Marie Carrington is running from a host of bad memories. Broke and desperate, she's hoping to find safety and sanctuary on Prince Edward Island, where she reluctantly agrees to help decorate a renovated bed-and-breakfast before it opens for prime tourist season.
Seth Sloane didn't move three thousand miles to work on his uncle's B&B so he could babysit a woman with a taste for expensive antiques and a bewildering habit of jumping every time he brushes past her. He came to help restore the old Victorian--and to forget about the fiancée who broke his heart. The only thing Marie and Seth agree on is that getting the Red Door Inn ready to open in just three months will take everything they've got. Can these two wounded souls find hope, healing, and perhaps a bit of romance on this beautiful island?
Step into the Red Door Inn, a lovely home away from home tucked along the north shore of fabled Prince Edward Island. It's a place where the wounded come to heal, the broken find forgiveness, and the lonely find a family. Won't you stay for the season?
An enjoyable and pleasant story set on PEI as the MCs work to open a B&B on the island. I especially liked Marie and Jack (Seth got on my nerves a few times.) I'm also looking forward to the next story, featuring Marie's friend Caden.
Christian message: praying, trusting God. The preacher is referred to as "Father." Just be aware that it's more of a "God" message than a "Jesus saves" kind of message. I never could figure out if the preacher was supposed to be Catholic or Anglican.
*Update: links to images for the lighthouses and the bridge fixed!!!!*
Prior to this book, I had never read anything by Liz Johnson. Based on great reviews from some GoodReads friends as well as the printed accolades from Max Lucado and Colleen Coble, I figured I was in for a real treat.
The Red Door Inn (2016, Revell), first in the Prince Edward Island Dreams series by Liz Johnson, is a standalone contemporary Christian romance set in North Rustico, PEI in the winter of an unspecified year. I purposely read this book while on vacation there, and I enjoyed the experience so much that I want to seek more "on location" stories for vacations in the upcoming year. (We are considering going to the Poconos in 2018, so any recommendations would be appreciated!)
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
The heroine: Marie Carrington, 28, fled her father's Boston home, and now, so close to the end of her journey, she's unable to reach Prince Edward Island. Marie is in Nova Scotia, stuck on the wrong side of the Northumberland Strait, and doesn't have the money required to ride the ferry to PEI. Nearby, Jack Sloane is waiting for the ferry to return him to his new home, a soon-to-be bed-and-breakfast. He sees Marie looking forlorn and falls into conversation with her. About paint color choices, no less, with the caveat that the front door of the inn MUST be red! Impressed with her answers, he offers: "I'll make you a trade. The ticket for your help in picking out paint colors." And so Marie becomes Jack's employee. Except Jack forgets to tell Marie one tiny detail...
The hero: Also currently residing at the bed-and-breakfast is Seth Sloane, Jack's nephew, who obtained a temporary visa in order to to renovate the place. If she'd known about Seth, she would have turned down Jack's offer. Upon meeting, Marie and Seth are mutually displeased at each other's presence.
Christian elements: God is mentioned only occasionally, and Jesus never. Seth and Jack go to First Church. The priest, who wears black clothes and a white collar, is referred to as Father Chuck. It looks like First Church is probably either Catholic or Anglican, but more likely Anglican based on a conversation with my GoodReads friend Joleen, who also read the book. (I found absolutely no Episcopal churches and just one Lutheran church on a list of PEI churches.) Even though this wasn't the sort of Christian fiction where faith takes a front seat, I found that Christian morals definitely were present. A sentiment not often presented in books, the presence of the principle "nothing good ever came from eavesdropping" impressed me. At one point, Marie doesn't want to go to church, but is required to do so by Jack as a condition of her living in his inn.
My favorite quote: "Praying for kind words - or at least benign ones." That is a very GOOD prayer. With the rare person, I've found that sometimes it can be difficult to even find something kind to say with honesty. I remember a phrase from a long-ago Bible study, which said that we may have someone in our lives for whom "extra grace is required."
Is it clean/chaste? Yes! However, there is a sensitive issue included, so I wouldn't recommend this book for young teens.
What I liked:
*This book made me FEEL. In general, I don't like "feeling" my books - I'd rather be mostly detached - but this one struck the perfect balance for me. It touched my heart while still being a delightful story.
*Ms. Johnson has clearly done her research on the island.
