I received this book for free from the Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Reason for Hope by Kristin von Kreisler
Published by Kensington Books on December 28, 2021
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A heartwarming and uplifting story of healing, courage, love—and one irresistible yellow Labrador retriever—from the bestselling author of An Unexpected Grace and Earnest.
On San Julian Island, across Puget Sound from Seattle, Tessa Jordan works as a bookmobile librarian, recommending books and poems to her patrons. In her spare time, she cares for a colony of feral cats. But Tessa’s simple, satisfying life is shockingly upended after she meets Nick Payne, a respected community leader, and he invites her to dinner.
Far from a pleasant first date, Tessa’s evening with Nick leaves her feeling confused and upset. After deep soul-searching, she decides to step forward and accuse him of assault. Her distress grows when local prosecutor Will Armstrong declines to pursue her case, citing lack of evidence. Her main solace is Hope, a courthouse dog, trained to comfort victims through the difficult judicial process. As she lays her head in Tessa’s lap, her gentle brown eyes seem to say, Don’t worry. Everything will be all right.
Will, who is Hope’s primary handler, longs to get justice for Tessa, yet knows how rocky the path will be. It’s Hope who, true to her name, shines a bright ray through the darkness. With Hope by their side, Will and Tessa find surprising strength in each other as they learn just how resilient a heart—whether human or canine—can be.
I am a sucker when it comes to dogs. I live with 3 incredibly spoiled canines who seem to rule my world. If I am out and about and see a dog, my heart melts just a little bit. So it is no wonder that I tend to be drawn to books that feature dogs on the cover. If they are a part of the story, that is even better. I just couldn’t resist this book once I saw the cover. It was a heavier story than I expected from the cover but it was so worth it. I am so glad that I gave this book a try.
Tessa works as a librarian driving a bookmobile all over San Juan Island. She is single but open to a relationship so when she meets Nick Payne through a dating website, she meets him for drinks and things seem to go well. They plan to get together again for dinner at his house. She wakes up the next morning having no memory of anything that happened after drinking two glasses of wine. She soon realizes something isn’t right and goes to the police to report a sexual assault. Will is a prosecutor assigned to her case. While he believes her accusation, he isn’t sure that there is enough evidence to win at trial. Will is Hope’s primary handler. Hope is a retriever trained to provide comfort to anyone going through something traumatic at the justice center. Hope has several handlers and stays very busy trying her best to make people feel better.
This was a rather emotional novel. Tessa goes through a lot in this story and it broke my heart that she had to deal with the trauma that she did. I thought that all of the women that were a part of her support group were incredibly strong and I thought that the author did a great job of showing just how much sexual assault can impact the victims. I also thought that the trial was very well done and I could understand how traumatic it would be to pursue justice after an assault.
I would recommend this book to others. It might be a difficult read for some because of the fact that it deals with sexual assault and its aftermath. I would definitely read more of this author’s work in the future.
I received a digital review copy of this book from Kensington Books via NetGalley.