The Way to Hope (Heart of Colton) – ARC review

The Way to Hope
by Eliana West
Release Date:  May 24, 2022
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Book #4 in the Heart of Colton series
Number of pages:  270
Source:  ARC from publisher
Contemporary Romance M/F
Ages 15 and up
CW: racial violence, drug use, PTSD
Rhett Colton has spent the last two years working deep undercover for the FBI. He’s forsaken his friends and family to keep his community safe, but now that his mission is over, he’s haunted by what he’s done and is having a hard time returning to his previous life. Only two things are keeping him from becoming totally lost—his dog, Rebel, and the beautiful new town veterinarian.

Jasmine Owens is ready to start over in the charming town of Colton, Mississippi, by opening her own veterinary practice. Jasmine knows what it’s like to constantly have her abilities questioned, but she’s strong enough to persevere. When she agrees to board Rhett’s dog while he’s away in D.C., they begin talking every night over the phone and she realizes Rhett isn’t the man she thought he was. He’s so much more and sparks quickly fly on both ends.

But when new threats surface, Jasmine and everyone in Colton’s safety are threatened. Rhett will need to make a decision. He’s always sacrificed everything for his job, but is he willing to risk their relationship too?

I’m going to start this review off with props to the author. The chemistry is spot on in this story. On top of that, the story really pulled me in and told an important message without it feeling like a lecture. The ups and downs of Rhett’s moods, going from hope to despair to confusion, were beautifully written.

Jasmine has her own skeletons in the closet. Not things she’s done, but internal scars from things that happened to her throughout her life. Rhett and Jasmine have an instant connection that is able to grow organically and in such a sweet way since they get to know one another from a distance. While they are attracted to each other, they build their friendship on long talks on the phone instead. These two gave me all the feels. Time after time, the sweetness and care they show each other had my belly full of butterflies.

Now that I gave you some insight into what is fantastic about this story, I have to rant about the issues. Once again with this series, there are some major continuity issues. In this story, unlike the last book, the lapses do not interfere with the story as a whole. But there were still a lot and it still took me out of the story. For example, some parts of the book reference additional siblings other than Jasmine’s brother who is the town sheriff, then there is a line where Jasmine states it was just her and her brother and no other siblings. So do they have sisters or not? It’s not integral to this particular story, but it’s annoying that it’s not kept straight and that the author and/or the editor or anybody else was catching these errors. And there are quite a few. Seriously, I cannot give this book a 5-star rating with as much as I was taken out of the story by the contradicting information. But it was really, really, really good. Since this is the 4th book in the series and all but one of the books have had a lot of these same problems, I don’t even know where to lay the blame. I don’t know enough about the ins and outs of the publishing world to know how it all works. Yet I feel as though there should be someone along the chain that notices these things.

Okay, rant over for now. All of that being said, I’m still giving this story a great rating. The storyline, the emotions from the main couple as well as other side characters, the depth we are starting to get from this town all warrant this series being read. And I will continue to read the books as they come out for now, as long as the characters and storylines continue to be so intriguing. I just hope something can be done to fix the other issues.

4 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s