Bittersweet is the story of a journey of faith. Set in California during the early years of the Civil War, the title is a warning that the plot of this romance does not unfold without tragedy. Laney McCain has been in love with her brother’s best friend, Galen O’Sullivan, ever since she was a child. When Galen hires some new help, including the enigmatic Ivy Grubb, Laney must make him see that she is a full-grown woman before he succumbs to Ivy’s allure. Just as Galen prepares to declare his love for Laney, catastrophe sweeps away all hope that they can have a future together. Now, Laney and Galen must struggle to live godly lives in the midst of their heartache.
While a great deal of unnecessary confusion is fostered by the multitude of characters, dialects, and unusual names, the author’s talent for creating unique and interesting personalities mitigates this flaw. And, again thanks to the author’s skill, the comic relief needed to balance the rather intense romantic dilemma is provided by the thread of “Grubb” (food) that is woven into the story. Those readers who enjoy inspirational Americana will put this one on their keeper shelf.