*Nice descriptive phrases! "The woman's laugh was as rich as her cinnamon roll."
*The secondary characters and the secondary romance are very, very good! I have a guess as to who might be the heroine in book two of this series, and I look forward to reading it!
What I didn’t like:
*I would have liked more mention of Lucy Maud Montgomery, as memories of her stories drew Marie to the island. Marie never even expressed an interest in seeing some of the LMM tourist sites.
*I didn't enjoy how long Seth was suspicious of Marie's motives.
*I felt that the issue of passports, visas, etc. were not explained enough. Is Marie going to continue to live on the island long-term? If so, how is this possible? (To be fair, this may be addressed in the next book of the series.)
*This is really nitpicking, but I was struck by how more than once the kitchen was bare, yet they did manage to eat….
How this book stacks up to my PEI trip in August::
Right on the money: cows, potatoes, lighthouses, ferries, L.M. Montgomery, boardwalks, red dirt
Not quite right:
The lighthouse on the cover is NOT the North Rustico Lighthouse, but is in actuality the Brighton Beach Range Front in Charlottetown! This image shows the other house better. (We only saw eleven lighthouses on our vacation, and accidentally found the right one - but didn't realize it until my husband was going over our pictures.) My theory was that the North Rustico Lighthouse area is a bit run-down, and Charlottetown is too busy to be a satisfactory setting for the book. Liz Johnson was kind enough to respond to my inquiry about this. She said that my supposition is basically correct, and she added that the North Rustico Lighthouse is run-down and has a lot of wires connected to it. The publisher took care of the picture, combining original and stock photos.
A character in the book says, "there are more than 50 active lighthouses."
According to the Prince Edward Island Lighthouse Society, there are 63 lighthouses and range light buildings, with "approximately 35 still active aids to navigation." This isn't too far off the book's claim of more than 50, but this was published in 2016 - could the statistic have changed that much in a year? I will admit though, that it was sometimes difficult to get the particular information I was looking for on specific lighthouses. Fifty really may have been correct at the time.
*I thought it was odd that the Confederation Bridge was not once mentioned in the story. Granted, Marie came by ferry and didn't have a car, AND she was much too busy to go sight-seeing. I asked Ms. Johnson about this, and she responded that there wasn't a natural way to include the bridge in the story. Here's a picture of the Confederation Bridge just because it's so cool.
About the author The following is a quote by Liz Johnson in an interview about this book. "For years my dream vacation was Prince Edward Island. And if I’m honest, it still is. Every time I go back, I fall in love all over again with the island’s gentle ways and slow pace, its beautiful colors and kind people. "
The bottom line: This is a great book if you're looking for a story with an accurate PEI flavor. I recommend this book to fans of either Christian or clean contemporary romance. By the way, it's currently available for Kindle for $1.59. I'd say it's well worth it!
I really enjoyed this one. The only reason I have this grumpy look on my face is because now I want to read the next two books in the series, like right now....but I don't own them. I'm going to have to fix this little problem. 😉
This was my first book by this author and I was greatly surprised by it.
This was a very cute and quick read. I was quickly drawn in my the main character, Marie, because the author chose to only give us bits and pieces of her story and It was killing me not knowing what had happened and then when you figured it out you were so connected to her story that you just wanted to go to her and give her a hug.
Characters are what makes a story and the characters mixed with the setting description really made this book something special for me. Jack was such a sweet character; he’s that comforting, grandfather type of presence. I liked Seth, too. There were times when he got on my nerves with his assumptions, but I could see where he was coming from. The supporting characters here and there on the island were charming and it all tied together into a really good book.
A setting already beloved by any little girl or young woman (or a woman approaching ancient age like me) who ever read Anne of Green Gables. A cast of secondary characters to make L.M. Montgomery proud. A romance that sparks with electricity and affection, even during the moments where you want to throttle one or both of them.
And then we have Marie, whom I wanted to hug from the moment I met her on the pages of The Red Door Inn. Just wrap my arms around her and hold on tight. I didn’t know why she was hurting yet, why she was having panic attacks, why she was buried so deep in a protective shell. Johnson reveals Marie’s story in pieces as the novel progresses, allowing the reader to patch it together like a quilt until it’s finally all revealed.
And then Jack, dear sweet Jack whom I also wanted to hug from the moment we met. He made me smile – for one reason or another – nearly every time he was on the page. The father figure he became to Marie is one of my favorite aspects of The Red Door Inn. Not only because she needed to know what a loving father looked like, but because she needed to know what a loving God as Father looks like. This faith element of the story is written so tenderly and fits so naturally within the story that it never feels like a sermon or breaks up the flow of the plot. It’s just there, and it’s just really really sweet.
And Seth. Gruff, grumpy, prickly Seth with a chip on his shoulder and a grudge all over him. Just as Marie judges God based on her own father, Seth judges Marie based on his ex. While this of course makes him an absolute bear at first, it also makes for some grin-inducing scenes between the two of them as they each tentatively begin to trust the other. I adored the way both Jack and Seth brought out Marie’s quick wit and her confidence, as well as how Marie softened them both up quite a bit. Umm… and once Seth softens toward Marie a bit?!? BREAK OUT THE FANS.
One last thing. Aretha Franklin. No relation to the singer. What a hoot! I love her!! And I love love love the subplot that involves her. Of course, I can’t forget to mention Caden who won my heart by not being stick thin (can I get an amen?!?) and her little niece Ruby, the Anne lookalike who has some very definite opinions about how and when to turn the hymnal pages!
Delightful characters (in case you couldn’t tell), warmth, affection, humor, tenderness, and a cozy setting make the perfect backdrop for Liz Johnson’s The Red Door Inn. The true meaning of friendship and family find their way beautifully into this story that on the surface appears to be a cute contemporary romance involving the restoration of an old inn but is really about so much more. It’s also about the restoration of faith, of hope, and of love, and all of these are woven into the novel’s framework in a way that adds so much dimension and depth. Prince Edward Island is now on my bucket list of places to visit, but until I come into a large windfall of cash I will have to visit it vicariously through Liz Johnson’s newest series. Looking forward to book #2 in October!
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
This was such a beautiful story about forgiveness, healing and fixing brokenness. The author did a great job of introducing strong broken main characters and also introduced special supporting characters, which in their own unique way, added to the healing process of the main characters.
From the moment Marie was introduced, so guarded and careful, I had an idea what her story could be, and the author did a fantastic job taking the reader through Marie's roller coaster of healing, surviving and even becoming stronger after her experience.
Seth took a longer journey of overcoming his hurt, and there was one point that I was a bit irritated that he still did not overcome this issue, however, given his macho man (border-lining a bit on pride) nature, I can see why this took a bit longer.
My favourite character was Aretha, I just loved her personality and straightforwardness at the end. And Caden who just accepted Marie as a friend from the start! I'm looking forward to her story. The author brought some lightheartedness and some humour into an otherwise serious story with these characters. I especially loved the scene at the auction and how a typewriter was used to break through Marie's walls.
The way the author described PEI, made me feel and experience the island. I did not read Anne of Green Gables (shocker), but did not feel I missed out on anything.
My favourite part of this story was the truth Marie found in who God as Father is. It made me think again how I see God as my Father, since our earthly father and experiences do (incorrectly) shape our view and expectation of our Heavenly Father.
Marie Carrington left Boston to escape bad memories and her father. She has no money and no place to go. When she meets Jack Sloane, he sees in her a hurting soul and offers her a place to stay in exchange for helping him and his nephew renovate a bed & breakfast. Seth Sloane thinks his uncle is crazy for bringing a woman they know nothing about home. Seth's hurting himself and was hoping that the island could bring healing to his heart. Yet as he attempts to get close to Marie, he finds that she's very skittish around him. Can his persistence wear her down? Will both of these two hurting hearts find healing?
I loved this book. First it was set of Prince Edward Island and had a lot of references to Anne of Green Gables. Second, the characters gripped me from the first page.
As I read, I found myself falling in love with the townspeople and hurting for Marie. I wanted to shake Seth once or twice, but even when he acted incredibly stupid, I found myself rooting for him.
The characters in this book were very deep. I discovered that each one had many layers to them, and I am looking forward to revisiting the island in the next book.
I received this book for free from Revell Books for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
Recommended to fans of women's fiction, Karen Kingsbury, Denise Hunter, Colleen Coble
Solid contemporary romance novel by new to me author Liz Johnson.
The main characters are Seth and Marie. They come together at the beautiful Red Door Inn on Prince Edward Island. Marie gets there by God's guiding hand through his angel on earth Jack. The baggage both Seth and Marie carry keep them apart emotionally although they are together in the same home. I especially enjoyed the "knight in shining armor" moment that occurred toward the end of the novel.
Secondary to Seth and Marie, were Jack, Aretha and Caden. They all added to the novel.
I loved the description about Prince Edward Island and the bed and breakfast remodel. I could really visualize the island and the home.
I got a bit frustrated at the beginning with not knowing why Marie was so guarded, but understood that eventually.
Overall, it was a good read and I look forward to the next in the series. I recommend The Red Door Inn for fans of Robin Lee Hatcher and Katie Ganshert.
Thank to Revell for an Advanced Reader Copy of this novel. The opinions expressed are my own.
“He told me red doors are a sign of welcome, an invitation. Years ago during harsh Canadian blizzards, red doors helped stranded travelers find safety and protection from the storm."
The Red Door in is an emotionally compelling journey of finding hope in the midst of brokenness. Marie is running from some devastating hurts of her past, that has left her broken and filled with anxiety. She longs to escape to Prince Edward Island, home of her favorite childhood book character. But when a kind older man offers her a job to help renovate a Bed and Breakfast he's opening in two months, she reluctantly takes the offer. While there, Marie hopes she can finally find the peace and safety she so deeply longs for.
Seth Sloane has come to Prince Edward Island to forget his fiancee who broke his heart, and help his uncle renovate an old Victorian home into a B&B. Seth is not too happy when his uncle hires a stranger to help, who he feels has too expensive tastes for antiques and a baffling habit of jumping every time he goes near her. Seth feels like he has to keep an eye on Marie protect his uncle's business. Despite their apprehensions of each other, both Seth and Marie agree that they have to put in their all, to get the Red Door Inn ready for opening day. Will these two wounded souls find hope, healing, and perhaps a bit of romance on this beautiful Island?
This book dealt with some tough subjects that just hurt my heart so much. But I also felt a sense of family from the characters on Prince Edward Island that was beautiful and was like a breath of fresh air. Jack was such a sweet and gentle fatherly type of man. This book shows how God puts loving people in our lives in hard times to help us. Aretha and Caden were sweet and fun chacters that really made me like this story even more! Plus I totally need friends like Caden to bake me delicious treats all the time! :-)
Marie really displays a quiet strength in the story that you always don't get to see a lot in book heroines. But despite the horrific things that have happened to her, she consciously chooses to move forward and learn to trust people even when it doesn't come easy and that's something that I really admired about her.
I will admit... Seth was not my favorite for a good portion of the story. I thought he was so gruff in the beginning. I was like, "dude! Chill and be nice!!. But he grew on me! He was a good guy but he was just going through some things too. Plus there were a lot of sweet moments between him and Marie, like the ice cream/typewriter scenes (sigh). My heart melted like a double scoop cone of ice cream on a summer day! I give this book 4.5 Stars!
I'm so looking forward to more heartfelt stories coming from the Prince Edward Island series and the cozy Red Door Inn B&B.
Extras! Prince Edward Island is a place I would love to visit! Here's a playlist that reminded me of the place and the characters of this book!
Contemporary romance is not one of my favorite genres, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. All 3 main characters, Jack, Marie and Seth, were dealing with things from their past that were preventing them from moving forward in the present. The author developed realistic, complex characters that we meet in everyday life. The relationships between the three main characters were so good, and I especially loved the role that the Underwood typewriter (yes I learned to type on one of these) played in Seth and Marie's relationship.
I loved the small town of North Rustico which was filled with sweet, caring people, and Johnson brought Prince Edward Island to life and made me want to visit there even more than I already do. Looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
This was a cute read. I loved the setting! I mean c'mon, PEI? A treasured setting for many a book lover. Great characters although Seth came off as overly harsh at times to me. I loved the characters of Jack and Aretha Franklin(not the singer :) ). Nice story and intoduction to the other characters we will meet in the subsequent books of the series. A good start to my stay at the Red Door Inn and PEI!
I liked the story and the town was wonderful. Prince Edwards Island seems like a paradise and makes me think of Anne's outdoor wanderings.
