Reviewed by Tori
He might be winning her heart before she even knows who he is…
Welcome to Blessings, Georgia, the small town with a big heart! Anyone from a small town can tell you that gossip never stays quiet for long. The biggest news lately is Ruby Dye: she’s been receiving gifts from a secret admirer. But Ruby isn’t sure she can trust this newfound happiness. Nobody knows the dark secrets she keeps about her life before she arrived in Blessings. Is this the beginning of a would-be romance, or is she the target of something more sinister?
Everyone admires Ruby and her determination to do the right thing, especially local lawyer “Peanut” Butterman. He’s finally ready to tell her how he feels. But when trouble arrives on Ruby’s doorstep and their little town is threatened, Peanut may have to prove himself in ways he never imagined. (Goodreads)
I love small town romances and Sala’s Blessings, Georgia series hits all the right spots with it’s nosy, judgemental and gossipy residents whose love, compassion, and forgiveness make living there, well, a blessing. The Color of Love revolves around the whole town through each book focuses mainly on one couple. Second chances are the main theme and Sala applies it to series of people who more than deserve it. The story shocks as we open the book an assault and kidnapping. Sala gives us the background on this couple so we can understand the who, what, and whys. Rescued almost immediately, we watch as the town tries to deal with one of their own being hurt and how they try to help them heal.
This story engages from page one as Sala sets the tone and scene. Solid characterization, charming narrative, and a multifaceted storyline make this a feel-good story with some added spiciness. Plenty of humor and wit keeps the story moving at a steady pace while the usual heart-pinching scenes that are indicative of these stories dot the landscape. Reading this series is like wrapping up in a soft blanket on a cold day. There is comfort in the familiar and the soft emotional response it elicits. There is a strong inspirational tone that has in my opinion only grown deeper since the beginning of the series but it matches the world in which it is set. Small towns are often built on the faith of its residents and that faith is what sustains them during the bad times while giving them cause to rejoice during the good times.
Having met the protagonists in earlier books, I enjoyed getting to spend more quality time with Peanut and Ruby. Peanut, the town lawyer, has been in love with Rudy, who owns the Curl Up and Dye hair salon, for a while now. He had been playing her secret admirer but her near-death experience forced him to declare him and now these two are courting one another. They are both strong, kind, intelligent people who, despite the trials and tribulations of their lives, remain strong in faith and heart. I liked that Sala pushes that despite Rudy’s past, she never blames herself. As this relationship has been developing over a course of a few years, starting out as a friendship only to develop into something deeper, the physical aspects occur a little faster then some may expect. Peanut helps Rudy to heal physically and mentally from her assault, allowing them both to move forward with their romance.
Using Peanut and Ruby romance as the base, Sala introduces some new residents to the town while taking others in new directions. One family’s need for help comes to the attention of the local sheriff while a widow discovers that when one door closes, it to open another one. You just have to have the courage to walk through it. Watching each person this little town find their footing place is fun to watch and Sala does a wonderful job of continuing to define and develop the various relationships of the town.
I did feel Sala manipulated the events in order to exploit the emotional tone of the book. Between the widow’s sudden windfall and Peanut’s ordeal towards the end, my eyebrows raised quite a few times. There was a slickness to this story that wasn’t seen in the others and that bothered me a little. Regardless, fans of Sala and small towns filled with southern charm and huge hearts are sure to enjoy her latest story which tells us all second chances belong to all those who have the courage to reach for them.