Without a doubt, everyone on the planet has experienced a fair number of ups and downs in their lives.  On top of the world one day, only to be relegated to the bottom the next.  While the ebb and flow of life inevitably hits everyone, some certainly get hit harder than others.  Catastrophic life events which will make them fall to their knees with little hope of getting back up.  Presented with such a situation, some individuals will manage to overcome this adversity and rise again.  Others will not.  What is it which drives the former to persevere against overwhelming odds?  Refusing to submit to despair and instead determined to change their life for the better.  In the Novella Icicles to Moonbeams by author Sharon K. Connell, we see just such a scenario in action.  A compelling story which will make you stop and ask yourself… is it ever too late to change your life?

The novella follows the life of the main protagonist, Alanna McCarthy.  She is a grieving widow who has witnessed her life turned upside down.  Not only has Alanna recently lost her beloved husband, but she has been “downsized” at work as well.  Unsure of how she will possibly even manage to pay her bills, life is looking very grim for Alanna.  However, when she comes across a lost dog and cat, things begin to change.  Taking them into her home they quickly lead straight to a charming doctor by the name of Christopher Maguire.  He is a kind soul and electrifies her in a way which she felt was no longer possible.  Nevertheless, is it too soon after her husband’s death for Alanna to feel this way?  Questioning her feelings, and ultimately her faith, Alanna is frazzled even further when a former work colleague continually harasses her.  To add to this medley of angst, her beloved pets mysteriously go missing along with the good doctor.  What happened and who is responsible?  Will Alanna decide that enough is enough,  and just cut her losses so she can return to her homeland of Ireland?

Icicles to Moonbeams was an easy read- and by “easy” I by not way mean boring!  The story is full of romance,  suspense and mystery which is aptly supported by the crisp and smooth flow of the author’s writing.  There are a number of themes throughout the piece, such as doubting and coming to terms with one’s own faith.  Never giving up despite how dark things may seem.  The author cleverly supports these motifs with a cavalcade of action and Christian romance throughout the tale.  Just when the reader thinks everything is about to finally settle and elusive love finally be realized, we are taken in an entirely different direction.  Reader engagement at its best!

Any type of romance writing has to have dynamic, believable and memorable characters.  It is at heart a character driven genre and without this a work will stand little chance of success.  There is no fear of that not happening in this story.  As the hero and heroine, both Alanna and Christopher are very well developed players.  Alanna in particular is someone whom it is quite easy for any reader to relate to.  She begins in the story as severely down on her luck, but with the help of her faith, she continues to persevere throughout.  Steadily rising to the point where she needs to be and taking the reader along with her.

This is a very enjoyable story to read.  The author has a great flow in her writing and I easily read the piece in one sitting.  It is a Christian romance and does not contain any explicit scenes.  As such I would recommend it to all readers.

5 out of 5 Charming Stars for this one!