Olivia Hamilton can do no wrong. Or at least that’s what the community of Fox River, North Carolina thinks of the odd but sweet young lady. She’s hiding a past she’d rather forget, engaged to the town’s most eligible bachelor, and longing for someone to see past the mask she wears. Olivia wants to find herself, forgive herself, and fall in love with someone who sees and embraces her flaws.
Denver MacKenna grew up the fiddle-playing prodigy of not only his hometown of Fox River but of North Carolina and the surrounding states. He plays obsessively and tours as often as possible, escaping a life of loneliness at home. Until he meets a beautiful siren who calls to him and has him making plans to settle down. Denver knows it’s wrong to covet the elusive Olivia, but finds himself inexplicably drawn to the brief glimpses she gives him of her true self.
The Heart of a Peach is the latest book in the Fox River series. Although it features characters from previous novels, it can be read as a standalone story. I’d not read any books in this series before starting this one. This didn’t hinder my enjoyment at all.
This book is told from the point of view of both Olivia and Denver.
Olivia feels trapped in a relationship she feels obligated to stay in and I felt a lot of sympathy for her. Guilt and shame can be paralysing, especially if these feelings are reinforced by the people we should be able to trust and I really wanted, as a reader, to be able to pull her out of that situation. When she meets Denver MacKenna, it was great to see how her perspective on life changed and to see her develop as a character.
Denver is also at a crossroads in his life when he meets Olivia and I liked the fact we got to see things from his point of view too. I really liked him. I liked all the brothers actually and will be adding the other books in the series to the reading pile.
In my opinion, the main conflict in this novel comes from within as Olivia battles to discover who she is as a person and I found this fascinating and something very relatable.
This book, above all, is about self discovery with a lovely helping of romance thrown in. It’s about having the confidence to be the person you want to be, allowing love for yourself as well as others and also, forgiving yourself for your past so you can focus on the future.
If you’re looking for a gentle romantic read that is beautifully written, this book is perfect. I loved it.
About Jess B. Moore…
Jess B. Moore is a writer of love stories. When she’s not writing, she’s busy mothering her accomplished and headstrong children, reading obscene numbers of books, and knitting scarves she’ll likely never finish.
Jess lives in small town North Carolina with her bluegrass obsessed family. She takes too many pictures of her cats, thinking the Internet loves them as much as she does. She is a firm believer of swapping stories over coffee or wine, and that there should always be dark chocolate involved.
The Fox River Romance novels combine her interests in family, music, and small towns into thoughtful tales of growing up and falling in love. These books can be read as stand-alone, or as a series starting with The Guilt of a Sparrow.
The Heart of a Peach was released on 11th July 2020. Click to view on Amazon UK.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.