Sweetened with Honey is the third book in my Farm Fresh Romance series. Way back while planning the first book, I knew that the young women in this series needed to have very different personalities and backgrounds. Sierra Riehl, the third heroine, is the only one from a stable Christian home. She’s been a bubbly and self-confident secondary character through both previous novels. Obviously I needed to challenge that!
As I contemplated the series arc for Green Acres Farm where the women live, what I knew of Sierra, and what I knew of Gabe (who’d also been in the first book), the issues that needed to arise between them became clear. Then it was “just” a matter of escalating the conflicts until the characters had reached the ends of their ropes! It was a big help knowing the hero and heroine intimately before starting on this particular book.
However, that’s not to say there weren’t surprises. I’m a half-pantser, so while I’ve written out the characters’ GMCs (goals, motivations, and conflicts) before I start writing, I trust God and my imagination to pull everything else together. I thought I knew what Gabe would do in a certain situation, but, without giving away too much, I was wrong. I paced my office — my whole house — for several days, frantically trying to figure out what repercussions his decision would have on everything else.
But I’m thankful that my characters come alive and give me shocks like this! Romance readers don’t invest their time to find out whom the heroine will choose. They know the story destination. They read for the journey, and I figure that if the author didn’t see a twist coming, the reader probably won’t either.
His unspeakable past. Her insurmountable future.
Gabriel Rubachuk returns to Galena Landing, Idaho, once the setting of a charmed life before an accident killed his pregnant wife. Will he embrace hope for a new life or escape once again?
Beekeeper Sierra Riehl has spent three years helping to keep Gabe’s health food store afloat while he worked with orphans in Romania. Now he’s back, but it looks like he might bolt. Can she hold him still long enough to spark a romance? But Sierra’s hope falters when she begins to suspect she can’t give Gabe the life he deserves.
Is new love sweet enough to overcome the pain of the past and the uncertainty of the future?
About the Author
Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.
Valerie writes Farm Lit where food meets faith, injecting experience laced with humor into her award-winning Farm Fresh Romance stories.