Title: Reclaiming Hope
Author: Carolyn Miller
Series: Hooper Island, book 6 (Independence Islands, book 18)
Major Themes: Romance
Synopsis: Kai needed to figure out where his life was going after a broken leg from a surfing accident, and Callie needed to relax her life a little—could they help each other?
I signed up for a review copy of Reclaiming Hope with a little trepidation. I have enjoyed most of the Independence Islands books that I have read, and I certainly enjoyed Regaining Mercy, but at the same time, I don’t enjoy straight-up romance. Would this book be that, or would there be enough of a plot, otherwise, to make the book one I would enjoy?
Callie enjoyed her job at Greener Gardens, keeping the books in order and everyone organized. She worked long hours and thrived on that—until the day that Sam sent her out to look over a job with Dermott. The hurricane had made a mess of the Brody property, and they needed to make a quote and discuss what could be done to fix it up.
When Callie arrived at the Brody vacation house, she was startled to be met by the tanned beach bum guy she had seen at a restaurant a couple of days before, whom she had dismissed as “not her type.” He, however, wanted her to stick around after she was done with the business with his mother. When he started pursuing her, Callie was initially thrilled and smitten—but then she began to realize that this relationship just wouldn’t work. How could she marry someone who traveled the world, surfing in competitions?
Meanwhile, Kai Brody was trying to figure out his own life while he was laid up with a broken leg. Having come to Christ after a traumatic event while surfing, his life had already changed, but was it time for more changes? What should he do next? And how could he convince Callie to spend her life with him—when one thing after another seems to conspire against their relationship?
I enjoyed seeing Callie figure out how to handle Kai’s overbearing, controlling mother. It got funny at times! I’ll have to admit, though, that I struggled with the focus on romance in Reclaiming Hope. There was a lot more that wasn’t romance in the last book I read by this author, so I was a bit disappointed with that, and with the detailed kisses. I did like, though, the process Kai went through as he figured out what his life should look like after he recovered from his broken leg. It was fun to read about these opposites; Kai needed someone to help him focus more on his future, and Callie needed to learn to enjoy life and not just focus on work all the time! As happens in real life, there were snags in the process, but he and Callie tried to work through them with God’s help.
I received a review copy of this book from CelebrateLit, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: There are very detailed kisses in chapters 13, 18, and 19. Occasionally there are references to Kai’s use of women before conversion. The word gosh appears in chapter 5, and sure as heck in chapter 14.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults