Balancing Emotions by Annette M. Irby
Over and over I keep hearing about one specific character in this book. She’s actually the mentor archetype, if you’re familiar with those. A mentor (in story and in life) helps guide characters, provides wisdom, and cares enough about the hero or heroine to shoot straight by telling them the truth.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me begin by giving the novel’s summary:
Neither of them is ready for a relationship, but love may not give them an out.
Jenna-Shea Brown considers herself a broken therapist. Years ago, she witnessed something that caused PTSD. She can’t let her boss or her patients know about her battle. Who would want to trust her to help them, when she can’t help herself? She’s finally able to find a fresh start in her family’s beach cabin, but the renovations aren’t complete. Her parents have hired her ex-boyfriend to finalize them, but his negligence led to her being in the wrong place at the wrong time all those years ago.
Liam Barrett is trying to prove he’s nothing like his deadbeat dad. He’s working hard, yet still failing. Adrenaline and adventure offer him a diversion, but maybe he can’t escape his genes. He’d like to make things right with Shea, but he’s unsure if she’ll forgive him. Meanwhile, he’s challenged to forgive his father. He’s also worried about Shea and all these episodes she won’t explain. Now that they’re back in close proximity, he’s falling for her again. But can anything heal the past?
Because some of those issues might be a bit heavy, and because, like other readers, I enjoy reading a book that doesn’t get too heavy, I wanted to include a humorous character. So, I introduced Auntie Mat, Or Matilda. She is way outside the box. Everyone knows her as nutty, but lovable. She thinks she’s completely normal. Of course, her ideas are good and her nephew, whom she raised, should listen to her. Of course, it’s perfectly regular to sing with the seagulls who come to visit you on your waterfront deck.
And it’s perfectly normal, in fact downright genius, to decide it’s her role to teach Liam how to woo a woman and, for goodness’ sake, settle down already. He’s over thirty!
I laughed aloud writing this character and hope you do too if you get a chance to read the book. I wanted to include weightier themes, but as in life, I wanted there to be some moments of laughter—a balance of emotions.
Your turn: Do you prefer novels that tackle the deeper issues, even if they’re heavy? Do you read for escape? Do you like lighter stories?
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Annette M. Irby has been writing since her teen years when she sat pounding out stories on a vintage typewriter just for fun. Since then, she’s joined Christian writing groups and launched blogs so she could share the joy of writing. She likes to say she’s addicted to color as flowers and seascapes inspire her. In her off hours, she enjoys gardening, photography, and music. She lives with her husband and family in the Pacific Northwest.
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Book Review Blog: www.annetteirbyreviews.blogspot.com