Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (July 8, 2008)
Elle's living the dream-but is it her dream or his?
Elle loves life in Beaufort, South Carolina-lazy summer days on the sand bar, coastal bonfires, and dinners with friends sharing a lifetime of memories. And she's found her niche as the owner of a successful art gallery too. Life is good.
Then the dynamic pastor of her small town church sweeps her off her feet. She's never known a man like Jeremiah-one who breathes in confidence and exhales all doubt. When he proposes in the setting sunlight, Elle hands him her heart on a silver platter.
But Jeremiah's just accepted a large pastorate in a different state. If she's serious about their relationship, Elle will take "the call," too, leaving behind the people and place she loves so dearly. Elle's friendship with her new tenant, widower Heath McCord, and his young daughter make things even more complicated.
Is love transferrable across the miles? And can you take it with you when you go?
Rachel Hauck is solidly on my favorite authors list after I finished Love Starts with Elle. Hauck tells a good story, creates lovable characters and doesn't shy away from grit and reality. On top of all those great qualities, she brings a deep sense of spirituality into the lives of her story inhabitants. Subjects like forgiveness, grace and living breathing relationships with God are layered into her prose adding a depth to her novels.
Love Starts with Elle picks up where Sweet Caroline leaves off. With a cast of previously introduced characters and a sweet spot in low country, the reader gets to experience Elle's little corner of Beaufort. Having found love after her Operation Wedding quest's amusing results in Caroline, Elle is ready to meet the world head-on with her man by her side. Along the way she discovers that God has plans for her that she could never have believed or even dreamed.
Hauck doesn't shy away from death and sorrow. Her characters grieve believably, and then grow through it. Elle is not lightweight but it contains elements of romance and humor as well as the heavier subjects. I did find myself thinking like a critic on occasion, but then after reading further and after dashing tears from my cheeks three or four times I decided I didn't care one bit, the story sucked me in. Hauck fans will want to check out Elle. If you aren't a Hauck fan, you might want to work on that.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer