by Emily March
Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas - Book 1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Reviewed by PJ
Sometimes it takes a new beginning
Caroline Carruthers thinks she buried her dreams along with the love of her life…until a stranger named Celeste dares her to chase a dream all on her own. Moving to Redemption, Texas, is chapter one in Caroline's new life story. Opening a bookstore is the next. Finding love is the last thing on her mind as she settles into this new place called home. But when she meets a handsome, soulful man who’s also starting over, all bets are off.
to reach a happily-ever-after
Jackson McBride came to Redemption looking only to find himself, not someone to love. Ever since his marriage ended, he's been bitter. Sure, he used to believe in love - he even has the old song lyrics to prove it - but the Jackson of today is all business. That is, until a beautiful young widow who's moved to town inspires a change of heart. Could it be that the myth of Redemption's healing magic is true...and Jackson and Caroline can find a second chance at a happy ending after all?
I've been a fan of Emily March's Eternity Springs series since book one. The characteristics that have sent those books straight to my keeper shelf - complex, endearing characters, heart-tugging story lines, redemption, healing, starting over, and happy-ever-afters - are all on display in this first book of March's new spin-off series, along with a fair amount of humor. Moving from Colorado to the Texas Hill Country, this new series brings readers the stories of three McBride cousins: Jackson, Tucker, and Boone.
March tells this first book in two parts with part one recounting Jackson and Caroline's first meeting as well as the events that lead each of them to move to Redemption. My heart ached for Jackson from the get-go. He's reeling from a heartbreaking child custody decision when we first meet him, is still bitter about his divorce, and has lost the desire to create the music he used to write. For some reason, Caroline, a stranger he bumps into, has lyrics floating through his mind again. Caroline, in Redemption to write a travel article, enjoys talking to Jackson and touring the property he and his cousins plan to turn into an inn, restaurant, and dance hall. They "click" but not in an overtly sexual way. Caroline is married and very much in love with her husband, even though he has Alzheimer's and no longer knows her and Jackson is an honorable man who would never make a play for a married woman, even if he hadn't already sworn off women since his divorce.
The relationship between Caroline and Jackson begins in Part Two which takes place a year after their first meeting and many months after the death of Caroline's husband. I appreciate the time March gives Caroline before bringing her back to Redemption and into Jackson's sphere. As someone who has walked her path, I found her emotions to be very realistic as she begins the next chapter of her life. I also like that her late husband isn't cast aside as if he never existed. Their years together are very much a part of her as the years Jackson was married and his child are an integral part of him. They all weave together to create the individuals Caroline and Jackson now are and the relationship they create together. March uses care and sensitivity as she slowly guides them from acquaintances, to friends, to lovers, to two people embarking upon a life together. I really liked these two, both individually and as a couple, and quickly became invested in their happiness.
As a fan of Eternity Springs, I was delighted with the appearances of cross-over characters in this novel. It's especially fun to watch unflappable Celeste get her feathers ruffled while dealing with her more free-spirited cousin, Angelica. If you haven't read any of the Eternity Springs books, you might find yourself with a little character confusion when many of the Colorado residents converge on Redemption, Texas for the inn's soft opening but, aside from that chapter, this novel stands very well on its own with the vast majority of the characters new to March's fictional world. I enjoyed meeting all of them in JACKSON (even the ones who caused waves) and am already looking forward to the next chapter in Emily March's McBrides of Texas series.
Have you read any of the Eternity Springs books?
Do you enjoy stories about characters starting over?
Caroline's next chapter occupation is opening an independent bookstore. What would you choose to do if you had the opportunity to start a new chapter?
One person who leaves a comment before 11:00 PM, June 21, will receive a print copy of JACKSON. (U.S. only)