2012 Christy Award Finalist!
This was such an enjoyable book! Isadora Presley lives in the small Minnesota town of Deep Haven, one that she hoped to escape when she was a teenager. But years after surviving a terrible accident that seriously injured her father and caused her mother to die in her arms, she can still barely leave her house. She lives in fear and has panic attacks envisioning all the things that can go wrong out in the world. She stays connected through her best friend Lucy and her online radio show, My Foolish Heart. She gives advice on romance, though she's never had a date of her own, saying your perfect love could be right next door.
Caleb Knight moves in next door to Issy and has a secret of his own. He was injured in the Middle East and has an artificial leg, but he doesn't want to broadcast it while he fights for a coaching job at the high school. His wild dog and horrible manners drive her crazy, but could she be misjudging him? When Caleb learns her story, he's intrigued by her and wants to help her find freedom, especially since he knows what it's like to feel that despair. He's confused by how to reach her, though, and stumbles upon the My Foolish Heart show, where he calls in as BoyNextDoor with questions on how to befriend his neighbor. Neither knows who the other really is, and they both start falling for each other online and in real life.
I absolutely loved this story. Susan is a great writer and really brings her characters to life. It was refreshing to see truly flawed people, as a lot of romances portray their characters too perfectly. Not only were there cute scenes portraying their interactions online and in person, but there were real issues to work through also, such as how to deal with paralyzing fear, trust, and God's perfect love. This is technically the fourth book set in Deep Haven, but can truly be read as a stand-alone novel, though I don't think you'll want to. I've read two others and enjoyed them tremendously and plan to read the other three soon.