My Thoughts: Book: Forever Home Author: Hope Toler Dougherty
About the Book
Book: Forever Home
Author: Hope Toler Dougherty
Genre: Sweet Romance/Christian Fiction
Release date: August 16, 2022
With a fulfilling job and a home of her own, former foster child, Merritt Hastings, relishes her stable, respectable life. Dreaming for more is a sure way for heartache. When a contested will turns her world upside down, she must reevaluate what’s important to her, what’s worth fighting for, and what’s worth sacrificing.
Patience has never been Sam Daniels’ strong suit with his history of acting quickly and asking questions later, and he’s ready for changes in his life…now. Too bad the plans for acquiring a radio station didn’t include a contract. Now he’s out of a job, out of a radio station, and out of prospects.
While his life is in flux, at least he can help Merritt steady hers, or will he rush in and overstep …again?
Will the sparks flying between these two opposites lead to a happily-ever-after or heartbreak for both?
Hope Toler Dougherty holds a master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University and York Technical College. Her novels include Irish Encounter, Mars…With Venus Rising, Rescued Hearts, Forever Music, and Forever Home. Her recent novella, “A Hatteras Surprise,” appears in Candy Cane Wishes and Saltwater Dreams and is also available as a standalone novel. She and her husband delight in visits with their two daughters and twin sons.
More from Hope
When I introduced the Daniels family in Forever Music, the first story in the Forever Series, I wrote about Josie, the little sister. I wanted to write about her brother Sam next, but after about eight chapters, the words stopped flowing and then the pandemic struck. Instead of writing during lockdown, I cleaned out closets, crocheted mask bands, and perfected a killer sourdough loaf.
I wanted to write. I tried to write. I loved Sam and wanted to discover his story, but…nothing.
When my publisher offered a slot in a novella collection, I pushed Sam to the back of my mind and wrote about his older brother, Ben. Ben’s story is set on the beautiful Hatteras Island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Check out his romance in A Hatteras Surprise.
Sharing Ben’s courtship with Ginny Stowe freed me to get back to Sam and Merritt in Forever Home. Their story highlights foster care, music, friendship, and radio stations.
Impatient Sam usually acts first and thinks second. His happy-go-lucky personality chafes Merritt’s stick-with-a-plan attitude. Too bad she needs his help with her livelihood. They don’t hit it off at first, but both are definitely intrigued with each other.
Readers can find subtle Italian references throughout the story. Here’s a favorite recipe friends might find in Merritt’s kitchen. I hope you like it and the story, too!
Orange Pistachio Biscotti
Ingredients: 2 C plain flour 1 egg white 1 t baking powder 2 T orange zest ¼ t salt ½-1 C chopped pistachios 1 C sugar 1/2 C candied orange bits 2 eggs orange juice, if needed
Directions Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into a mixing bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs and egg white together, then add to flour mixture. Stir in orange zest, nuts, and orange bits. Mix until dough is smooth. If the dough is too dry, add orange juice a tablespoon at a time.
Flour hands and scoop half the dough onto one side of the cookie sheet prepared with cooking spray. Shape the dough into a 15×3-inch log. Repeat with remaining dough. The logs should be several inches apart.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Tops of the logs should be firm.
Remove to wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Cut logs on a diagonal into ½-inch-thick slices. Place the slices, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.
Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack. They will harden as they cool. Yields about 48 cookies depending on size
Forever Home is written by Hope Toler Dougherty. This is a sweet romance/ Christian fiction story. I have not read the book “Forever Music” where some of the characters were introduced, but I didn’t have any issues following along. I loved all the musical descriptions in the book.
Merritt grew up in foster care. As an adult she really values stability. She never got close to anybody being bounced around to different families. Sam jumps first and asks questions later. He lacks patience. When he tries to win Merritt over it isn’t going like he hopes.
The characters are well written. I loved the theme of family, forgiveness and hope. The author does a great job with her descriptions. The story will pull you in within the first few pages
Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book. All thoughts are my own.