Title: April’s Glow
Author: Juliet Madison
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Release Date: April 2016
Length: 138 pages
Series?: Tarrin’s Bay #4
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Distracting herself from a string of bad luck and a disastrous love life, bubbly April Vedora throws herself into her new business —April’s Glow, a candle store in seaside Tarrin’s Bay — the enchanting scents and colorful atmosphere provide a safe haven. But outside business hours she’s clueless about her personal life.
When a mysterious loner moves in next door, she can’t help but become intrigued, and ex-soldier Zac Masterson is equally fascinated by April. But both have sworn off relationships, and while April avoids her emotions by keeping busy and sociable, Zac hides away from the world — and his past.
As the pair chip away at each other’s facades and secrets are revealed, April fears that the man she is unwillingly falling for could represent everything she’s worked so hard to avoid. Or could they be just what the other needs?
They’ve shared their secrets over the back fence, but resolving the past is going to mean opening the doors to their hearts — and letting each other in.
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April’s Glow is set in Tarrin’s Bay and is the fourth in the series. I had read the fifth book prior to this book and they can be read as complete standalones.
April Vedora has physically healed and recovered from a terrible accident, but she is still in an emotionally fragile state. She avoids listening to any songs with lyrics and hasn’t gotten over what happened. She is a spunky, talkative young woman who owns her own business, a candle shop called April’s Glow, and has a great group of girlfriends.
When Zac Masterson moves in next door, he is furtive and secretive. But he is kindhearted, leaving a mystery flower on April’s porch for her birthday. As much as April tries to ignore it, he is a hunk of a man. She also discovers he’s a bit on the strange side, a different kind of bird, and she winds up liking him after their many backyard over-the-fence talks, drop-in visits, and texts. Like her, Zac is also suffering from his past and he uses poetry on his anonymous blog as an outlet.
Being told from both their perspectives, readers get insight into the issues they are struggling with before they share those scars with each other. This was a slow, slow burn romance. It started as a friendship and then turned into more, and I really liked that it was done very well. It wasn’t rushed or stilted but a smooth, natural development.
Despite Zac’s obvious appeal, April’s familial relationship plays a hard role in her driving a wedge between Zac and herself. While she hates what her father is and does – and did in the past – she also enables him a little bit. She projects her father’s history onto Zac and pushes him away despite all the help and advice he’s given her. This creates tension and advances the plot for both of them as they work through their individual issues. This is a sweet read with sincere, genuine characters.
Juliet Madison is a bestselling and award-nominated author of fiction in multiple genres, an inspirational coloring book artist, and a self-empowerment and writing coach. With her background as a naturopath and a dancer, Juliet is passionate about health, fitness, and living a positive life. She likes to combine her love of words, art, and inspiration to create books that entertain and empower readers to love, laugh, and live. Juliet lives on the picturesque south coast of NSW, Australia, where she spends as much time as possible writing books and as little time as possible doing housework.
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