Can they build a future on hope alone?
For years nurse and grief counselor Christie Bates has been teaching her patients to confront their fears, express themselves and trust in hope. But as her feelings for cancer survivor Eli Roberts and his two children grow, can she overcome her own fear and love a man who lives every day with the possibility of recurring illness?
Tackling cancer and single parenthood simultaneously has turned Eli into a devout realist. Which is why he finds Christie’s perpetually upbeat attitude so aggravating. Still, despite himself, she’s making a place in his heart. If only he could offer Christie more than an uncertain future.
When I first say Karen Rock’s post in the Clean Romances group on Goodreads, I fell in love with the synopsis. I’ve always been a sucker for stories that tackle serious issues. But, I’ve also learned that not every writer is able to handle the chaos these serious issues bring without giving in to the temptation to provide easy answers. Does Karen Rock fall into that trap? Read on.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wish Me Tomorrow has a happy ending, but it’s not a “feel-good” novel. It’s something much better.
Christie, the nurse who helps cancer patients through their treatment, has quite a bit of depth. She’s funny, sometimes silly, but always full of love for those around her. Especially Eli and his kids. Although once or twice she began to veer into Mary Sue territory–she managed to fake out a respected chess player? Really?–for the most part she’s very grounded, very cute, and now one of my favorite heroines.
Eli is…gah! I love him! He’s got his flaws, but I loved the way he talked, the way he struggled with his cynicism (not to mention his feelings for Christie), and the way he kept trying to do what he thought was best for everyone. His love for his kids came through very clear. His shock at how much cancer had taken from his life also came through very clear and made me really feel for him. I laughed out loud at some of the things he said, like when he’s talking to the principal of his daughter’s school, who by the way was being somewhat annoying, and snaps back to an obvious comment by said principal, “You think?” I cheered for him the whole way through the book. I also got very frustrated with him at times, but that’s to be expected in a romance novel.
You know how I said this book has a happy ending, but it’s not a “feel-good” novel? Not to spoil anything, but there are no guarantees in this book. It’s a story dedicated to life, but not by wrapping ourselves in illusions that make us feel better about the pain life brings us. The conflict between Eli and his daughter, Becca, doesn’t magically get better once Christie steps in. His ex-wife doesn’t suddenly start taking a greater interest in the kids. This is a story about enjoying what life gives you while you have it, and about still loving those around you in spite of everything. It’s a very joyful, inspiring read that almost had me in tears by the end. And that’s a rare thing, folks.
I’m only giving it four stars because there were a few times when the dialogue felt off (most of the time it was good to fantastic). And one time when they sounded British and I had to ask myself if New Yorkers really do talk like that (doubted it because my husband is from New Jersey). Also, the aforementioned thing with the chess master irritated me. Side characters (with the exception of Eli’s kids and Bill) tend to feel a bit one-dimensional, but they’re still very entertaining.
Overall, a fantastic read. Highly recommended for those who are tired of fluffy books where everything’s tied up nice and neat with a bow, but who don’t want to lose hope, either.
Also, for those who are getting tired/bored of books with graphic love scenes, this one has passion but no “bedroom scenes.”
(Please note: This review is based on a free eARC I received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wish-me-tomorrow-karen-rock/1114971549?ean=9781460319154
About Karen Rock
Since Karen Rock’s grandmother passed her shopping bagfuls of Harlequin Presents as a teen, it’s been her dream to add her voice to the Romance genre. Now an author of Harlequin’s latest contemporary line, Heartwarming, Karen is thrilled to pen wholesome, tender, deeply romantic stories that all can relate to. Her first novel, WISH ME TOMORROW, is out in September 2013 and her next, HIS HOMETOWN GIRL, is out in spring 2013. Additionally, Karen is a young adult contemporary romance co-author with fellow Harlequin author, Joanne Rock for the CAMP BOYFRIEND series that debuted July 2013 with Spencer Hill Press.
When she’s not busy writing, Karen enjoys watching anything starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, cooking her Nona’s family Italian recipes, and occasionally rescuing local wildlife from neighborhood cats. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, her very appreciated beta-reader daughter and two King Charles Cavalier cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch,” though they’ve managed to teach her the trick! Hmmmm… wonder how that happened?! She loves to connect with other romance fans!
Please check out her website at http://www.karenrock.com, her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/karenrockwrites, and follow her on twitter http://www.twitter.com/karenrock5 or Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/karenrock.
(Thank you, Karen, for letting me be part of this.)