Haven Creek by Rochelle Alers

HAVEN
Haven Creek by Rochelle Alers
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (392 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Home is where the heart is.

Architect Morgan Dane has always lived according to a plan, crossing off her achievements one by one. But when she’s offered her dream job-the restoration of historic Angels Landing Plantation on beautiful Cavanaugh Island-Morgan’s life takes an unexpected turn.

Carpenter Nathaniel Shaw once took a big chance on commitment-and lost. Needing the healing comforts of home, he returns to Haven Creek to join the family business. Nothing in the small town has changed-except for Morgan Dane. The wallflower he knew in high school has grown into a beautiful woman . . . and stirs feelings Nate isn’t sure he’s ready for.

Together Nate and Morgan find a happiness neither could have predicted. But when secrets from the past come to light, their budding relationship is threatened. Will they play it safe, or risk their hearts to build a life together?

Enticing and a pleasure to read, Haven Creek invites the reader in and entertains so well one doesn’t want to leave.

A unique Gullah culture steeped in generations of nurturing makes Haven Creek on Cavanaugh Island a captivating place. As the reader is immersed in the juicy gossip, scrumptious food, old-south environment, and daily living along with the hopes and desires of the characters the rest of the world recedes.

Morgan Dane is a strong heroine who wants to give and receive love but is able to stand on her own. She knows her own self-worth without a man in her life. The love in her heart that has nestled down inside since she was fourteen-years-old bides its time while all kinds of events in life deny its coming into its own. “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” Morgan declares marriage and children must be postponed until she’s well established in her career. When Nathaniel Shaw (Nate) returns to Haven Creek devastated from a high profile marriage and divorce, Morgan has to reevaluate and decide what is possible for her future. Old hurts from school years still fuel her inhibitions with men and have led her to say she will never marry a boy from Cavanaugh Island.

The talented Nathaniel Shaw comes home a wealthy man with a strong, reliable work ethic, but he is emotionally crippled by his distrust of women. His step-mother and his ex-wife did a real number on him. He makes no secret of his intentions to never marry again. But Morgan stirs “licentious fantasies” in Nate. His loyalty and generosity are strong threads in this tapestry of a tale.

The side stories abound letting the reader see into the lives of the many secondary characters. They enrich the lives of Nate and Morgan. But, Rochelle Alers’ special writing style helps the reader enjoy the secondary characters and to relate to them in compelling ways. Some of the short back stories about them help the reader recall events in previous books in this series.

Haven Creek is a part of a series but stands alone beautifully. It lures the reader and invites in to stay a while with intriguing characters. It is a gentle moving story that lets love find its way through the tangles and troubles of life and the flaws of characters. It is a celebration of the unique Gullah culture.

Haven Creek is set in the low country of South Carolina with an ambience that Ms. Alers shows the reader in exquisite fashion with her realistic descriptions. It gives the reader a warm welcome and entertains with subtle, ever-changing, ever-maturing emotions that lead to a happy-ever-after.

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