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Wonderful Story of Overcoming Grief and Addiction with Community


Restoring Their Family (True North Springs #2) by Allie Pleiter


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Genre: Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Romance, Small Town Romance

Location: Arizona

Romance: Very clean. Light kissing.

Faith: Strong message of community and our need to rely on God and others to heal from grief or addiction.



JAllie Pleiter weaves a beautiful story of healing in a retreat setting. Kate Hoyle and her two children take a three-week vacation to this quaint camp in Arizona to work through their grief over the loss of Kate’s husband. Kate is concerned that her ten-year-old son is stuck in his grief, so she hopes the experience will bring him out of the dark hole he retreated to. Her daughter’s extreme food allergies add to the stress of a family vacation until Chef Seb Costa sets her mind at ease.


The story unfolds by giving a glimpse into the real-life struggles of recovering from grief, especially when one loses a loved one so unexpectedly. Pleiter’s writing allowed me to feel the characters’ plight and emotions in a way that felt realistic but not overwhelming. I empathized with their grief, rejoiced in their minor triumphs, and rooted for them in their setbacks.


The romance between Kate and Seb was sweet and clean. Just like in real life, after losing a spouse, Kate processed through the conflicting emotions of what it means to open her heart to love again.


One of my favorite parts of the story was the way Pleiter built a relationship between the chef and Kate’s son. Children don’t always tell parents what is going on inside of them. Sometimes a kind stranger who invests a little time can pull them from their shell. I loved Pleiter’s approach to this.


Even though this is the second book in the True North Springs series, the story stands on its own. The author strikes the right balance between relaying context from the first book, without rehashing it. A reader can read this book and not miss a beat even without having read the first book in the series.


This is an uplifting story about overcoming grief and addiction as a Christian. I highly recommend this book for fans of contemporary romance, small town romance, and inspirational fiction. Pleiter delivers an inspirational and heart-warming clean romance.



Disclaimer: I requested and received an advanced copy of this book courtesy of Love Inspired (Harlequin Publishers) through NetGalley. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

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