In the third book of the Heart of San Francisco series, Meg McClare has returned from a year abroad, and a transformative year it was! No longer the chubby, plain, awkward sister, she has become a true beauty both inside and out, astounding even her best friend Bram, who stood up for her and cherished her during the painful teenage years. But the girl Bram always saw as a little sister has suddenly become a woman, and their relationship can no longer be the same. When Meg wins an internship in the district attorney's office, she feels like her dreams are coming true, only to discover the young man who plagued her adolescent existence will be working with her. Meg turns to Bram for advice, and in spite of his attraction, Bram encourages her to forgive and make peace - but he has no peace in his heart, encouraging her to love another man.
A godly hero who made a mistake in his youth, Bram is determined to do what is right no matter the personal cost. The Abraham analogy is perfect for Bram - his self-sacrifice shows his honor and devotion to his parents and God, even if he can't forgive himself for his mistakes. He makes a wonderful hero, like the noble, chivalrous knights of old.
I think every woman has found herself in Meg's place - all it takes is scorn from the wrong man, and a girl's self-esteem can be damaged for years to come, no matter how lovely her face and form. We all know that it's not beauty on the outside that counts, but rather beauty on the inside; but it can be very hard to overcome feeling undesirable, however lovely our hearts may be. We all want to be beautiful, desirable, and pursued. And a man that makes a girl feel beautiful very easily works his way into her heart, whether his intentions are honorable or not.
While Cait and Logan have been secondary characters throughout the series, by this book I had really come to care for them. I like how their story somewhat parallels that of the starring couple's in each book, that Cait and Logan, though older and wiser, still have to learn the same lessons. Their story is possibly even more poignant than that of any of the three starring couples, from the years of wounds that they have sustained and the difficult task of rebuilding trust - theirs is a love that takes a lot of work, but theirs is a love that overcomes.
I wouldn't have minded a tad more at the end to thoroughly conclude the book and series, but it can stand as it is. In more than one instance in this book my eyes did not remain precisely dry - it is not often a story can evoke such strong emotion in me! God-centered, with strong relationships and beautiful romance, this novel tugged at my heartstrings more than either the others in the series and is unquestionably my favorite. 5 out of 5 stars!
Thank you Revell for providing a free book for the purpose of review; I was not required to make it positive, and all opinions are my own.
The Heart of San Francisco
1. Love at Any Cost
2. Dare to Love Again
3. Surprised by Love
3.5: "Grace Like Rain" (novella coda)