I love inspirational fiction. I love romance. So I REALLY love good inspirational romantic fiction. When I was offered a chance to review a new to the market (as of January 2015) book by author, artist, and playwright Courtney Walsh called Paper Hearts, I jumped on the opportunity.
Paper Hearts is a sweet heartwarming story about an “old maid” living in the romantically obsessed town of Loves Park. With a mother who signs her up for every online dating website she finds, a town that pities her for being the “last single girl” left in town, and the unfortunate happenstance of being the great-great granddaughter of the founders (who were much revered for their great lovestory) of the town, Abigail Pressman is sick of everything related to love and marriage. She just wants to be left alone to run her much loved store, The Book Nook…and to buy the neighboring store, so she can live her dream of expanding her business to incorporate her love of antiques and local handmade crafts. She doesn't have time for love and considering all her history with it, she isn't sure she even wants it.
Unfortunately, she becomes an unwilling volunteer for the Valentine Volunteers who gather in her store to continue Loves Park’s tradition of stamping mail with the city’s romantic postmark. To make matters worse, she suddenly gets a new landlord who is converting the building she wanted for herself into a medical clinic…and he’s threatening to end her lease. And he just happens to be extremely attractive. Can she keep herself heart whole as she tries to save her business to fulfill her dreams? Will finding a series of paper hearts, full of love messages, from an anonymous couple in the mail to the Valentine Volunteers, the key to rescuing her dreams…and possibly releasing her heart?
I really fell in love with both Abigail Pressman and Dr. Jacob Willoughby. I thought their characters were very well written and they each had a very good back story. I think that of the two, I actually preferred the doctor. He was so full of pain when he arrived in the story, that it was interesting to see how he was able to release his anger and guilt over time.
The best part of the story were the paper hearts. I just loved the concept and It was so well described that I could totally envision it. Imagining Abigail’s store dripping with love note paper hearts, the people gathering to add their notes to the collection, the coziness of a small town bookshop…it was described so vividly that I just wanted to be there.
My least favorite character was Kelly. She was the epitome of a man-eater and oh how I just wanted to shake her. LOL. Totally a barracuda who was determined to have Dr. Willoughby at all costs and didn't care who she took down to do it. It was so nice when she FINALLY left the story!
The only thing about the story that I didn't like was all the mention of Valentine’s Day since it’s not a holiday I celebrate, but I don’t think it took away from being able to appreciate the overall plot and love story.
There was mention of a town called Sweethaven in the book, and I discovered that the author Courtney Walsh has a series called Sweethaven Summer. I am definitely going to check it out now that I've “met” this author.
If you love a sweet heartwarming romantic story that will make you giggle and sigh, I recommend that you give Paper Hearts a look! And for even more fun, check out this super cute book trailer (did you know they do those??) from Tyndale Press: