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The Art of Rivers

(Coastal Hearts #3)

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  209 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Rivers Sullivan bears both visible and invisible scars—those on her shoulder from a bullet wound and those on her heart from the loss of her fiancé during the same brutal attack. Not even her background as an art therapist can help her regain her faith in humanity. Still, she scrapes together the courage to travel to St. Simons Island to see the beach cottage and art galle ...more
Kindle Edition, 249 pages
Published June 30th 2019 by Southern Sun Press LLC
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Average rating 4.59  · 
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 ·  209 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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I truly admire the way that Janet Ferguson has been dealing respectfully and sensitively with heavier topics in the Coastal Hearts series. In The Art of Rivers, it's that of substance abuse and addiction and the impact is has not only on the addict, but of their families as well. Not only with the immediate impact, but with the lasting consequences that can follow a former addict even if they've been clean for years.

I appreciate that the author shows both sides of addiction - the ugly, depraved
Sarah Monzon
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is seriously my favorite book by this author. I love it so much. If anyone you love has suffered addiction and you need a little hope that they can turn their life around, this book is for you.
Jennifer Rodewald
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Once again, Ferguson takes two stories of brokenness and weaves the beauty of hope and redemption between them. This book is for anyone who is longing for a reason to grip hope a little more, to keep looking up, and to keep believing in what seems impossible.
Paula Marie
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Honestly, I am so blessed that Janet Ferguson has allowed me to read this story prior to release date. I can tell you this book got to me in so many ways, the realism behind addiction and sorrow and rehabilitation is so spot on, Janet sincerely nailed this story from all angles. This work of fiction is so much more than a love story…it is the story of anyone who has been touched by addiction, the wife of an alcoholic, the mother of a drug addict, the survivor of a brutal, senseless attack, the p ...more
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"The past has light and shadows we don't see without looking from a different perspective."

I cannot believe this is the first book by Janet Ferguson that I have read! So many bloggers and reviewers have raved about the author's work and, obviously, I've been a little slow on following their advice. And now the author has found herself yet another fan of her work. Her writing is a deeply moving and thought-provoking work of art that blends words to create a beautiful canvas of hope and her charac
Carla Johnson-Hicks
This is a Christian Fiction story about second chances, drug addiction, romance and forgiveness. A year after her fiancee is shot and killed and she injured, Rivers heads to St. Simon's island to clean out both the cottage and store that she inherited from Jordan. She plans to sell them both and head back to Memphis. What she does not expect is to meat Jordan's cousin Cooper aka Jay, who is a recovering addict and now works at a recovery home as well as running the gallery she has inherited. Wha ...more
Victoria Bylin
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
My favorite stories shine the light of grace at its brightest. That usually means going some place dark, where characters are imperfect, and faith is the only way out. The Art of Rivers fits that description perfectly. I loved it :)

Recommended for anyone who enjoys heart-tugging stories, especially romances where the characters face very real obstacles. Also recommended for people in recovery, family and friends of those fighting for sobriety, and especially for anyone struggling with their own
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A moving story of second chances

I hesitated reading The Art of Rivers, seeing it was about addiction. I have read several heavy books recently and wasn’t sure I was ready for another one just yet. Something about the synopsis kept calling to me, inviting me in. And the wonderful cover. . .

I am so glad I didn’t pass it by! Janet Ferguson painted such a vivid picture with her words, full of life and hope. There was agony too, and deep grief, yet they were skillfully blended to create a lovely mast
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
There was so much to enjoy in The Art of Rivers. I love when a book can draw emotion from me and this one definitely accomplished that. Rivers and Cooper have been through so much that my heart just ached for them. There seemed to be trouble at every turn, walls blocking their paths and emotional turmoil that left even me breathless. Through it all was a sliver of hope that kept me invested and pushing forward right along with Rivers and Cooper.

Cooper and Rivers dedicate their lives to helping o
Beth Erin
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Full review on

Fans of beauty from ashes stories, this book is for you! From tragedy to triumph, Cooper and Rivers navigate turbulent waters of regret and grief in a challenging and inspiring tribute to second chances. Ferguson delivers a complex and faith-filled plot with raw and authentically flawed characters.

