In The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson, Marie Carrington has been betrayed in the worst way. She flees to Prince Edward Island because she fell in love with the place when she read Anne of Green Gables. Just when her money is about to run out and she doesn’t know what to do, a chance meeting lands her a job decorating a soon-to-open bed-and-breakfast. Now, if only she can conquer her panic attacks, she can start her new life.
Jack Sloane had come to the island fifteen years ago with his beloved wife, Rose. She loved the area and always dreamed of opening a bed-and-breakfast there. She had passed away, but Jack meant to fulfill her dream. He was woefully inept with colors and decorations and furnishings, so he was glad when Marie came along. Besides, the kid looked like she could use help.
Jack’s nephew, Seth, is helping him get the inn ready. Seth is at a low point since his former fiance conned him and cleaned out his bank account. Because he has so recently been burned, and because Marie is not forthcoming about her background, he doesn’t trust her.
Of course, you can guess that Marie and Seth will be mutually attracted even though wary of each other. But can they work past their mistrust and painful pasts?
It took me a long time to warm up to Seth—he seemed extremely harsh at first, even considering his background. But that and his protectiveness of his uncle are good reasons for him to be suspicious.
A couple of the secondary characters—an antique shop owner and a baker—are quirky and delightful.
One thing Marie has to work through is her concept of God as a father. Her own father had failed her in many ways, and Marie can’t seem to disassociate her idea of God as a father from the characteristics of her own father. But she sees another example of a father in Jack, even though he never had his own children.
Overall, I found this to be a sweet story.