Hello mersquad coven! I hope you had a great weekend. I know I did for the most part, and then one of the worst migraines ever hit me on Sunday for the entire day. Definitely was not fun, and as I write this review, it’s still hurting. Hopefully when this post goes up, I’ll feel some relief.
Thank you so much to the team at Harlequin Trade Publishing for including me on this blog tour! It means so much to me that you always think of me for these tours. I feel extremely honored each time.
Fredrik Backman meets The Cactus in THE SECRETS OF LOVE STORY BRIDGE (Park Row Books; April 28, 2020; $25.99 US/$32.50 CAN), in which a cynical single father has a surprise encounter on the famous love lock bridge, sparking a journey of self-discovery that may lead him to a second chance at love.
Single father Mitchell Fisher hates all things romance. He enjoys his job removing padlocks fastened to the famous “love lock” bridges of Upchester city. Only his young daughter, Poppy, knows that behind his disciplined veneer, Mitchell grieves the loss of her mother, Anita.
One fateful day, working on the bridge, Mitchell courageously rescues a woman who falls into the river. He’s surprised to feel a connection to her, but the woman disappears before he learns her name. To Mitchell’s shock, a video of the rescue goes viral, hailing him as “The Hero on the Bridge.” He’s soon notified by the mysterious woman’s sister, Liza, that she has been missing for over a year. However, the only clue to where the woman could have gone is the engraved padlock she left on the bridge.
Mitchell finds himself swept up in Liza’s quest to find her lost sister. Along the way, with help from a sparkling cast of characters, Mitchell’s heart gradually unlocks, and he discovers new beginnings can be found in the unlikeliest places…
Phaedra Patrick is the author of The Library of Lost and Found, Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone and The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, which has been published in over twenty countries around the world. She studied art and marketing, and has worked as a stained-glass artist, film festival organizer and communications manager. An award-winning short story writer, she now writes full-time. She lives in Saddleworth, UK, with her husband and son.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing, Netgalley and Park Row Books for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
Another novel to pull at my heartstrings this month. Clearly this month is about me crying and being super emotional. There’s something about a story that shows that even though someone has been burned by love in some way, they are able to find it in their heart to love again. Even though it took a long time for Mitchell, and honestly it took short of a miracle for him to want to, I think it still gives us some hope that one day our hearts can heal from whatever is ailing it, and find the strength to open it again.
It may seem like Mitchell is a cynic, especially since he enjoys the job of cutting off the locks that people have been putting up on this bridge that is supposed to show their everlasting love at the time. Only someone truly hurt by love would like to cut off those tokens, and that’s what it seems like Mitchell is. Of course, for those that don’t know his backstory don’t realize that he’s just still grieving the loss of his beloved wife, and of course he is taking out his pain in the best way that he knows how to. Of course, something starts to change in his heart when he ends up saving the life of a mysterious woman, who ends up being the sister of his daughter’s music teacher who was missing for a whole year. How mysterious…
I felt so bad for Mitchell but I understood why he wanted to protect his heart in the way he did. I also understood why a part of him wanted to find this woman that he rescued and how it could change his outlook in life and love in the blink of an eye. Or at least what seems like a blink of an eye. I think that the journey that Mitchell took to find this woman was a way for him to heal in a way that his heart needed, and maybe it gave him another avenue to let go of his grief and pain. It also helped to give his daughter Poppy a break from the extremely structured life that he wanted her to live so that she could have a little more creativity and room for her to deal with what she needs to.
I’m also really glad that there was a friendship that formed between Mitchell and Poppy’s teacher Liza in this journey to find her sister. I don’t know how I would be feeling if I was in Liza’s position, knowing that after a whole year of not knowing where my sister was or whether she was even alive, she comes back and disappears just like that. I feel like in this story, in this journey, Mitchell and Liza needed one another in a way that they probably wouldn’t have realized. The concept of friendship is sometimes so brushed off that I feel like it needs more credit. I’m glad that this book ended up giving some of that credit back.