A very traditional, chaste, contemporary romance with an emphasis on faith, family, and community.
The fourth novel in Sala’s (Saving Jake, 2016, etc.) Blessings, Georgia series offers an original meet-cute when the heroine’s motorcycle is pulled over by the police chief as she races from Savannah to small-town Blessings to donate her rare blood to a car accident victim. Mercy Dane was raised by the foster care system in near poverty, making her self-reliant and resilient. When she learns that the recipient of her donated blood is her long-lost older sister, Mercy can’t refuse the offer to move to Blessings to explore her newly discovered relations. Descriptions of Mercy as tough and resistant to relationships don’t mesh with her tendency to sob when insulted or her willingness to pull up her roots and move an hour away to live in a stranger’s house. Lon is a more consistent, if bland, character: faithful and honorable, he reassures the skittish Mercy, “If you don’t quit me, I can promise I’ll never quit you.” Blessings is populated by the usual stock characters, including a trio of petty, jealous women, a lonely salon owner who lives for gossip, and a stern judge. While small-town romance is an inherently nostalgic subgenre, Sala pushes the plausibility envelope. A place where Italian-Americans are called “foreigners” and where black leather and a bike helmet mark a woman as an outsider may seem more bizarre and unsettling than attractive to many readers.
Sala’s fans will enjoy returning to a picture-perfect Southern town with wholesome American values and a few bad apples, but others may be put off by its predictable geography.