Forever After by Deborah Raney is the second book in the series entitled Hanover Falls. It is the story of Lucas Vermontez, a firefighter who is involved in a fire where his father and several others are killed. Even though Lucas survives, he is crippled and scarred emotionally as a result.
A year after the tragedy that took his father's life, Lucas reconnects with Jenna Morgan, whose husband, Zach, also perished in the blaze. Jenna is struggling with trying to pay the bills that have continued to mount since her husband's death. When she loses her home, she runs to her in-laws for help. But when their relationship becomes strained, Jenna is faced with homelessness and must find another place to live.
Lucas and Jenna begin to lean on each other for support. However, secrets in Jenna's past creep in and threaten to destroy the happiness they have found. And Lucas' dreams of being a firefighter are crushed and must be replaced with new hope before he gives in to despair.
When I began reading Forever After, there were a few things that I found a little incredible about the plot. For example, there are two couples engaged to be married at the beginning of the book; three of the people are ones whose spouses died in the fire. One of the men is marrying the woman who (unintentionally) caused the fire that killed his wife. Although I felt sympathy for these couples, I just thought it was too much to believe that there would be all these people who would be engaged so soon after their spouses died. And when you add in Jenna and Lucas (whose spouses also died in the fire), the author seems to put too much "coincidences" into that part of her plot.
After saying that, I must say that I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes Christian romance books. The plot is unique and not "cookie-cutter" like so many others. The characters are real and the pacing of the book is just right.
(I received this book from Glass Road for review purposes. I received no monetary compensation for this review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.)
DEBORAH RANEY is at work on her 20th novel. Her books have won the RITA Award, ACFW Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers' Choice Award, Silver Angel, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Forever After, second in her new Hanover Falls Novels series, will release in June from Howard/Simon & Schuster. Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy small-town life in Kansas. They are new empty nesters with four children and a growing quiver of grandchildren, all of whom live much too far away.