Marie was too fragile and helpless. I understand her traumatic experience and her father made her afraid, but she remains weak. I'm reading the second book, about Caden, the baker extraordinaire, and Marie is still crying about every problem!
Overall, still a decent story. I'm enjoying Caden as a character a lot more than I liked Marie.
I tend to go through phases with novels, consuming anything and everything in a genre until I get just a little bit burned out and have to move on to something new. A few years ago I was consumed with Amish fiction, before getting enamoured with historical romances. In the last couple of years I've turned my attentions to contemporary romances. While a lot of the novels I read are from the general market, I'm always on the look out for something new and refreshing from a Christian perspective. I'm a big fan of Robyn Carr and Kristan Higgins, and have yet to find a Christian author who writes contemporary romances that hit the spot the way these ladies do, but I've not given up hope! Liz Johnson's novel didn't quite meet all my requirements for an Absolutely Perfect Romance, but it was still an excellent story.
“Forced to work together on a project” romances are among of my favourites. There's just something so appealing about stories where the hero and heroine would never otherwise meet each other, especially if they don't exactly hit it off and are still forced to cooperate for some greater good. The Red Door Inn had the added bonus of having a lot of realistic details about the immense amount of work needed to turn a house into a functioning B&B. I'm not one of those girls who gets excited over picking out paint colours—my idea of “decorating” involves chucking a few pillows on the couch and sticking a scented candle on an end table—but I did find the details in this novel really interesting. I now have a lot more respect for people who have the energy to completely redo a property!
Even if I wasn't a contemporary romance junkie, I probably would have picked up The Red Door Inn for the simple fact that it's set on Prince Edward Island. Squee! I am such an L. M. Montgomery fangirl. As a preteen, I frequently reminded people that my middle name is Anne with an E. I have often bemoaned the fact that my hair is boring brown and not red (even now, at twenty-four). I've still hung on to all my Anne of Green Gables VHS tapes, even though I don't actually own a tape player. I have an entire bookshelf devoted to Montgomery's novels, including some interesting early editions that may have definitely seen better days. And the most embarrassing confession? Once, when I was twelve, I pretended to have a boyfriend named Gilbert. Yep. This is definitely my kind of book.
So, let's address the L. M. Montgomery connection. Can you enjoy this book even if you've never read Anne of Green Gables? Absolutely! The tricky part about writing a novel that's influenced by a classic work is the accessibility to readers who aren't familiar with the original. Liz Johnson does a good job of letting the reader know about the connection—references to the fact that Marie herself is a Montgomery fan, brief mentions of quotes from novels or things about the island that remind Marie of the author and her books—but the references are never “in” jokes that newbies wouldn't understand. The reader isn't overloaded with information about the novel's inspiration, nor does this inspiration overshadow the story of Marie and the Red Door Inn. That said, as a self-confessed Montgomery fangirl, there were some parallels to her work that I read into the story. In all honesty, I'm not sure if they were intentional or if I was reading too much into it? Jack—Seth's uncle and the owner of the inn—really reminded me of Matthew Cuthbert, in the way that he takes Marie—practically an orphan like Anne—under his wing and gently guides her into her new life on the island. Caden felt a bit like Diana—a local girl who immediately connects with the protagonist, and is self-conscious about her appearance. Aretha could even be Rachel Lynde, without some of the sourness, in the way that she always knows what everyone was doing and isn't scared to speak her mind. Liz also captured the small-town feel that's reminiscent of Montgomery's novels, but none of these elements felt forced in any way. It was a fantastic homage to the writer.
Aside from the PEI setting, one of the things that initially appealed to me about The Red Door Inn was the amount of baggage that the hero and heroine appeared to be carrying. I'm not big on squeaky clean heroes and heroines—stories are a whole lot more interesting when our protagonists are battling past hurts and figuring out how to love again. Marie's backstory was fantastically written. I don't want to give too much away, but Liz perfectly captured the fear and anxiety that hung over Marie because of the way she'd been abused, and showed just how terrifying it was to open up to someone new, even just a friend like Jack. I'm not going to lie, Marie's story is incredibly sad, and it's easy to get dragged into her struggles and find yourself feeling a bit down, but the whole situation was perfectly depicted. I was so pleased for Marie when she finally began reaching out to Seth. I mentally cheered her on as if she were a real-life friend, not a character in a book.
