Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dawn at Birch Crossing

Dawn At Birch Crossing

Stephanie Rowe, June 2012

The moment his ex-wife took his daughter and walked out, Griffin Friesé lost everything that mattered to him. After two years of agonizing failure to reconnect with his daughter, he's heading to Birch Crossing to find her. Unfortunately for Griffin, he arrives to find the town has rallied against him to protect their own. His only ally is a single mom whose warmth and determination just might break through the scars on his heart.

Since the day she became an eighteen-year-old widow with an infant, Clare Gray's only goal has been to provide for her daughter. She has worked so hard to be strong, and the last thing she can afford is to open her heart to an outsider who will soon be leaving town. But when Griffin helps save her daughter's life in a storm, an unbreakable connection is formed between Clare and the tormented business mogul.

For these two single parents, love is the last thing they are looking for, but in Birch Crossing, love always seems to find a way.

For a reluctant reader of contemporary romance, I have to say hands down this may be one of the best books of 2012! With a simple sounding story line - father moves to town with goal of reuniting with his long lost daughter, one would expect a simple romance to blossom and a happily ever after soon to arrive.  Fortunately, that isn't the way Stephanie Rowe writes.  Her characters are multi-faceted, flawed and fascinating folks who grab the reader at their core and tug on every heart string.  Without taking a nose dive into "made for Hallmark", Dawn at Birch Crossing examines the relationships of single parents and their teens, fathers and daughters, mothers and daughters, life in a small town and lessons in learning to trust and love again. There are few books that can whip the reader through the emotional roller coaster of highs and lows and pull into the end  leaving you wanting to do it all over again, just for the joy of the ride.

The main characters of Clare and Griffin were fantastic. Clare is the single mom, struggling to keep a legal career and cupcake side business going while raising a daughter through those charming teen years. She's smart and dedicated and stubborn as hell - she's the woman you want to be your friend, invite over for wine and share stories with. Griffin has his own crosses to bear - learning your family left you because you were the poster boy for workaholics, that they don't want you back because you'll never change - he's sexy and he's successful and so frustrating he needs a good smack in the head. The chemistry between the two is off the charts and watching them battle their own insecurities while falling for each other like the teens they are raising is both ironic and humorous and highly enjoyable.

Birch Crossing could be Anytown, USA - the small, tight knit community makes the perfect backdrop for Clare, the woman reluctant to change, and Griffin, the man convinced he doesn't need to change, to forge a new life together. When adversity hits, when tragedy strikes, it's their shared stubborn strength that unearths the truth we all face - sometimes what we want in life isn't what we really need.  Thank you Ms. Rowe for creating an exquisitely romantic story - Birch Crossing is now synonymous with Hope..or maybe Love.

RATING:  I give Dawn At Birch Crossing FIVE chocolate dipped strawberries and I'll take them with a cold beer in a worn rocking chair on the old store porch.  Ahhhhh!

This book was given to us by the author for an unbiased review. Many thanks.

About the Author:

Four-time RITA® Award nominee and Golden Heart® Award winner Stephanie Rowe is a nationally bestselling author of more than twenty books. She writes romance (paranormal, suspense and contemporary), as well as teen, pre-teen and motivational nonfiction. A life-long reader, she began crafting stories at age ten, but didn't realize it was her dream until she was an adult.

Once the light dawned, she immediately left behind "work" as the world defines it and went to "work" as she defines it, which means getting up every morning with a smile in her heart so she can spend the day doing that which makes her spirit sing.

Stephanie believes in learning to listen to your heart in order to figure out what your dreams are, and then opening yourself to the inspiration that will direct you there. She believes we all deserve the right to enjoy life, and for the ride to be as easy as we want it to be, and that we all should accept nothing less than making our dreams come true.

Stephanie lives in New England, and spends every day doing her best to fill it with people, observations and activities that uplift her soul, which include writing, tennis, friends, and her amazing family

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