Category Archives: Ross, Mia

Mia Ross. Circle of Family. New York: Love Inspired, 2012.

When Ridge Collins comes to Harland, North Carolina for his friend Matt’s wedding, he has no intention of staying in the sleepy little farming community.  Ridge’s dramatic entrance–he lands a vintage biplane in a field on the Sawyer farm just hours before the wedding–annoys the wedding organizer, Matt’s older sister Marianne.  Marianne likes everything predictable and orderly, and she is distrustful of showy men.  You can’t blame her.  Her ex-husband, Peter, was a good-looking wheeler-dealer who took advantage of Marianne’s trusting nature, and then dumped her when it suited him.  Only through self-discipline and sacrifice, and help from her extended family, has Marianne been able to make  a good life for her herself and her two children, Kyle and Emily.

Circle of Family unfolds the way that readers expect a romance to proceed.  Ridge stays on to help with the farm while his friend Matt is on his honeymoon.  He is a genial, handy person, and members of the Sawyer clan–including Marianne’s son and daughter–take a liking to him.  Marianne and Ridge spar over her suspicious, cautious nature and his vagabond ways.   Yet Marianne can see the good that Ridge is doing–working in the fields, fixing equipment, coaching the peewee football team, mentoring her son–and Ridge realizes that he is falling in love Marianne and falling out of love with a life without commitments or even a permanent address.  Matters come to a head when Peter, a deadbeat dad who has not seen his children in five years, shows up at the farm demanding to have regular visits with his son.  Marianne fears that Peter will demand full custody of young Kyle, but Peter’s game is more complicated than it appears.  To thwart Peter, Ridge makes an unexpected sacrifice that secures happiness for Marianne and the family that he hopes will soon be his.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Ross, Mia

Mia Ross. Hometown Family. New York: Love Inspired Books, 2012.

Matt Sawyer left Harland, North Carolina as soon as he graduated from high school.  He knew that he didn’t want to be a farmer like his father and he felt stifled by the closeness that his father and siblings expected from each other.  But it was his unspoken bitterness and grief over the early death of his mother that set him on a life of rambling, a life with no commitments, not even to his kin.  But now his father has died, and Matt finds that he has to stay in Harland to save the family farm and the way of life that is so dear to his siblings.  Matt agrees to stay long enough to get the harvest in; once that’s done, he’ll go back to his work as a mechanic in Charlotte.

But Matt didn’t count on meeting Caty McKenzie, or, really, meeting her again.  She was three years behind him in school and his awareness of her was slight.  He knew little about her other than that his brother John was clearly sweet on her.  But now Caty is a lawyer–his father’s lawyer.  It’s Caty who breaks the news to the Sawyer siblings that the farm has been left to all of then, with the stipulation that all decisions about it must be unanimous.  Matt can’t imagine that he and his sister Marianne can agree on anything, and he feels guilty knowing that his brother John has only worked on the family farm, nowhere else.

Matt’s clearly got some work to do: get over his guilt about leaving his family, his distaste for farming, and his habit of running from uncomfortable feelings–like his romantic interest in Caty McKenzie.  In contrast, Caty seems like she has an uncomplicated life.  She loves being back in her hometown and is looking forward to restoring the house that she grew up in.  But Caty’s childhood included the tragic death of her mother, and in restoring her childhood home she comes face-to-face with a secret from the past.  Will she be able to face that, especially after a house fire undoes her restoration work and almost kills her?  Over the course of the novel her faith, her hometown friendships, and Matt Sawyer’s growing love for her allow them both to see a life in Harland that neither expected.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont, Religious/Inspirational, Romance/Relationship, Ross, Mia