03 August 2014

It All Started With A Lima Bean by Kimi Flores

 A past that haunts can be laid to rest through the act of forgiveness, even if the person you forgive is yourself. It must be gifted freely.

Abby Sullivan cherishes the life she is creating for herself in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California. She adores her best friend and supportive family. Her job as a kindergarten teacher offers her life hope and purpose. She is very talented at many things, especially hiding the pain of her past. That is until her world collides with Caleb Hunter’s, giving them both a lesson in forgiveness and love.

A life changing love is cruelly snatched by sickness and death. A person must be willing to give love, the greatest gift of all, to receive love.

A successful writer, Caleb is living life day-to-day. Giving refuge to his sad and lonely heart since his wife's sudden death from cervical cancer, his primary focus becomes honoring her memory by rearing their five-year-old daughter, Madison. Yet, when Madison Hunter walks into Miss Abby’s kindergarten class, everything changes for all three of them.

With a little nudge from a loving mother-in-law who has everyone’s best interest at heart, anything is possible, especially when forgiveness and love gift even more blessings than ever imaginable.

Once in a while, you come across a book that by all standards would appear to be just an ordinary, fluffy romance.  Well this isn’t one of them.  No you won’t read about hot sex, as a matter of fact the main couple waited till they were married.  Wow that is a lost concept these days but so refreshing to see the angst and stress that alone caused.  You won’t find immature characters living for the drama and demanding that each other prove their love.  No, Abby and Caleb knew from the first look that they wanted each other and that trust and desire just grew from there.
Caleb became a single father to a baby girl after his wife Rene passed away.  With a family that he couldn’t count on, with childhood memories spent with his parents that he could count on one hand, he dedicated his life to his daughter.  With the help of Rene’s parents, who stepped in and became Caleb’s family, he focused his free time on his novel he was writing.
Abby, a Kindergarten teacher who had a past that was keeping her in one place, focused her time and life on her school kids and her best friend.  With Abby’s mom remarrying and spending her retired time with her new husband, Abby was faced with an empty schedule, boring life and the longing for more.  Her past refused to allow her to move on, how can she expect a happy life after what she had done as a frighten teenager.
One sweet little girl, who wanted a mommy, two lima bean plants and a host of caring friends and family members who were determined to become match makers paved the way for Abby and Caleb to explore if there was a chance for them to find happiness. The only thing stopping them, was Abby needed to forgive and let go of her past.  Caleb, knowing what it is like to have to face past mistakes guided Abby to the point of freedom from her former self and choices.
This book, although not an intense and angst filled read was priceless.  I am so glad I read this and saw the life lessons that we all need to learn.  How forgiveness frees yourself, not the ones who hurt you.  How one little girl with a pure heart can show adults how to share love of those she has in life.  How watching the love of a father and daughter can heal the emptiness you feel inside because your father left you. This book is really about life and acceptance.  Beautifully written, easy flow and consistency, it is just a beautiful book that all should read.
I was so happy to see that she is already in the process of writing the next book in this series about Abby’s best friend Leah and Caleb’s cousin.  I was hoping that their story wouldn’t end at Abby and Caleb’s happy ever after.  I am also still needing more of Madison’s innocent moments as the little pumpkin who helped bring her daddy and momma together.
*Repost from Tbird's original blog, Life Becomes Me, with her permission*


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