Title: Love on Mimosa Lane by Anna DeStafano
Seasons of the Heart Book Three
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 329 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Law Beaumont and Kristen Hemmings have watched each other from a distance for years. But Law, a bartender with a bad-boy past, and Kristen, an assistant principal devoted to helping her community, couldn’t seem more different. When they unite to mentor a young foster child and to help Law’s troubled daughter through the aftermath of her parents’ ugly divorce, their attraction deepens. They face the undeniable connection between them, and a whirlwind of challenges they can only conquer together.
A stirring love story and a candid look at the complexities of divorce, substance abuse, and our country’s foster care system, Love on Mimosa Lane is a love song to an entire community, and a novel about the power of family—the family you’ve been given, the one you’ve chosen, and the one that can lift you up, even when the world is tearing you down.
Love on Mimosa Lane is a heartwarming story of love, family and friendship. This latest installment in Anna DeStafano’s extremely popular Seasons of the Heart series is sure to be a hit with old and new fans of the series.
Chandlerville is a tight-night community where the residents look out for one another. So when assistant principal Kristen Hemmings needs help with one of her new students, she is quick to ask Law Beaumont to help mentor the young man. Law is no stranger to trouble and while he is at first hesitant to become involved, he soon sees an opportunity to not only help Fin Robinson, but his young daughter Chloe as well.
Both Law and Kristen have complicated family histories that continue to plague them even though they are now adults. They each tend to keep an emotional distance and while Law has been married, Kristen ends her relationships long before they get serious. Kristen’s issues are fairly easy to overcome whereas Law’s are going to take a lot of work and most of the novel to fully resolve.
Law thought his problems with his wife Libby would end once they were divorced. Unfortunately Libby is bitter, vindictive and out to ruin not only his reputation, but his relationships too. Their daughter Chloe is caught in the middle until Law finally starts to listen some of the advice from his friends and his brother, Dan and begins to take control of his life.
All of the characters in Love on Mimosa Lane have a lot of emotional baggage and some of them are dealing with some pretty serious problems. Law and Libby have substance abuse issues, both in the past and present, and Law has a prison record. Chloe is caught between doing what she wants and trying to please her mother. Fin has been in the foster care system for most of his young life and he is having trouble adjusting to his new foster home. Ms. DeStafano does an exemplary job of handling each of these topics with sensitivity and the story never feels overwhelmed by the various conflicts. It is not a light, fluffy read, but it is not bleak or depressing either.
There is a romantic element to Love on Mimosa Lane but this part of the storyline is very understated. Instead, most of the novel centers around Law and the various obstacles he is facing. He has a lot a demons in his past and before he can have a successful relationship with Kristen, Law needs make peace with his mistakes and change how he deals with adversity.
While I liked Love on Mimosa Lane, it is fairly slow paced for the first half of the novel. Some of the sentences are a little awkwardly written. I really liked Fin and Chloe but they seemed a lot older than third graders. Libby’s character has no redeeming qualities and her maliciousness becomes predictable and grating.
Despite these minor issues, I really enjoyed Love on Mimosa Lane. The characters are likable with genuine problems that are realistically resolved. The storylines are compelling and the novel’s conclusion is emotionally satisfying. This powerful story of healing is a fascinating addition to Anna DeStafano Seasons of the Heart series.