The Art of Rivers (Coastal Hearts #3)The Art of Rivers (Coastal Hearts #3) by Janet W. Ferguson

Published June 30th 2019 by Southern Sun Press LLC

4 Stars: 

This is a Christian Fiction story about second chances, drug addiction, romance and forgiveness. A year after her fiancee is shot and killed and she injured, Rivers heads to St. Simon’s island to clean out both the cottage and store that she inherited from Jordan. She plans to sell them both and head back to Memphis. What she does not expect is to meat Jordan’s cousin Cooper aka Jay, who is a recovering addict and now works at a recovery home as well as running the gallery she has inherited. What happens next is unexpected by both Cooper and Rivers.

I have not read anything by Janet W. Ferguson and was quite impressed with the way she handles the storyline of addiction. She writes about the impact on the addict as well as the addict’s family and friends. She does not sugar coat it either, she includes the dirty, gritty side as well as the hopeful side of those who are successful in recovery. Anyone familiar with the twelve step program knows how much forgiveness plays a part in recovery and this book stresses forgiving oneself as well as others. I loved the character of Rivers. She was fragile, still dealing with her loss of Jordan, yet strong in her convictions of helping others. Cooper is also a great character. He does not mince words when he talks about the fragility of being sober and how easy it could be to relapse. He loves Rivers, but does not want to complicate her life, especially where Jordan’s parents are concerned. My heart broke for him. He went through so much in his life, yet came out of the storm with a strong faith and caring attitude. The second thread I really enjoyed is the art therapy story. Art therapy is a great way to deal with so many different mental health issues, and emotions both for the patient and the therapist. It was very well done in this book and woven seamlessly into this story. This book is clearly Christian Fiction and the thread of Christian faith is strong throughout the book. I enjoyed this story very much and will be looking for others in the Coastal Hearts series. I received a copy of this book from Just Read Publicity Tours upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

About the Book: Rivers Sullivan bears both visible and invisible scars—those on her shoulder from a bullet wound and those on her heart from the loss of her fiancé during the same brutal attack. Not even her background as an art therapist can help her regain her faith in humanity. Still, she scrapes together the courage to travel to St. Simons Island to see the beach cottage and art gallery she’s inherited from her fiancé. When she stumbles upon recovering addicts running her gallery, she’s forced to reckon with her own healing.

After the tragic drowning of his cousin, James Cooper Knight spends his days trying to make up for his past mistakes. He not only dedicates his life to addiction counseling, but guilt drives him to the water, searching for others who’ve been caught unaware of the quickly rising tides of St. Simons. When he rescues a peculiar blond woman and her sketch pad from a sandbar, then delivers this same woman to his deceased grandmother’s properties, he knows things are about to get even more complicated.

Tragic circumstances draw Cooper and Rivers closer, but they fight their growing feelings. Though Cooper’s been sober for years, Rivers can’t imagine trusting her heart to someone in recovery, and he knows a relationship with her will only rip his family further apart. Distrust and guilt are only the first roadblocks they must overcome if they take a chance on love.