Review: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

safe havenReviewed by Sandra Scholes

There haven’t been many novels released for publication on the 14th February, but this is one of them, and a real romantic love story where Kate comes to Southport and in an instant, she causes a storm. She is a real beauty, yet doesn’t want to get into love affairs with men, not when she has been heartbroken before. She does however get embroiled in two different relationships with men she feels she shouldn’t have, so things don’t go to plan for her.

Kate needs to let her hair down and her barriers to true love, but her past keeps coming back to haunt her with a terrible secret that threatens to destroy any chances of happiness.

Kate to everyone around her is an average girl who works at a restaurant, and minds her own business. She doesn’t take much notice of the people around her, and doesn’t want to get to know anyone in particular. She also has a rule she never breaks; she never dates the men she works with, and that unfortunately applies to Alex, the guy who is most interested in her. Alex spends a little time with her at work, and he begins to feel closeness to her he had not felt since his wife had been alive. Alex has a deep past where he remembers his wife as a caring individual who helped bring up their children and when Kate shows affection toward one of them during an accident, it reminds him of a past where he was content.

It doesn’t take long before readers discover that Kate is an independent woman and likes to think she can leave whenever she wants to. She isn’t one who likes to feel caged in, and the reality of her not being able to do what she wants tends to give her a complex. Jo, her friend thinks she should date Alex as she believes he is a stable man who loves his kids and might be able to give her a good life. Kate pretends not to be interested in Alex but Jo knows full well that she wouldn’t be so chatty with him if she didn’t want to date him. No matter how much she claims otherwise, she’s kidding her self.

Alex is still mourning the loss of his wife, but liked the fact he could rely on someone like Kate even if she refuses to accept that she has a fancy for him. The parts that impressed me about this novel:

  • The pacing is right.
  • The characters are believable – it isn’t a sordid bodice-ripper but a heart felt love story between two people.
  • It’s a case of the irresistible force going against the immovable object where Alex and Kate are concerned.
  • Both of them have had to come to terms with sadness in their lives, and have a lot to overcome so that they can live a normal life together.

There are other interesting parts to this story, Alex used to be in the CID and worked with abused women, and sees something similar in Kate as he saw in other women, but he is not altogether sure of his instincts. She does have a troubled past, but readers don’t get to find out until later on in the novel. Nicholas Sparks, the author of The Notebook, The Best of Me, The Rescue, Message in a Bottle, and The Guardians has written a true love story that is believable from the moment you turn the first page.

Nicholas Spark’s new novel is also a new movie due for release in early February. Staring Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough, the trailer can be watched here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj6i_Z1Srsw

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Safe Haven

You’re Invited to a Safe Haven Event + Contest!

safe haven

Event: http://www.fathomevents.com/#!safe-haven

Date: Thursday, January 17th

Time: 8:00 PM ET/ 7:00 PM CT/ 7:00 PM MT/ 8:00 PM PT

Special Fathom Features: Exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and intimate interviews with the filmmakers, author, and actors from Safe Haven discussing the book becoming a major motion picture.

Run Time: 90 minutes

No. 1 New York Times Best-Selling Author

Nicholas Sparks Discusses Upcoming Film

Safe Haven in Live Cinema Fan Event

NCM® Fathom Events and Relativity Media Present One-Night Event

with Oscar®-Nominated Director Lasse Hallström, Stars Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough and Author in Select Cinemas Nationwide

on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013

Centennial, Colo. – Dec. 20, 2012 – Unveiling a sneak peek into one of the most anticipated film adaptations of 2013, NCM® Fathom Events and Relativity Media present “A Night with Nicholas Sparks’ Safe Haven: Filmmakers, Author and Stars Bring the Book to Life,” broadcast live to select cinemas nationwide on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT and tape delayed at 7:00 p.m. MT / 8:00 p.m. PT/Alaska and Hawaii. This special one-night event, broadcast live from LA Castle Studios in Burbank, Calif., will feature the No. 1 New York Times best-selling author Nicholas Sparks in a live discussion and Q&A session with fans about the cinematic adaptation of his best-selling novel, Safe Haven. Moderated by Extra TV host Maria Menounos and featuring appearances from the film’s stars Josh Duhamel (Transformers, Life as We Know It) and Julianne Hough (Rock of Ages, Footloose) as well as Oscar®-nominated director Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules), producers Marty Bowen (The Twilight Saga) and Wyck Godfrey (The Twilight Saga), fans will be treated to exclusive clips and behind-the-scenes footage of the eagerly- awaited film.

Tickets for“A Night with Nicholas Sparks’ Safe Haven: Filmmakers, Author and Stars Bring the Book to Life” are available now at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the NCM Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change). The event will be broadcast to more than 500 select movie theaters across the country through NCM’s exclusive Digital Broadcast Network.