In addition to featuring a hefty dose of grief, The Art of Rivers also touches on the issues of addiction, family dynamics, and legacy. As always, Janet W. Ferguson
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Artist Rivers Sullivan has the almost-perfect life … Until her fiancé is gunned down by a drug addict just ten days before their wedding. A year later, she’s on St. Simons Island, Georgia, preparing to pack up and sell the Barlow family cottage and art gallery, which she inherited from Jordan.

Here she meets Jordan’s cousin, an ex-addict who tore Jordan’s family apart when Jordan’s younger sister died in Cooper’s care. Jordan’s family still blames Cooper for Susannah’s death, although Jordan had
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
The Art of Rivers delves into the impact of addiction on family members, friends, counselors and even law enforcement by alcoholics and drug addicts. Rivers Sullivan leaves Memphis for St. Simons Island to handle the estate of her fiance after he is shot by a suspected drug addict. On the island, she is faced with the other side of addiction...counselors and volunteers fostering an environment of sobriety.

What touched me most about this novel was the use of color. As an artist, Rivers thought in
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Art of Rivers was a deeply moving novel that dealt with broken people finding hope again. The main characters were connected in so many ways, including the fact that Rivers’ deceased fiancé was the cousin to Cooper. But, equally compelling was the way the destruction of addiction had touched both of these characters’ lives in different ways.

Cooper and Rivers had many things to deal with in this story and I thought that the author handled the topics in a sensitive way. There was much pain, th
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This book is a romance novel, but it’s so much more. There are few people unaffected by the opioid crisis and this book shows the many viewpoints (and heartaches) involved. The author illustrates the reality of drug addiction with grace and honesty.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Everyone loves a good happily ever after, right?

But what about when happily ever after disappears into darkness and hopelessness and the life you thought you’d lead turns out to be completely different after all?

Can you still forgive? Find hope? Live?

These are some of the tough questions that author Janet Ferguson tackles in this spellbinding, heart-wrenching, and utterly amazing book.

From the first couple of pages I was completely drawn in and knew this story would be something special. Th
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I heard so much about this book this year and it became one I really wanted to read so when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it quickly and honestly I don't regret it.
It's obvious that this book comes from the authors heart. The way she tackles addiction and recovery it's real, it's painful, it's hard but with God it's definitely possible. I love that the author didn't gloss over the topic but made it as real as she could.

Rivers is one strong character with all the pain she has gone
The Art of Rivers by Janet W. Ferguson, is yet another beautiful, inspiring, and realistic story that readers will absolutely love. As readers come to know the couple in the story and the tragic incidences in their lives that bring them together, they will soon be rooting for these characters to form not just a friendship but a special bond that might just lead them to a chance at love if they can overcome their scars and mistakes. Readers will easily relate to the characters, pondering their ow ...more
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I saw this book, I thought it would be a good read, because I had read the author before. I had no idea it would be one that informed me and helped me understand so much about the world of addiction. The author did such a good job on all sides of addiction. It truly made me think about things in a new way. It’s a story that drew me in from page one as an engaged couple are happily getting their marriage license then tragedy strikes. Then we see how the grief process is handled and so much m ...more
Fiction Aficionado
Janet Ferguson’s latest story is one that will resonate with anyone who has a heart for the grieving or those battling with addiction. It also draws readers into a small community of people dedicated to helping addicts break free from the chains that bind them—a struggle that is portrayed with the perfect balance of honesty and grace. But for Rivers, who knows first hand what it is like to live with an addict, “Having grace and mercy for addicts didn’t mean she had to be in a romantic relationsh ...more
I love the evidence of faith and Scriptural truth that shines through this author's books. The recognition of how the enemy attacks us and the hope, mercy and strength we can find in Christ while going through trials, temptations and afflictions is so gripping, honest and encouraging - especially in the context of addiction, grief, and loss. The author demonstrates graceful tact by revealing the full spectrum of addiction in each stage with authenticity - its pull, a person's breaking point to w ...more
Hallie Szott
Sep 06, 2019 marked it as reviewed

Her scars make it hard to keep moving forward, so when Rivers Sullivan arrives in St. Simons Island, she realizes it is time to focus on healing. James Cooper Knight, too, has recovery to do, and it is no easy task—especially when Rivers’s presence only adds to the complications.

