Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book Review: It All Started With A Lima Bean by Kimi Flores

It All Started With a Lima Bean
Author: Kimi Flores

Pages: 285
Published: November 14th, 2013

Reviewer : Sandra Long

Kimi Flores was a new name to me and the title of this book gave no hint as to what to expect. I think that was a lot of my instant interest in reading this book. The Prologue was enough to grab my interest and make me want to read to the end of the book.

Anyone who has ever lost a spouse they truly loved knows the feelings described within these pages is real—almost too real to get through without shedding tears . The pain, the feeling of loss, the thoughts and dreams, the grief and heartache our hero, Caleb, experiences are right on target. 

Caleb and his young daughter, Madison, share a relationship that brings the joy this book needs early on to stop the reader’s tears. Caleb’s on-going positive relationship with his in-laws is a pleasant surprise and adds a lot to the story line.

A fortunate coincidence comes into play in a very important way when we learn that Madison’s first year in school places her in the classroom of our beautiful leading lady who just happens to be the daughter of the best friends of Caleb’s late wife’s parents. Abby Sullivan seems to have it all—beauty, brains, a job she loves and wonderful parents and friends but some terrible secret from her past keeps haunting her and preventing her from finding the love and happiness she wants.

Then we meet our villains, the family of Abby’s high school sweetheart who know her secret, or think they do, and at least one of them hates her enough to cause as much trouble for her as she can. As fate would have it, this woman also has a child in Abby’s first grade class who just happens to be the class bully so Abby has her hands really full trying to control him without giving his mother cause to complain on her to the principal.

But, there is the best friend, Leah, who provides Abby a very strong support system. For the long time reading addict we begin to see a trend here----love in bloom but both lovers with past issues they have never dealt with successfully and that seem to mean the death of their relationship. 

This writer does an excellent job of keeping us on the edge of our seats to find out what happens next, as it is not as predictable as the usual true love never runs smooth type of romance book. And, the way the story of the lima beans is interwoven into the story line of the characters and the development of their, and anyone’s, feelings and relationships gives a special meaning to the entire story line.

This was a wonderful book that brings enjoyment to the reader as well as presenting an excellent lesson in relationship building illustrated by, of all things, a lima bean. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys romance without the explicit sexual content found in most of today’s romance novels.

A past that haunts can be laid to rest through the act of forgiveness, even if the person you forgive is yourself. It must be gifted freely.

Abby Sullivan cherishes the life she is creating for herself in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California. She adores her best friend and supportive family. Her job as a kindergarten teacher offers her life hope and purpose. She is very talented at many things, especially hiding the pain of her past. That is until her world collides with Caleb Hunter’s, giving them both a lesson in forgiveness and love.

A life changing love is cruelly snatched by sickness and death. A person must be willing to give love, the greatest gift of all, to receive love.

A successful writer, Caleb is living life day-to-day. Giving refuge to his sad and lonely heart since his wife's sudden death from cervical cancer, his primary focus becomes honoring her memory by rearing their five-year-old daughter, Madison. Yet, when Madison Hunter walks into Miss Abby’s kindergarten class, everything changes for all three of them.

With a little nudge from a loving mother-in-law who has everyone’s best interest at heart, anything is possible, especially when forgiveness and love gift even more blessings than ever imaginable.

When she’s not reading or writing, Kimi spends her time in the kitchen trying to come up with vegan meals that don’t taste like cardboard. Her family might disagree with this however. 

Although she doesn't loyally follow or have favorite teams/athletes, Kimi loves a good hockey game or motocross/x-treme sports event.

Volunteering is extremely important to her and she and her family work with several local non-profit organizations. A portion of her sales will always go to charity. 

She’s planning on publishing the last two books in this series by the end of the year. Book 3, Grafted Vines, is Dani & Zachary’s story and book 4, Tangled Paths, is Bri & Josh’s journey. And because every character has a story to tell, there’s a possibility of a novella about Stefen and Bri’s mother’s life. There’s a reason she acts the way she does and she may bug Kimi enough to have it written out. 

Kimi grew up in the San Gabriel Valley (mostly Alhambra) and still lives in Southern California. She’s been married to her high-school sweetheart and prom date for 21 years and they have two hilarious boys. 

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An Exceptional Twist (Book 2)

~ Book 2 in a series but can be read as a stand alone ~

What’s a girl to do when the one person she’s been forewarned about is the only one that her heart desires? 

Leah Valdez is a sassy, intelligent, hard-working woman whose beauty shines from both inside and out. Friends and family have always come first, but it's time for her to start thinking about her own future. 

Stefen Hunter is a rich, charming, sexy playboy. With seemingly no effort on his part, countless women flock to him. That is, until he meets Leah. He can’t understand why it’s so difficult to win her over or what it is about her that intrigues him so much. 

When an unfortunate event intertwines their lives, Leah finds herself in a war between her thoughts and desires. To forgive, and ultimately trust, Stefen, she will have to put her heart on the line. After what he’s put her through, she’s not sure she’s willing to do that. 

As compassion meets resistance, will Stefen be able to step out of his comfort zone and accept that he can become the redeemed man worthy of Leah’s love? Is Stefen and Leah’s connection strong enough to withstand An Exceptional Twist?