Decide to Hope by June A. Converse is an unusual romance that features a unique situation and characters that are just extraordinary. Kathleen Conners has not only been hurt; she has been broken beyond repair, a woman whose self-esteem and sense of dignity have been shattered by trauma. If it were possible, she would prefer to cease to be because the possibility of having a future with someone is nonexistent after what happened to her. So she thinks. Then enters Matt Nelson, a man whose life changes after receiving a box of letters from his dead mother. His mother has left plans for him, and while he struggles to make sense out of it all, he meets Kathleen. As he struggles to connect to her, someone from Kathleen’s painful past resurfaces. Can Kathleen transcend her pain and allow herself to be touched by Matt and how much is Matt willing to accept in order to gain the woman he loves?
This is one of the few novels I have read in romance that roused emotions I never knew existed in me. The lead female character is well-written and she is like people we have met, people with deep-running threads of trauma. She is one of those people who need to find themselves before they can give themselves to anyone. And when she is about to give love a try, someone from her painful past comes into the scene, raising the stakes. I adored Matt’s intelligence, tolerance, maturity, and patience. This is a novel with characters that are not just real but hugely believable and the reader begins to think about their own hurts and how trauma has stalled their personal growth. Decide to Hope is a tale with strong psychological underpinnings, a story that is written in dazzling prose and filled with insight and wisdom.
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