Seth's story has definitely been done before. Not that this is always a bad thing—I love when authors put a new spin on an old story—but I did find myself getting a bit annoyed at the way he treated Marie. He was hurt and betrayed by his fiance, therefore he assumes all women are out to hurt men, therefore he doesn't trust Marie. Even though she's blatantly suffering from PTSD and actually having full-blown panic attacks right in front of him, he still thinks she's a gold-digger trying to get her hands on Jack's non-existent money? Ugh. His initial hesitance seemed realistic enough, but after a while I got a bit tired of his refusal to trust Marie. It felt like he spent the whole book edging closer to her and then immediately regressing to his previous fearful, skeptical attitude. I also wasn't entirely convinced by the issues they had at the inn—I could see why everything had to go wrong so that Marie would feel that she had to step in and help, but it also felt a bit unbelievable that so many things went wrong, one after the other. Jack's issues with loans and the bank also felt a little bit drawn out. None of these are major issues that I had with the story, just little things that niggled at me while I read.
Unless you consider mixing up the wrong shade of paint to be a major point of tension, this isn't a terribly suspenseful story. No major external hurdles appear that prevent Marie and Seth from getting together, but that doesn't mean that their romance isn't satisfying when it does come to its conclusion. Their journey is slow-moving at times, but realistic given the struggles they're working to overcome. This is a beautiful story of two people learning to trust again, and the community that surrounds them and supports them as they grow together. I thoroughly look forward to revisiting The Red Door Inn and seeing the restoration and healing that it brings to future characters.
It took me two attempts to read this book. I'm not sure what happened the first time as on my second go I was sucked into the story and more than happy to stay there. Great scenery is perhaps an understatement, as The Red Door Inn is set on Price Edward Island (yes, home of L.M. Montgomery and our favourite red-haired orphan). And there is a romance to match the charm of the rolling seas and windy coastline. But what is most alluring about this story is the characters.
Marie is on the run from a past she doesn't even like to think about. She's not sure where she is going, she just knows she can't look back. But with less than a handful of change to her name she knows she might need to take up the offer a kind stranger on the Prince Edward Island ferry proffers - come and stay at his B&B and help him finish its design in time for its opening in a few weeks' time. But she doesn't count on the kind man's nephew - tall, burly and kind of unfriendly Seth - also staying and working at the Inn, nor how interacting with the two men along with the other residents of the small coastline town would challenge her to step outside the shadow of her past and maybe even learn to trust again.
Marie's story is completely heartbreaking. I love her strength and determination and understand her fear. Her past is slowly revealed through the chapters, and as she shares her story we learn that Seth too has a past that has left him wounded. I thought the characters shone in this charming story, even the secondary characters. And the romance is very sweet, as what starts as a fearful and antagonistic relationship slowly works through the stages of tolerance and curiosity to trust and friendship. There are plenty of ups and downs in this love story.
Great scenery. Good food. A strong sense of community. I can't wait to read the next book in this series which will continue the story of the Red Door Inn and the people who love and work in it.
I really enjoyed The Red Door Inn, both the setting and the characters. It started off a little slow for me, however, I felt that it settled into a nice pace by the halfway point in the story. I grew up reading the Anne of Green Gables books, so it was wonderful to have the book set on Prince Edward Island. The author did a great job of describing life on the island, setting a relaxed feel for the book. And as for the characters, I really liked all of them. I have seen a few reviews that mentioned not liking Seth Sloane, especially at first. I actually did like him! He and Marie Carrington were both such wounded individuals. They reacted differently to their situations and we, the readers, were able to see them trying to find a new normal and learning to deal with their internal, emotional scars. When Seth reacted badly to a situation, it just reminded me that he had been very hurt in the past.
I definitely recommend this book to fans of contemporary fiction, including those who enjoy the works of Becky Wade, Melissa Tagg, and Beth Vogt.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Life can be difficult and sometimes the traumas of life can leave us content with just surviving. The Red door Inn Is a lovely story of hope, healing and restoration after the traumas. It follows the lives of four people who move from surviving to discovering the joy of their individual lives.
I loved all the characters and I love the community that is being developed :).
This is the first book I have read by Liz Johnson so I’m not sure if this is her special trade mark or a one off for this story. But what I love about this story is not only have I read the story but I feel it. I finished this book with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. Is this a one off?
