Welcome to the 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.
Heidi Hathaway’s life has been turned upside down. After an accident leaves her injured, unable to work, and incapable of negotiating the stairs in her multilevel oceanfront condo, she leases her home and moves into a cozy little cottage in the charming garden complex where her friend Piper lives. There she finds so much more than a place to rest and recover.
Piper Keyes knows Jared is not coming back from Afghanistan. After making it through the fifth anniversary of his death, she wonders if she’s at last ready to get on with life. She gingerly explores new avenues—photography, cooking, and buying her own boutique—and learns to open her heart again.
The most comforting thing about living at the Casa is that the women there become each other’s mentors and confidantes, learning from their own mistakes and arriving at new, healed places in their lives.
I had the pleasure of reading the first book in this series last year. So when I saw that there was a second, and that Piper would be one of the stars of it, I had to read it. My thoughts:
What I liked:
The writing. The book kind of moves at a slower pace, but the writing is so engaging, I still found myself invested in the story and wanting to know what happens next.
Piper. I really liked Piper from the first book. She’s fashionable, and pretty, but she’s still hurting from the loss of her fiance in Afghanistan. I assumed the author would give her a second chance at love (and she did) and I wanted to be along for the ride. I’m glad I was. I will say that while her romance happened fast, for once, it didn’t feel fast.
Heidi. The main character. Boy, does this girl go through. One thing after another seems to go wrong in her life, but it all comes together to make things right. I enjoyed being in Heidi’s head and seeing how she was going to try to make it all work. Heidi has a bit of a romance of her own, and while it’s cute, I will say that Piper’s stole the show for me.
Secondary characters. Everyone’s back from book one, though we learn more about Liv and her background than the others.
Spiritually, and I’m not sure if this was “the” message, but the novel shows how when others live for Christ they can be Jesus to those who need him.
What I didn’t like:
As I said, it’s a bit of a slower read. I kept thinking that I should be on the beach somewhere reading this book.
Also, because you have three narrators, you don’t get as focused on one character as you do in other books, which can be a hit or miss for some people.
Romantic scale: 7.5
Overall, a very cute read and I’m looking forward to seeing who’s next to fall in love at Casa de Vida!
**I received this book from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in any way.**