girl finds herself with a much-needed job decorating a bed and breakfast in the last few months before it opens.  In addition to Jack Sloane, the kind old man and owner, the bed and breakfast also houses its resident contractor, Jack’s nephew, Seth.  Seth and Marie find themselves working side by side, even as they hope to avoid each other and anyone else who resembles the people who hurt them in their previous relationships.  With only two months until the newly-named Red Door Inn is supposed to open, Marie, Jack, and Seth must work together to overcome their pasts and the ongoing obstacles of fixing up the Inn.  However, the Inn offers its own brand of healing, in keeping with the prayers of the woman who first imagined its existence.

The Red Door Inn offers an intriguing view of the modern-day Prince Edward Island.  While readers may be more familiar with L.M. Montgomery’s works about PEI, this novel presents its own unique cast of characters and memorable places.

Overall, I rather enjoyed The Red Door Inn.  Ms. Johnson creates a light and pleasant storyline that draws countless connections to the unique places and people of PEI.  I believe that many readers, including those in my own family, will definitely appreciate this book.  The overall storyline is relatively simple, so that the pacing of the novel is relatively slow.  Likewise, I would not describe the characters as being incredibly complex or developed.  However, I fully realize that many readers, especially in the Christian fiction genre, are particularly looking for this kind of book.  Personally, I appreciate novels that include a slightly faster pace and more development that pulls the reader into the story.  Instead, The Red Door Inn depends more strongly on its characters to drive the story.  Fortunately, some of my favorite (minor) characters from this novel will be featured in Where Two Hearts Meet, the next book in Ms. Johnson’s Prince Edward Island Dreams series.

Readers who enjoy relatively light contemporary Christian fiction will likely appreciate The Red Door Inn.  Also, fans of Christian fiction that takes place in Canadian or seaside settings will also want to look into Ms. Johnson’s new series.  With the novel’s PEI connection, fans of L.M. Montgomery might find this new series to be worthwhile.  However, the modern-day PEI and Ms. Johnson’s writing style may turn off some readers who are expecting a contemporary telling of Ms. Montgomery’s tales.

Ms Johnson will release Where Two Hearts Meet in the Prince Edward Island Dreams series in October 2016!

Special thanks to Revell Reads Blog Tour for the advanced copy of The Red Door Inn!

Looking for this book? Support the Books and Biscuits blog, while shopping at:

Amazon – The Red Door Inn