Through these characters in The Art of Rivers, Janet Ferguson delves into the complexities of addiction, its consequences and rippling effects. There is a lot with which to grapple in this story, and Rivers and Cooper
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
I was in a bit of a reading slump when I picked up The Art of Rivers—in fact, it was the third book I'd attempted to read that day. But once I got going with The Art of Rivers, I couldn't put it down!

While this book has the things I look for in a romance—romantic chemistry between the couple, a reasonable conflict, and well-drawn supporting characters—it also pushed me out of my comfort zone a bit ... in a good way.

Addiction factors heavily into this novel, and sometimes it's heartbreaking to re
Amanda  H
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was blown away by this book! I've enjoyed Janet's previous stories, but I think she outdid herself with this book. The Art of Rivers deals with some hard topics, like losing a loved one and addiction. I appreciated that Janet doesn't sugar coat either one. When Rivers goes to clean out the cottage left to her by her departed fiancé. When she finds out that part of her inheritance is tied to a ministry that helps recovering addicts, she is forced to face her perception of loss and grief.
I thou
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book surprised me in all the good ways! To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect - but I didn't think I'd end up moving it. The storyline was unique and unlike anything I've read, but I loved it and the fact that it dealt with some very real and sad issues that are very prominent in our culture today. The only issues I had with the book was that the first chapter played out a bit like a murder mystery - which this book isn't, so that was a little misleading. And I also felt like the book ...more
Misty Beller
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've long been a fan of Janet Ferguson's Southern romances because she tackles tough subjects, while keeping the storylines fun and introducing me to fantastic characters who become dear friends. The Art of Rivers is now my new favorite! Addiction has probably touched most of our lives in one way or another (some in heartbreakingly painful ways), and this story doesn't shy away from the gritty truth of the disease. Yet the hope and inspiration Janet weaves into this story makes this book a must ...more
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s finally happened. I’ve found a book that’s SO excellent it’s rendered me speechless. Alas, I will prevail. LOL!

The Art of Rivers by Janet Ferguson is glorious. I was swept away by the highly-engaging storyline. I found the characters to be so expertly crafted they feel real and very relatable. The themes are timely, and I feel great reminders for all readers today. My most favorite aspect of this story, however, is how it opened my eyes to the plight of those who truly battle with addiction
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Art of Rivers by Janet Ferguson is the third book in her A Coastal Hearts series. Each book in the series is centered around the life struggles that so many contend with in today’s world. Big struggles like failing relationships, estrangement, and in The Art of Rivers, the devastating rip-tide like currents of addiction.

When Rivers Sullivan finds herself with a healing bullet wound in her shoulder, and a dead fiancé she is crushed, and despite her occupation as a therapist she is still stru
Kristy Hetzel
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 star
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! After a string of 3 star books, I was starting to get seriously bored of reading. Deciding to look up something new by someone I'd read before, I found this one and it's lit the spark again. 😊 Thank you, Janet!
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Janet’s writing style will let you imagine every scene and feel every emotion of these characters. This story of addiction, redemption and love for mankind will leave you in awe of our Heavenly Father.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book deals with a tough subject beautifully. It's the story of addiction and how it affects more than just the addict. It is a gritty story but has hope woven through it. In my opinion, this is a must read!
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Janet W. Ferguson is a Grace Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. She writes humorous inspirational fiction for people with real lives and real ...more

Other books in the series

Coastal Hearts (4 books)
  • Magnolia Storms (Coastal Hearts #1)
  • Falling for Grace (Coastal Hearts #2)
  • Star Rising (Coastal Hearts #4)

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