I am looking forward the second book in this series and reading more by Liz Johnson in the near future.
Why it took me so long to finally read this book I have no idea. Because I loved it! I already knew I want to visit Prince Edward Island (thanks to Anne of Green Gables naturally :), but after finishing this delightful story my desire to visit has quadrupled! I absolutely loved the setting and Ms. Johnson describes every detail so beautifully (her love of the island shines through very clear) that so many times it felt like I was actually there, feeling the wind on my face. But it's not just the setting, it's the characters. I instantly loved Marie. I don't know what it was about her precisely, but I sensed a kindred spirit. She has been through so much before the story begins and having the privilege of watching her grow stronger and work through her turmoil is an honor. Her journey isn't easy, but neither is Seth's, and together they stretch each other and help the other learn to move forward into happy and joy. Their romance was definitely a highlight of the story for me! The chemistry between them speaks for itself. :) I currently have book two quietly waiting while I savor the last bits of this one and am finally ready to dive into Caden's story. Because one of the big pluses of this series? Is the fact that they can all be read as stand-alones! I love that. (Also Caden's story promises to make me hungry for baked goods. As did this one, so be warned. ;) Read this one, friends! It's worth it, trust me.
Three people with broken hearts find healing in magical Prince Edward Island, as they work together to renovate a bed and breakfast with a tight deadline and budget. Marie is hiding from her father and trying to put her life back together after a terrible incident; Seth is trying to forget his ex-fiancée and her betrayal, and Jack tries to bring to life his late wife's dream.
I was charmed by the characters and setting (regarding the latter, who wouldn't be?), and while renovating a B & B doesn't sound like the most exciting premise for a story, I was interested the whole way through. I think I liked seeing each of the characters' transformations the best.
As a side note- wishing that I could try one of Caden's (Marie's friend) pastries. All the food in this book sounded so good, haha.
The Red Door Inn is a story of broken people desperate to find a place. It is a story of finding family in unusual places, and finding out who you are when everything has been taken from you. It is a story of coming to a place of healing when you've been shattered and wonder how you could ever be put back together. There's a thread of romance, and a setting so exquisite I long to go visit: Prince Edward Island.
Marie Carrington is broken and betrayed in a deep way. Her pain is deep and cutting, and she's desperate - literally down to her last dollars. Then Jack Sloane offers her a place to stay and purpose, but it comes with his nephew Seth Sloane, a man who is equally broken and bitter from life. The one thing Marie and Seth share is a desire to help Jack make his deceased wife's dream of opening a B&B come true.
The story is filled with a beautiful cast of characters, each of who shines a light on what it means to find family in unusual places, and how God can allow hard things to happen in our lives. This book felt like a vacation to the island I've longed to visit since the first time I read Anne of Green Gables. The pace is slow and sweet, and the redemptive thread pure. This is a great book for those who love contemporary romances that feel like a vacation.
This was my first read from this new-to-me author. So I didn't really know what to expect, but I was absolutely delighted with the story I discovered! I really liked main character Marie, my heart broke for all she had been through. While I grew to love Seth, I will admit that I wasn't immediately smitten with him, he actually really annoyed me in the beginning, but I did grow to like and even love him as a character. I loved the humor and banter sprinkled throughout this book. I loved that the characters were fixing up and bringing new life to an inn. And I loved the secondary romance between Jack and Aretha (They are such a cute couple!) just as much if not more than Marie and Seth's romance, I always love it when an author does something like that to give a book multi-generational appeal! I also loved the other secondary characters on PEI, I can't wait for Caden's book! Like your typical book nerd I grew up obsessed with Anne of Green Gables, so needless to say when I found out that this book was set on Prince Edward Island, I didn't need to know anything else about it to know that I wanted to read it! I think my favorite thing about this book was just that, the setting. I truly felt that I was really there and it made my desire to visit Prince Edward Island (Which is less than a day's drive from my home!) even stronger, I'll get there someday!!! Overall, I really enjoyed this book. And I highly recommend it. If this book sounds interesting to you, I think you should definitely read it! I would also recommend it to any and all fans of Becky Wade, Melissa Tagg and Susan May Warren, you won't want to miss this one! I am very much looking forward to book two in the Prince Edward Island Dreams series, especially since I already know it's about Caden. And I am also looking forward to reading more of Liz's books (Especially her romantic suspenses!) in the future!
