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Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite
My Shenandoah Love: Hanna Jones, Volume 1 by Jonathan Kuiper recounts eight years of Hanna’s life in a series of flashbacks that have a gripping sense of immediacy. The first shows Hanna at fifteen, troubled to the point of mental abuse, by Diane, her promiscuous young mother. When newly-weds Nathan and Vanessa move in next door, Hanna takes a stand: Diane will leave this attractive hunk alone. Nathan encourages overweight Hanna to run with him, without admitting that he too needs the daily escape to the Shenandoah river, especially after Vanessa’s tragic accidental death. Gradually the sexual tension between Hanna and Nathan stretches like elastic. Will one of them drop an end and hurt the other, or both release it gently so it draws them together? Nathan has protected Hanna from sexual predator and self-styled pastor, Darrell, but will Darrell’s on/off abused and abusive partner, Aimee, succeed in seducing lonely, confused, vulnerable Nathan?
Jonathan Kuiper has written one of the best books I have had the pleasure of reviewing for Readers’ Favorite in My Shenandoah Love: Hanna Jones, Volume 1. Every character is complex and yet it is shown, eventually, why they became the way they are. The pace varies between fast and thoughtful, but never flags; there is dramatic action, introspection, and haunting dreams. The unique plot holds the reader enthralled throughout, and who can ask more of a novel? I didn’t, but Mr Kuiper delivers with an explosively dangerous and life-threatening conflict.