Rhea has just been released from prison where she has served her sentence for killing her father. Scared of the world she left at 17, determined not to go let anyone near her and unwelcome to her family and neighbourhood, she finds herself dependent on her parole officer for a new start. Finding work and a home with her PO’s sister, Rhea is like skittish colt, always on the verge of bolting.
Morgan has a heart of gold and as an ex minister she instinctively takes in waifs and strays. But the cost of her past weighs heavy, and she is constantly trying not to let anyone one in. Between them they have enough trust issues to sink any chance of a relationship, despite the growing affection, but ultimately it is trust which will save them both.
The characters are interesting and their specific issues are unusual. Rhea is particularly well written and well developed. We watch her battle her own demons to overcome her childhood fears and fight her way into adulthood in the world. Having been incarcerated since 17 she has a lot of learning and adjusting to do and Ms Ford does an excellent job of describing her gradual change. Morgan is less defined, we know her issues, but don’t really explore them and aren’t made to empathise so strongly. My only complaint would be that we could have delved further into Morgan’s psyche and filled her out with more depth, I wanted to know more about her inner workings. However as a foil to Rhea she is perfect.
There is a great tension throughout, on many levels. Will Rhea find a way to survive in the world is a question that permeates the whole? Will Rhea and Morgan allow themselves to open up, or stay in their shells built of fear? Will they survive the external threats to their happiness? Ms Ford balances all of these emotional intricacies extremely well and winds them into an intense and forceful backdrop to the Rheas growth.
Overall a very interesting combination of suspense, romance and character development, handled lightly despite the dark subject matter. Love’s Redemption is well written and thoughtfully plotted to use the storyline development and strands of emotional growth to create a sense of anticipation. I really enjoyed this one, and look forward to more of Ms Ford’s intriguing characters.
(publisher review copy received)
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