Title: The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer
Banister Falls Series Book One
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: A
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
This handsome firefighter makes a living coming to the rescue, but Gin doesn’t need a man to fight her battles.
After Raine’s dad walked out, Ginevieve Lightly never lived in one place too long, a rambling lifestyle that defined her daughter’s youth. When their car dies in Banister Falls, Wisconsin, Gin promises Raine they can stay until she finishes her senior year of high school. Gin will do anything to make sure her daughter has a bright future . . . a future that’s compromised when Raine reveals she’s pregnant.
Dan Moretti has only ever called Banister Falls home. After losing his best friend in a tragic accident, Dan devoted himself to responding to fires, rescuing the helpless, and guiding Cody Bennett, his best friend’s son, through life. With Cody being the epitome of the good kid, it was an easy job. Until he says four little words: “The baby is mine.”
Knowing gossip of Raine’s pregnancy will erupt sooner or later in the small town, Gin’s reflex is to grab the suitcase and escape to a new city, a new life. But with each passing day, Gin’s feet stay rooted in Banister Falls, and she falls a little more for this local firefighter who shows her not all men abandon women at the first sign of smoke.
As Gin and Dan do the best they can to guide the two teenagers through their early entry into adulthood, they discover together that romance can bloom in the rockiest of situations. And God can turn the pieces of a broken past into a beautiful new beginning.
The Dandelion Field is an incredibly heartwarming and moving novel. Kathryn Springer deftly weaves relevant social issues with a gentle undercurrent of faith and the resulting story is realistic and easy to relate to.
Ginevieve “Gin” Lightly never stays in one place too long and she never relies on anyone but herself. All of that changes when she agrees to stay in Banister Falls, WI until her daughter Raine graduates from high school. Gin is devoted mother and she wants Raine to have all of the options she herself never had. But in the months before Raine’s graduation, Gin is dismayed to learn that history is repeating itself when Raine announces she is pregnant. As Raine and her boyfriend Cody Bennett try to decide what comes next for them, Gin fights the urge to flee when she begins to fall for Cody’s mentor and surrogate father, Dan Moretti.
Although both Gin and Cody’s mom, Evie, are both single mothers, their circumstances are completely opposite. Evie is a widow and her childhood friend Dan has always been there for both her and Cody. Gin has never been married and Raine’s father was never a part of their lives. Evie has deep roots in Banister Falls and she has the full support of the local community. Gin is an outsider and many of the townspeople fully blame her and Raine for “ruining” Cody’s bright future. Evie has a strong faith and she is very involved in the local church while Gin feels like God has abandoned her. Their reactions to their children’s impending parenthood are also very different and while their relationship gets off on the wrong foot due to Evie’s antagonistic and judgmental attitude, Gin and Evie unexpectedly find common ground.
Dan has a very loving family and he is as reliable as the day is long. He is shocked at Evie’s unfair attitude and he finds himself playing mediator between the two women. Even more surprising is how drawn he is to Gin. She is very different from anyone he has encountered, but Dan sees the vulnerability she hides behind her independent facade.
Dan is unlike the men Gin normally deals with, but her trust issues run pretty deep. He slowly but surely slips past her defenses, but her insecurities make it impossible for her to believe he could want a relationship with her. She also knows how intertwined his life is with Evie’s and Gin believes that Evie is who Dan wants. Growing increasingly uncomfortable with her deepening ties to Dan, his family and her co-workers, Gin reverts to old habits, but is Dan willing to let her go?
The Dandelion Field is a captivating novel with an appealing cast of characters and a fully developed storyline. Kathryn Springer does not gloss over the difficulties of teenage pregnancy and the resolution of this part of the storyline is very thought-provoking. The heartfelt conclusion is incredibly sweet and immensely gratifying. An absolutely brilliant story that is impossible to put down and one that I highly recommend.