Synopsis: Arcie was eleven when her parents died and she went to live with her grandfather, Sam. Though the pair became closer than before, Arcie spent most of her childhood with the housekeeper. When Sam makes an announcement Arcie can’t live with, she leaves her life of luxery to make a living for herself. Years later, a chance encounter causes Arcie and her grandfather to come together and try to start over.
Pacing: The story spans over a decade of Arcie’s life and the author manages to seamlessly pass through time. This prevents the story from dragging –and being three times thicker!- while still allowing for prominent moments in Arcie’s growing older.
Location: Though the novel takes place in Chicago, it doesn’t tell much about the city. Other than the occasional business trip Sam took his grand-daughter on, most of story takes place either in a home or a workplace.
Character Development: Sam is a man who puts work before his family. He is also a man who plays favourites among his grandchildren, something that causes great contention within the family dynamic. During the time that Arcie was estranged, Sam found God and began to change his ways as he learned that family and faith is everything.
Romance: Arcie and Gabe meet is a series of “coincidences” that keep throwing them together no matter what obstacle gets in the way. This subtly shows that God always has a plan and a way to make His plan come to fruitation.
DIY: Arcie took dance classes as a child, but after leaving home she gave it up. Even if you don’t have time for regular classes or can’t afford them, you can always look into drop-in classes as plenty studios have that option.
Quote: “There you go again, picking those romantic settings… Our first real kiss was in your garage, then you told me you loved me in your office, and now you propose in a hospital room.”
The Verdict: This is a good read if you don’t want to deal with a whole series, as it is a stand-alone novel. I rather liked this book, but find myself curious about the parts of Arcie’s life that were passed over even though such details were not needed.