Season of Hope by Sara Jane Jacobs
When Amanda Jarvis prays that a special friend will move into the vacant house near her isolated mountain home, she isn't upset when God sends a boy instead of a girl. But Amanda's not the only one receiving unexpected answers to her prayers. After fleeing with his mother from an abusive father, Tyler Armstrong finds much-needed love and acceptance with Amanda’s family over the next ten years.
As high school graduation nears, Tyler is shocked when one carefree afternoon with Amanda churns up an inner turmoil he would have never imagined; he’s crushing on his best friend. And for the first time in his life he’s hiding a secret from Amanda. Convinced the timing is all wrong, Tyler pushes his feelings aside as he and Amanda prepare for the future. He will soon begin training to pursue his dream of becoming a Navy Seal, while Amanda makes plans to spend the summer in Manhattan with her aunt and then return home to the community college.
When Amanda’s summer job catapults her into a modeling career, she readily accepts the much-needed distraction. Tyler’s impending deployment is turning her world upside down. Along with the fact that she’s falling for her best friend. And, for the first time in her relationship with Tyler, she’s hiding a secret, too.
Phoebe Garrison, Amanda’s controlling aunt, is thrilled when she is given the power to act on behalf of her underage niece. Bored with her Fortune 500 advertising agency, becoming Amanda’s manager is just what she's been looking for to rekindle her aspirations. But as Tyler becomes aware of Phoebe’s obsession to push Amanda into supermodel status, tensions rise. As the three of them become entangled in a mass of concealed ambition and desire, each will make decisions that will send ripples of turbulence across their futures.
I like book covers, but I'll admit that when I read an eBook, I rarely look at the cover before reading it. The cover for Season of Hope is lovely, and would catch my attention in a bookstore. However, I didn't notice the cover on my ecopy, or more importantly, the part that says, "The Seasons, Book One". As it was, I read it not realizing it was the first book in a series, and I was caught off guard when the story stopped without resolution.
This was a good effort for a first book. I only noticed a few typos, and I was interested in seeing if our main characters would get the guts to admit their feelings to each other. I would have loved to have fewer of the day-to-day details and more focus on the issue (best friends who realize they've fallen for each other).
It's a beautiful cover and definitely one that I would pick up off the shelf. I was a little thrown right at the beginning where we charge right into the story, and then it goes back a ways, and then it repeats where we started.
While I felt the dialogue was extremely forced and unnatural, the storyline has potential. With a little more editing and more closure to the story instead of the cliff hanger we were left with, this could be really great story.
*We received an eCopy in exchange for an honest review.