So, first if you haven't guessed by the picture and title, this is a contemporary romance written by the lovely, Heather Gray. (SN: I've gotten to meet her and that makes the reader/fan in me do a jig.)
I want to share something with you. I agreed to read this in exchange for an honest review. If I've never read the author before, I admit this can tie me up in knots, because what if I don't like that? Since I've read Heather's novels before, I wasn't worried about that. I knew I would enjoy the read and pass time pleasurably.
But y'all...I was NOT prepared for this story. Let's meet the heroine: Maddie Smith. Maddie is an ICU nurse. Now as a person who has spent time in the hospital, my admiration went up a notch. Then when Ms. Gray slowly reveals Maddie's character and the stuff she's been through...how could I not like her even more? Maddie's a genuinely nice person who doesn't let her past experience sour her disposition.
Then Ms. Gray introduces us to the hero: Holden Jenkins. Now since he was Maddie's ICU patient, I was really curious how this romance was going to bloom. It's not often you see romance blossom when people are fighting for their life and to regain their health.
But that is exactly why I loved this book. This was real. Holden's illness was real. As a person who deals with chronic illness, I admired the way Ms. Gray worked through the tough life questions. Will someone ever love me? Will someone want to be saddled with a person with disabilities (whatever they may be.)? Am I still me?
It's hard enough to deal with emotional or every day baggage. Add chronic pain or illness to that, and the load is almost unbearable. But that's where God comes in. Holden has to let go of his will and see God's good works in his life. That was the heart of the story for me.
And Maddie....could she leave the trauma of her childhood behind and see God's good works in her life? When you're in the dating arena, the strikes can pile up quickly...but when love sparks, will those negatives still matter?
This book deals with a host of questions that we all deal with. Sure our exact problems will differ, but the heart of the issue is the same. As I mentioned earlier on, I deal with chronic pain. Though my pain came later in my life and therefore, later on in my marriage, it still made an impact. It's easier to grow old with someone in marriage, but to start a relationship that way can be daunting. That is why I absolutely loved this story.
All I have to say is read the story. It is one that will have you begging Ms. Gray to check on Maddie and Holden in a few years. Their story is one you want to follow as love blooms and grows.
You can pre-order An Informal Arrangement, which releases February 8th, on Amazon. You can connect with Ms. Gray on her Website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Happy reading, friends!
*I give this a 5 out of 5!
**I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.