Three friends. Two broken promises. One missing manuscript.
As a senior acquisitions editor for Fog Harbor Books in San Francisco, Ingrid Erikson has rejected many a manuscript for lack of defined conflict and dramatic irony–two elements her current life possesses in spades. In the months following the death of her childhood best friend and international bestselling author Cecelia Campbell, Ingrid has not only lost her ability to escape into fiction due to a rare trauma response, but she’s also desperate to find the closure she’s convinced will come with Cecelia’s missing final manuscript.
After Ingrid jeopardizes her career, she fears her future will remain irrevocably broken. But then Joel Campbell–the man who shattered her belief in happily-ever-afters–offers her a sealed envelope from his late cousin, Cecelia, asking Joel and to put their differences aside and retrieve a mysterious package in their coastal Washington hometown.
Honoring Cecelia’s last request will challenge their convictions and test their loyalties, but through it all, will Ingrid and Joel be brave enough to uncover a twice-in-a-lifetime love?
I enjoyed reading The Words We Lost, the first book in Nicole Deese’s Fog Harbor Romance series that’s set in San Francisco and an island in Washington State. Ingrid is a fiction editor who’s working for a traditional publisher based in San Francisco. She’s devastated by the passing of her dear childhood friend, Cece, who was also her top selling author. Ingrid’s new boss is an awful person, and she’s threatening to fire Ingrid unless Cece’s missing manuscript, the last book under contract in Cece’s best selling fantasy series, is located.
Ingrid travels to Port Townsend to recover the missing manuscript and save her job. Joel grew up in Port Townsend, and he has history with Ingrid. He’s also Cece’s cousin, and circumstances force Joel and Ingrid to work together, and deal with the emotional baggage from their shared past, to solve the mystery of the missing manuscript.
I was intrigued by the story premise, and the reasons for why Ingrid struggled in her editorial job after she lost Cece. I loved seeing how the story mystery, combined with secret reveals, impacted the main characters. I recommend The Words We Lost to contemporary romance readers who like second chance romances with depth that explore how the past impacts the present, and include a relevant faith element in the story.
Many thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.