Seeds of Love I’ve read a lot of angst-y fiction and non-fiction lately. Good reading, but complex subject matter like murder and mental illness or things that make me question the future of humanity. My favorite TV shows thrive on high drama, intense story lines,  and often heavy violence. We all know how depressing the news is these days. And there’s rarely a Dateline on that can’t suck me into it. All that to say, it’s easy to surround ourselves (myself) with heavy, and/or sad, and/or emotionally draining stories. It can pull me into a funk. Sometimes, I just want to read a book that makes me happy; where I know that ultimately, things will wrap up in a satisfactory way; and where love conquers all.  Julie Anne Lindsey’s Seeds of Love does just that.

Seeds of Love is actually an anthology of three novellas set in Honey Creek, Ohio. From the publisher’s summary: “Welcome to Honey Creek, Ohio, where life moves a little slower, stars shine a little brighter and love is always in bloom. Small town life is complicated, sometimes a little messy, but never anything friends and family can’t mend. Seeds of Love is a collection of sweet romantic reads where hearts are challenged, bonds are formed and love heals all things. In Honey Creek, folks find redemption, forgiveness, and friendship. Rock back on the front porch swing, grab a glass of sweet tea and listen to the bullfrog and cricket chorus. Watch the fireflies, toss a horseshoe, stay a while. There’s a Strawberry Festival on Main Street. Watch the cowboys swing their sweetheart in a line dance, or take a seat by the lake. There’s something for everyone in Honey Creek, but the greatest of these is love.

Small towns can be a double-edged sword, and I know that they are not without their issues. But there’s a certain charm to many of them.  I didn’t grow up in one, but both my parents come from small towns and they’ve been a part of my life since I was born. The best parts of small towns are the best parts of Honey Creek- the people who have known each other for generations, who come together to support one another, where everyone knows (too much) about everyone’s business.  The seemingly infinite number of stars in the nighttime sky. The instant community that rallies around during any major life event.  Honey Creek is all of these.

Then we have our characters. Each of our heroines and heroes has their own battles to fight and obstacles to clear before they find the courage to fall in love. Lindsey doesn’t give us anything overly dramatic or earth-shattering here, just real things people consider before taking the biggest chance of all.  That has a ring of authenticity to it that even skeptics like me, who don’t believe in love at first sight, can buy into.

What I like about Lindsey’s characters is that they aren’t paragons of unachievable “perfection”- they are your junior high classmates-relatable and normal- the kind of people you would run into on a daily basis in a small town. In fact, I think it’s that identification with the characters, combined with the familiarity of  a small town, that makes Seeds of Love a book that can charm even a relationship cynic like me.  I’m looking forward to reading more from Julie.

If you’re on Twitter, you can follow Julie here.

You can also check out her blog here.

When I told Julie I had bought and was reviewing Seeds of Love, she offered up an e-Copy for one of you.  Just leave me a comment about why you’d  like to read this book, and I’ll choose a winner at random.