Welcome to Casa de Vida—eleven quaint bungalows located three blocks from the Pacific Ocean in tiny Seaside Village, California. Owner Liv McAlister never advertises vacancies beyond a small hand-lettered sign out front, preferring to trust that God will send the right tenant at just the right time. And He always does.
Meet Jasmyn Albright—she’s had more than her share of bad breaks lately, beginning with the tornado that demolished her farmhouse. Emotionally fragile and feeling utterly alone, Jasmyn heads west, hoping to outrun her heartbreak. And she doesn’t stop until she notices a small sign that reads “Vacancy.” Before she’s quite aware of how it all happened, Jasmyn finds herself the newest tenant at Casa de Vida. She hardly dares to hope that her fortunes might be about to change…but of course when God is at work, anything can happen, and new beginnings are one of His specialties.
Sometimes among strangers, family happens. And sometimes, when we least expect it, romance is a welcome guest.
When I first saw the cover of this novel, I will admit that it looked boring, but I’ve read Sally John before and she’s a wonderful author. So glad I gave this book a chance!
What I liked:
It’s engaging. This novel is probably what is considered “women’s fiction” as it is more focused on relationships and friendships, particularly between women. And usually, that’s kind of boring to me. But, I found all the main characters (and there is quite a few) to be interesting. It wasn’t hard to turn the pages.
The unique cast. There are a lot of people in this book: Sam, Jasmyn, Keagan, Beau, Liv, etc., but not only was I not lost, I really enjoyed reading from everyone’s point of view. They also managed to have strong personalities that shown through. At no point did I get confused about who I was reading. And I hope that this is a series, because I would like to find out more about some of the other secondary characters.
Spiritually, I like the relationship Liv has with God and how her relationship with God influences every person around her. It’s an all-consuming relationship that is lived out each day in the way she interacts with others. I liked how because of her, Jasmyn and Sam began to desire to know God more. And also, that God can use something bad that happens and make it for our good.
What I didn’t like:
This is a personal preference thing: the romance wasn’t the focus and in fact it was a small part of the novel. But, you have two people in the novel who fall for people who are natural loners and I kind of wanted more as to why they changed. It just happened to quickly for me.
The novel does have it’s slow moments, but the writing is fantastic.
Overall, a very nice read, particularly for the beach.
Romantic Scale: 7
**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**