Hawaiian Holiday

Michele Paige

Hailey Walsh was so looking forward to a wonderful Christmas with her family and Gage, her fiancé. Suddenly, her world collapses when, without any real explanation, Gage calls off their engagement. It’s not just her wedding she’s losing but also her business, since she and Gage had just started a business together. Unable to face a family holiday, Hailey books a trip to Hawaii to attend a service program: five men and five women who will help disabled children to build a playground. Hailey soon discovers that a broken engagement is the least serious of the tragedies some other participants have faced.

Gage Stevens has a life-changing secret that forces him to break off his engagement and face some hard truths. He unwittingly signs up for the same service program in Hawaii. He can’t believe it when Hailey is there too.

In essence, this is not as much a romance as a story of healing. Hailey’s emotional journey is inspiring as she struggles to ignore that her ex-fiancé is right there. The character development of Gage, however, is severely lacking. His motivation for breaking off the engagement seems trite, when all he had to do was communicate his reason with Hailey. The reader never gets to know him very well, and the coincidence of both parties ending up in the same place also strains credibility. This is, however, a sweet, inspirational story that is entertaining and well-written.

FS Brown