I was honored to receive a review copy of this amazing book from Revell publishers in exchange for my honest review!
Um. Wow. If someone asked me to sum up this book in one word...well... Ah-mazing. I really do think I am too much of a creature of habit sometimes. I always expect an author that is new to me, to be "semi-okay". Those poor, poor authors... :D Seriously though, I find an author I love, and I stick with them. I honestly think God was laughing when I decided to review new books. It was like taking everything I usually did, and doing the exact opposite.
Thank goodness I did! This book is a GEM. I expected a casual, pick-up-when-I-have-time kind of read...I got a can't-put-it-down-to-eat kind instead. I read it in 3 1/2 hours straight on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It was heartfelt and hopeful with healthy doses of healing, love, and the sweetest characters ever. I fell in love with Prince Edward Island all over again, and the second Liz inserted a little hint at the red-headed Anne girl I'd always loved, I fell in love with The Red Door Inn.
So thank you, Liz. You have now completely opened my eyes to the world of new beginnings, new thing, and most especially, new authors. (You've also firmly established my love for B&Bs!) I assure you, The Red Door Inn sits firmly in it's spot in my room, and on my top 5 favorites of 2016 list. _______________________________________________________
The best thing about this novel is the setting of Prince Edward Island, but unfortunately, this novel is sooooo slow to get going! The Red Door Inn needed some very specific editing. So many of the interactions and conversations between the characters make no sense. I kept re-reading sections trying to make sense of what was happening. The narrative was choppy and yet nothing really happens for the first half of the novel. I am pretty sure I only stuck with it because it was set on PEI.
After a traumatic experience, Marie is on the run. Jack is trying to follow his late wife's dream of opening a B&B, and Seth, Jack's nephew, also healing from a broken relationship, is helping with the renovations. When Jack meets Marie at the ferry station, he senses that she needs help. He buys her a ferry ticket and offers her a job helping with the B&B. It's all so incredulous! So, when Marie arrives at the inn, she does a lot of painting and she buys some antiques and that's about it. Seth, Jack's nephew, harbors his doubts about Marie's true intentions. I felt that Seth had every right to be dubious of the situation. Marie tends to be timid and dull. I just wanted her to speak!
Overall, The Red Door Inn had potential with its premise and setting, but it's draggy a lot of the time. Marie and Seth brood a lot. If you want to read about PEI, Just go read Anne of Green Gables instead.
As the book opens we meet Jack, such a wonderful kind and Godly man, he has such a big heart and when he meets Marie, he takes pity on her and buys her a ticket on the ferry, and this kindness is about to change her life forever. Jack’s life is up in the air, but he opens his home to Marie, giving her a small apartment in his home, that has already been promised to another. Jack is working to make his deceased wife’s Ruth dream come alive; he is opening a bed and breakfast. We are about to meet another broken person, Seth, he has been betrayed in the worst way. Unknown to Jack or Seth, Marie has an eye for decorating, and throws her hand into everything, trying to bury the pain. These are three broken individuals and you can see God’s hand in putting them together. Because of Marie and her needs and love she finds here in being part of a family, she opens their world to meet others in PEI, and they become a much more extended family. Many secrets are revealed here, and you will be shocked at how some of them are handled, and others are so sweet. This is book one and I loved it and see that there is a sequel coming in the Fall 2016, I can’t wait! I received this book through the Revell Blogger Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.
I loved this book! The characters were fantastic. I really grew to care for them all individually and can't wait to see what happens in the next book. The setting was very good...it makes me want to visit PEI someday as the island sounds amazing!
I loved how they were fixing up a B&B. I found it really interesting to read about them trying to pick the right paint colors, furniture, bedding, etc. and Marie was so good at picking the right things!
Overall, a very sweet and easy read! I absolutely loved reading it and recommend The Red Door Inn if you enjoy contemporary romance.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
I really enjoyed this book. The author described the area of Prince Edward Island so well. I would love to visit there! A friend of mine just came back from PEI and took gorgeous photos of the area.
Marie was desperate! She went through a harrowing experience and her Father did not show any love or support to help Marie recover. Marie left Boston and traveled to PEI and this is where she began anew! You will enjoy getting to know the new friends Marie made. Marie finally found love and acceptance.