"CARVE ME A MELODY: A Music Box Romance," by Rachelle J. Christensen, Peachwood Press, $29.99, 431 pages (f)
World War II is over, and war widow Sophie Wright moves back to her hometown of Aspen Falls with her two small children in "Carve Me a Melody," the sequel to "The Soldier's Bride" and second in the Music Box Romance series by Rachelle J. Christensen.
Trying to gain a fresh start after losing her husband at Pearl Harbor, Sophie picks up sewing work to make ends meet. While delivering drapes to Nadine Alexander, one of Aspen Falls' wealthiest and most influential residents, she meets Nadine's son David. There is an immediate connection, but there is also Leland Halvorsen, her brother's best friend and a humble carpenter.
Leland and Sophie have had a budding romance, but once David comes into the picture, Leland withdraws because he feels he can't compete with war hero David. Sophie feels torn because she likes both Leland and David. Each has different things to offer, but things get complicated when Nadine Alexander threatens to take business away from Sophie if she continues to see David.
Does Sophie continue to see David, even though his mother has threatened her livelihood, or does she try to encourage Leland when she is unsure of his true feelings for her?
Although this is a love story, at its heart it is a story of learning to forgive oneself and others and of letting go of the past to move toward a brighter future.
Christensen is the author of over 20 books, and "Carve Me a Melody" is a 2017 Whitney Awards finalist in the general fiction category. The awards recognize novels by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Christensen was raised in Idaho and is a graduate of Utah State University, and she now lives in Idaho with her husband and five children.
Jennifer Lambert is a freelance writer and editor in Provo. Email her at email@example.com