Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review: Each Shining Hour

Each Shining Hour (Watervalley - Book 2) by Jeff High

Publication Date: 10/07/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: New American Library
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 432
ISBN-10: 0451419278
ISBN-13: 978-0451419279

(Received for an honest review from New American Library)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Jeff High on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series


1. More Things in Heaven and Earth
2. Each Shining Hour

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.


Welcome to the timeless charms of small-town Watervalley, Tennessee—where young Dr. Luke Bradford is beginning to feel at home… 

When he comes to the aid of a woman at the grocery store, Luke is fascinated to learn she is Estelle Pillow, the cheery sister to his prickly housekeeper, Connie. Estelle wants to open a bakery in town—and Connie’s disapproval of the venture stirs up a whirlwind of emotions between the siblings. But Luke’s attention is soon diverted when he learns about a long-ago double murder.…

During World War II, an unknown traveler arrived in town, and before the day was over, he and the local baker lay dead near the bandstand at the local lake. The incident has since been exaggerated into Watervalley lore—with the newcomer rumored to have been a German spy. As Luke pieces together exactly what happened, he realizes that the consequences of this event have rippled painfully into the lives of townsfolk he has come to know.

As winter gives way to spring, Luke keeps busy at the medical clinic and enters a tentative, exhilarating romance. And when his support of Estelle’s bakery collides with new revelations about the old murder, Luke witnesses the true power of reconciliation working in the hearts of those he holds dear—a revelation that will change his life.


Author Jeff High takes readers back to Watervalley, a small town in Tennessee that could be in Norman Rockwell photo. High blends together several genres from mystery to romance to bring the reader a well balanced novel about finding meaning in life no matter where you are. With superb characterizations, excellent dialog skills, and a touch of hilarity, High proves that writing about what you know can turn into a fantastic novel!

What I liked:

The Watervalley series centers around Dr. Luke Bradford, a hot shot doctor who is using a little backwater town as a stepping stone to a great career in the big city. Little did Luke know, that Watervalley might turn out to be just what the doctor ordered. High did a wonderful job of establishing Luke in the first book in the series, starting his practice and introducing readers to some of the townspeople in Watervalley. Now in the second book, he builds on that wonderful start and strengthens the readers appreciation of this little town. When you become a writer they often tell you to write what you know and that's just what Jeff High did.

Watervalley is a small town and it's obvious that the author has lived in small towns. He understands the dynamic, the way word travels, the little nuances of what makes each small town tick and he's incorporated all of that into this little Tennessee town. Not only that, but he uses his own experiences as a nurse to enhance his characters in the medical profession. Why does Dr. Luke seem so authentic? Probably because Jeff High once knew someone like him or constructed him for several different doctors. High shows that writing what you know really does work.

I loved the mystery in this one. It is not necessarily the main focus of the book, but it certainly adds a little punch to it. Jeff High has a great sense of humor and he uses it often in his writing, but when he gets down to the nitty-gritty of a double homicide dating back to WWII, it's no laughing matter. I enjoyed the way High showed how decisions made so long ago were still affecting the town. Adding that to the new bakery that Estelle is trying to start and Connie's opposition to it, there is a lot going on in Watervalley.

The way High writes dialog is very intriguing to me. I found myself feeling like I was listening to these conversions, maybe I was sitting in the booth next to the characters or a patient in the waiting room or even a fly on the wall. Often in books the dialog can be stilted or jerky, but not this one. High writes in such a way that readers feel like they know these characters, they care about them, they want to help them solve their problems or fix their love life. It was a great way to show how dialog should be written.

Bottom Line:

I enjoyed High's sense of love for this town and it's people. It was easy to tell that this was a story he cared about. You can feel it on every page. This is a great small town read, that has a little bit of fun, a little bit of romance and a touch of mystery. A great addition to the series!

Each Shining Hour is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

After growing up on a farm in rural Tennessee, Jeff High attained degrees in literature and nursing. He is the three-time winner, in fiction and poetry, of an annual writing contest held by Vanderbilt Medical Center. He lived in Nashville for many years, and throughout the country as a travel nurse, before returning to his original hometown, near where he now works as an operating room RN in open-heart surgery. He is the author of the first Watervalley Novel, More Things In Heaven and Earth.