I enjoy romantic fiction. Even better is when a romance has meaning and purpose to the story. Jennifer Slattery’s new book, Healing Love is one of those stories. Brooke is a career minded young woman who is focused on becoming a broadcast journalist. She finds herself side-tracked when she feels forced to go on a mission trip to El Salvador to chaperone her younger sister. She’s not prepared for the emotional impact the trip will have on her heart.
Looking hungry orphans in the eye, seeing the poverty children live in, and comparing that to the life of affluence back home causes her to re-examine her priorities. She finds herself drawn to the handsome translator, Ubaldo, who is their guide and driver for the trip. Ubaldo has pre-conceived ideas about visitors from North America and his prejudices are challenged when he meets Brooke and sees that she has true compassion. We also meet 12-year-old Fatima and her younger sister who end up homeless in order to avoid a painful and dangerous situation.
Can a group of affluent teens from America make a difference in El Salvador? Brooke and Ubaldo are attracted to each other but they live thousands of miles apart and come from different worlds. How could they ever have a relationship? Will Fatima and Dinora survive on the streets without food and water? Ubaldo is trying to help his people find a way out of poverty while he himself struggles to find a place to live.
Jennifer takes all these threads and weaves them into a beautiful story. She paints a clear picture of life in El Salvador and challenges us to consider reaching out beyond ourselves to help others. This book is written with humor, truth, and hope. It includes romance, faith, and gives us a glimpse into another culture. If you enjoy a fiction story that challenges you as well as giving you an entertaining story, you will like this book. I highly recommend Healing Love.