“This event promises to be an exciting new way to connect with fans around the country – a first for me and the talented creative team behind Safe Haven,” said Sparks. “I can’t wait to talk about the unique collaboration with Josh and Julianne, who transformed the characters in my book into living people whose loves and losses will come to life soon on the big screen. It’s been a privileged experience working with Lasse, Marty and Wyck on this film and now my readers will have a chance to share in that experience as well.”

Safe Haven will be distributed by Relativity Media in theaters nationwide on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013. When a mysterious young woman (Hough) arrives in a small North Carolina town, her reluctance to join the tight-knit community raises questions about her past. Slowly, she begins putting down roots, and gains the courage to start a relationship with Alex (Duhamel), a widowed store owner with two young children. But dark secrets intrude on her new life that she is forced to rediscover the meaning of sacrifice and rely on the power of love in this deeply moving romantic thriller. The film is directed by Oscar®-nominated Lasse Hallström, based on the novel by Sparks from a screenplay by Dana Stevens and Gage Lansky and also stars Cobie Smulders (The Avengers) and David Lyons (J.J. Abram’s Revolution). Bowen, Godfrey, Sparks and Relativity’s CEO Ryan Kavanaugh (The Fighter) served as producers.

“Nicholas Sparks’ books always translate so well to the big screen, including such hits as The Notebook, Dear John, The Last Song – among many others,” said Shelly Maxwell, executive vice president of NCM Fathom Events. “Fans will get a look at how these bestsellers are transformed into blockbusters before Safe Haven hits theaters in February with this special event which features the film’s Oscar®-nominated director and the film’s stars.”

For more information, please check out the Safe Haven movie Facebook and Twitter.

Giveaway: 1 print copy of the movie-tie-in edition of Safe Haven. Enter by leaving a comment! Open to US readers. No PO Boxes. Last day to enter: January 17, 2013.

Review: Insignificant Moments by Jeremy Asher

by Karin from Savvythinker, guest reviewer

Love happens when you least expect it.

Insignificant Moments is a self-published inspirational book. It won a Rising Star award from iUniverse, the publisher. It teaches life lessons through story, in the tradition of Nicholas Sparks. It is not preachy or didactic.

The Short Lesson: There are no insignificant moments in life. What seems insignificant, in retrospect, may be very important. It reminds me that there are very few, if any, mundane moments.

The romance: It is a romance, but it is not sexual, finding one’s life partner by finding one’s own way, with twists and turns along the road. It also shows the courage it sometimes takes to find a new life, moving out of one’s comfort zone.

The Story: Jaye Logan is an assistant librarian and unadventurous. At 27 he has lived his life out in fear, rather than taking a chance on life.

But he reads an article “Brave of Heart” in his newspaper. It was written about a man by his daughter. She tells of her father’s epiphany on Long’s Peak. One of his favorite expressions was “Time is neutral, it’s what we do with the time we’re given that matters.”

Jaye is inspired to find out what the woman’s father found on top Long’s Peak . He really lacks the skills to climb, and once he is at the top, there is a fast moving storm he must avoid, and he really doesn’t have the skills to retreat safely. On his way down, he hears and finds a young woman, hurt, who has fallen from a large rock. In the midst of the storm, he finds cell phone coverage and calls in a rescue helicopter. It calls upon him to use his best self, to overcome his fears, and get her help.

But as usual, he forgets to get the girl’s name or give her his. It is another lost opportunity.

Disappointed in himself, he writes an email about what he has learned, but has yet to live, and sends it on to his friends. As you would imagine, his email plays a significant part in the story, as it wings its way around the world through time and space.

The Characters: The characters’ lives intersect and intertwine throughout the book in unexpected ways. It’s not completely beyond belief that something similar could happen in real life. It works.

Each chapter is labeled with a character’s name and tells part of that character’s story; sometimes the chapters are consecutive stories of the same character.

The Timeline: Along with the name of the character, each chapter heading tells the timeline of the story unless you are at the same point in time — ranging from about the time Jaye is on top of Long’s Peak, right up to present day which is three years later. For me, it was a bit confusing. I would have to refer to the chapter heading to tell me where I was in the time frame.

My Rating: I rate the book Rating: ★★★★☆. It really was very good, as well as clever, and if you like this genre, you will likely love it.

It is more inspirational than religious. I especially liked that it wasn’t preachy.

The characters find their way, sometimes blinding heading in the right direction, not always knowing it, but ending up where they are supposed to be.

Have you read it? How do you feel about insignificant moments?

Buy: Insignificant Moments