What a delightful book! I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading Ellie's Haven by Sharlene MacLaren but I was pleasantly surprised!
When her step-father murders a man and insists that Ellie helps him cover the murder up, she knows she can no longer stay in town. With her mother's help, she flees to Wabash, Indiana. Out of desperation, Ellie answer an ad for a nanny/housekeeper/wife posted by a widower in town. She quickly falls in love with the children, but learning to live with a man is another story altogether!
Sharlene MacLaren combines a lot of things I love into one great story in Ellie's Haven. Romance, great friendships, a unique mother/daughter relationship, and more than a little intrigue. It's a recipe for success.
Gage and Ellie's relationship is certainly awkward at times, but I loved how the author allowed both of them to learn from each other as their relationship grew. It would have been easy for Gage (who is 17 years older) to come off as the one with all the answers. However, I felt that they balanced each other nicely.
At one point, I was totally irritated with Gage. He was just too . . . nice. There was a point where Ellie is revealing several "white lies" that she told and he quickly forgives and they move on. Once I thought about it, though, I realized that's what we should do. Since God forgives us, we should forgive others. I also appreciated how he talked with Ellie about God and how he led her in her faith journey.
Romance books typically wrap up a little fast for my taste. You know, the couple gets together and they live happily ever after, the end. However, once I thought the book was wrapping up, I realized I still had around 40 pages to go. It was great to have the ending stretched out a bit more than normal. (But not too long!)
Ellie's Haven was one of my favorite books that I read in January. I'm looking forward to catching up with Ellie and Gage in future installments of the series! [5 stars]
I received a free copy from Whitaker House and FIRST Wildcard Blog Tours in exchange for my fair and honest review.