“I trusted you, and some day, you may know just how much you hold in your hands.”
Linda Jensen leads a relatively quiet life in Westchester County, New York, as the owner of a highly-acclaimed garden. Inherited from her parents, the garden is her pride and joy. What is not so joyful is finding a strange man sprawled near her delphiniums! The mysterious man is sick, unable to do anything more than drink water—and beg for secrecy. Ignoring all alarm bells, Linda sees to his needs, but her caring act takes on unexpected significance, an unpresentable glory.
Seeds of trust, and perhaps love, are planted in Linda’s garden haven. But as secrets are revealed and scandal hits the headlines, the act of caring for this man threatens to tarnish both of their reputations. Like weeds in Linda’s garden, circumstances threaten to choke out their fledgling relationship, and small moments prove to be the biggest influencers—on a national scale.
This uplifting but underdeveloped romance from Gustafson (Dynamo) overflows with faith and an admirable message of redemption. In Westchester, N.Y., Linda Jensen lives a peaceful life devoted almost entirely to tending to her garden. But after church one Sunday, she comes across an unfamiliar and gravely ill man near her house. Agreeing to his request that she not call 911 or the hospital, she instead takes the stranger into her home and nurses him back to health over the following week. After a reporter turns up at the house, Linda learns the man she knows as "Jay" is actually Lawrie Crofter, the Republican candidate for vice president. Their week together is idyllic and platonic as Lawrie recovers from his mysterious illness out of the public eye but when their "affair" becomes national news, it threatens to destroy both of their lives. Though Christian grace is the foundation upon which the plot is built, the story suffers from lack of character development, particularly for Lawrie, whose motivations remain a mystery. Gustafson's story of healing works best when it focuses on themes of faith, and it will appeal to inspirational romance fans who can look past weak characters and an implausible plot. (BookLife)