The scars on her face are nothing to the scars on her heart. But can God help her find healing―and love?
Eight years ago, Ava and Joseph had the perfect future planned—he would go to veterinary school, she would embark on a career with an exclusive modeling agency, and they’d eventually get married and have three dogs and four children. Until a terrible accident changed everything. Unwilling to believe they could still have a future, she made Joseph promise to leave and live out their dreams without her.
Joseph has never broken a promise to Ava. Until now.
Because before he made that stupid promise to leave, they’d made each other another promise—one of forever. Now that he’s done with veterinary school, he’s determined to return to River Falls and show her that his promise still stands. That he loves her just the way she is.
But first he’ll have to find a way to crack the safe she’s erected around her heart.
Fortunately, he has help: in the form of three lovable dogs, a special group of sick kids, and more than a few slices of pie. But will it be enough to convince Ava that their forever is worth fighting for? Or will he be left picking up the pieces―alone?
I enjoyed reading Pieces of Forever, the first book in Valerie M. Bodden’s River Falls series set in Tennessee. Ava’s NYC modelling career dreams were destroyed when she suffered severe burns from an accident when she was in high school. The burns impacted her body, her face, and her self esteem. Ava pushed Joseph away, not wanting him shackled to a girlfriend who people would stare at in horror.
Ava is now a photographer, and she owns a small photography studio. She lives out of town with her aunt, avoids people wherever possible, suffers from debilitating panic attacks, has stopped attending church, and finds solace hiking in the woods with her beautiful dog, Griffin.
Joseph fulfils his dream of finishing his veterinarian studies and buying the veterinarian practice in River Falls. He moves back to River Falls with his beautiful dog, Tasha. Joseph hasn’t stopped loving Ava, who has always been beautiful in his eyes, and he hopes for a second chance with her. A sweet romance unfolds, with a unique meet cute when Ava arrives at Joseph’s practice with her dog, Griffin, who has been attacked by a bear! Their dogs and the puppies in the story are adorable.
We are also reunited with Joseph’s family who we’ve previously met in the Hope Springs series. I loved the strong faith element in the story, and the gospel truths about how our identity is in Christ. I recommend Pieces of Forever to contemporary romance readers who like childhood sweethearts reunion romances with characters who are dealing with faith and other life issues.