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Love Gently Falling


Love Gently Falling

Seven years ago, Rita Jansen moved from Chicago to L.A. to work as a stylist at Roberto’s, a posh spa/salon in Beverly Hills. She shares an apartment with two good friends, loves her job, and is generally content with her life, even though she longs to find someone special with whom to share that life. There is a part of Rita that also misses the beautiful winters she left behind in the midwest, and has recently been reminiscing about the times she spent ice skating on the community rink back in Chicago.

When Rita’s dad calls to inform her that her mother has had a stroke, Rita immediately hops on a plane and heads home. Her mom is okay, but has a challenging road of physical therapy ahead of her. Rita asks her boss for a couple of weeks off so she can spend time with her mom and offer support to her dad and brother.

Upon deboarding the plane, Rita is greeted by Johnny Hollister, a guy her brother sent to pick her up. Rita remembers Johnny, a former classmate of hers whom she hasn’t seen in years. She learns that Johnny works for a janitorial service, which admittedly turns her off a little, yet she can’t deny the attraction she feels towards him.

"LOVE GENTLY FALLING is a heartwarming and delightful read that may not provoke many deep emotions, but will likely leave you with a smile on your face."

After visiting with her mom in the hospital, one of the first things Rita does is visit the salon, Hair and Now, which her mom has owned and operated for as long as Rita can remember. She wants to help by taking some of her mom’s scheduled appointments for the next few days. When she enters the salon, she immediately notices that it’s pretty dated and run-down. According to the current employees, the business is not doing very well financially, partly due to the fact that a new, sleeker salon has opened nearby. Rita feels that if Hair and Now was a bit more modernized, it would attract more customers and increase business.

So, with her mother’s permission, Rita dives into renovating the salon. She doesn’t have a large budget, but is eager to take on the task. She asks her boss for one additional week off, setting her goal date of Valentine’s Day weekend for the “new and improved” Hair and Now’s unveiling. This is perfect timing, as it will correspond with the grand re-opening of the ice skating rink across the street.

With a little help from her friends, Rita spends the next couple of weeks revamping the salon. And, in the process, she is spending more time with Johnny. There is only one problem: a woman Rita has had not-so-pleasant run-ins with in the past also has set her sights on this hot guy for whom Rita is developing feelings.

Author Melody Carlson is known for her simple and sweet love stories, and LOVE GENTLY FALLING is no exception. The characters are charming, and the salon angle is interesting and presents a fun and entertaining backdrop. The romance between Rita and Johnny is well-paced and engaging.

As simple as the storyline is, a few issues are incorporated, such as dealing with past hurts and judging someone based on outward appearances. I personally liked the honesty of Rita being slightly judgmental about the “janitorial” career. It may not be an attitude anyone should hold, but it is, unfortunately, real. Rita realizes this and is apologetic about it in the end.

Overall, LOVE GENTLY FALLING is a heartwarming and delightful read that may not provoke many deep emotions, but will likely leave you with a smile on your face.

Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab on April 24, 2015

Love Gently Falling
by Melody Carlson