Reverend Justine Clemens returns to the town where she spent her rebellious youth, determined to prove herself. She decides to make her church family the family that she never had. Apparently God had other ideas for her, Chief Matthew Trent and his three daughters only being part of what He had planned for her!
Good, sweet romance!
Enjoyable read. Minister finds long lost love
Book 4 in the safe Harbor series.
Lately, I've been reading a lot of the Steeple Hill Love Inspired series and enjoying most of them. I'm not much for romances, but these appeal to me primarily because of their spiritual nature.
This is book 4 in the series and concerns the new associate pastor in First Peninsula Church, Justine Clemens. She's returning from a pastorage in inner city Chicago, where she was denied a promotion. She wants to prove herself since the small town of Safe Harbor remembers her as a rebellious teenager.
Along the way, she meets (and, of course, falls for) chief of police Matthew Trent, a single parent raising three daughters. The author does a nice job of exploring anorexia nervosa through the chief's oldest daughter, Leslie. The other two are more precocious and there are many "cute" moments between Justine and Matthew courtesy of these kids.
The author also explores the subject of gossip, which is touched on in the New Testament by Paul. The original Greek word used in the Bible for "gossipers" came from a verb that meant "to overflow with words." (1 Timothy 5:13; A Greek-English Lexicon by Liddell and Scott). Gossip is idle talk; it focuses not on things but on foibles, failings, triumphs and misfortunes of people. It's not necessarily always malicious in nature, but in Welsh's novel, it threatens the reputation of the reverend Clemens as well as that of Matthew Trent. Gossip here appears to be a tool used by a character described as "a bitter old woman" to get the limelight directed her way. Gossip is also used as means to vent jealousy, anger or hurt. Justine's problem is that she's hypersensitive to what others say and think about her.
As with all romances, asking if Justine and Matthew will ever overcome their differences and find true love with each other is a bit like asking if the sun will shine tomorrow. The characters are realistic and engaging and the lessons true. Safe Harbor is a good place to visit and re-visit.