Finding Happiness by Susan Warner

Finding Happiness by Susan Warner
Hidden Treasures Book 4
Publisher: EG Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

A treasure worth having is a treasure worth facing your past for.

When Olivia came to Markarava she found a place that gave her a voice and she didn’t’ have to hide herself or her ideas behind another person. Her insecurities shrunk but her loneliness grew. Growing up in a traditional family she was always told family or work. When she went to work her family didn’t understand why an attractive woman would turn away from the men who wanted to take care of her. As the town gets ready to celebrate the resilience of towns and families she tries to leave only to find she’s been volunteered because she’s so good at organizer the whole event.

Jeremy Collins can’t believe he’s working on the families are strong event. If it wasn’t for the fact that he needs the money to pay for a father in a home he wouldn’t’ even consider it. Jeremy knows he’s not good at relationships or families. Then when he’s teamed up with Livia from a nearby project he’s sure he’ll be stuck with Ms. Bubbles. Instead he finds a kindred soul.

As they organize the event, hear the stories that started the event they find the past doesn’t look bleak and maybe they can do the family and relationship thing, if they have the right person. Will they have the courage to trust and open their hearts to one another?

If a reader likes stories set in small towns, where the communities watch out for their own and like to play matchmakers, then this book might appeal. Both Olivia and Jeremy have friends in town who are trying to watch their backs for them, but at the same time believe they’re good for one another and try to guide Olivia and Jeremy towards their own happy-ever-after. Easier said than done.

Both the hero and heroine have noble traits in their personalities – they both believe in keeping promises, fulfilling obligations and won’t quit until there’s no option. That means stubbornness is a strong component in the story. Jeremy wants to take care of his aging father, and Olivia is searching for her missing baby sister. For some reason, one main character thinks they can work it out and be together, and the other believes those kinds of commitments preclude having a healthy long-term relationship. Those are some serious hurdles they both have to overcome and are one of the major plot points.

The dialogue was good, the sense of community was strong, the sub-romance between Caroline and Mark was appealing but it wrapped up in a quick disjointed manner. But I’m coming from not having read any of the previous books in the series. Perhaps it’ll be clearer for fans since they know the backstory. Parts of Finding Happiness were confusing at times but not enough to pull me out of the story. It was nice to have a solid HEA though because Finding Happiness has more of a ‘happy for now’ tone to it for the main characters. Perhaps I need to read book 5 in the series for the full effect. I’m pretty sure that’s the case because there’s a dangling plot thread that belongs to Olivia that has to be tied up. It’s mentioned in this story and progress is made, but for Olivia to be 100% happy, she needs closure. It makes sense that the last book in the series will dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s.

This was a good read, fine for passing the time in at a doctor’s appointment, or getting your oil changed. It’s a story about personal conflicts that need to be overcome before Olivia and Jeremy can move on towards their future together. It was engrossing and entertaining, and I enjoyed reading the book. It’s obvious to me that I’m going to have to read the final book in the series. Nothing like a little closure to make my day.

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