✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 5+ ⭐️ Review: Devney Perry’s The Candle Palace ✍🏻

Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️+

When I heard that Devney Perry was writing Milo’s story from the Jamison Valley series, I was ecstatic. See, I struggled with the ending of the Jamison Valley books series. I fell hard for those books. I started The Coppersmith Farmhouse one day and proceeded to binge-read the rest of the series over the course of four days. Yes, binge-read. Perry has this way of writing stories with pieces of heart entwined with her characters. There is a gentleness in her characters, even when they carry big personalities. I’ve read it in all of her books. It’s the gentle finesse of character and story creation that keeps me reading her books.

When I heard that Devney Perry was writing Milo’s story from the Jamison Valley series, I was ecstatic. See, I struggled with the ending of the Jamison Valley books series. I fell hard for those books. I started The Coppersmith Farmhouse one day and proceeded to binge-read the rest of the series over the course of four days. Yes, binge-read. Perry has this way of writing stories with pieces of heart entwined with her characters. There is a gentleness in her characters, even when they carry big personalities. I’ve read it in all of her books. It’s the gentle finesse of character and story creation that keeps me reading her books. 

When I finished the final book (and at the time, the last book) of the series, The Bitter Root Inn, I ended it painfully. I mourned the end of this series because I had fallen in love with the characters of this fictional community. In fact, I’ve already commented to her that I’d like the 2.0 version with the children from the original four books. 

Instead, Perry felt called to Milo and Sarah’s story. We find Milo initially in The Coppersmith Farmhouse, and we know that he’s involved in a horrifying accident with Jess, the lead hero of that book. We know he’s burned horribly and is air-vacced to Portland. In a later book, we know he has fallen in love with his nurse, Sara, and they are married, but, until her newest book, The Candle Palace, we don’t know their story. And, now, thanks to the creative imagination of Perry, we do. 

I really don’t need a synopsis for this review as, if you’ve read the other books, you get the gist of this story, and quite frankly, I really don’t want to lay it out because The Candle Palace has taken a little bit of my heart. It’s in my soul, as Perry’s other books are. What I’d like to focus on are the emotions I felt as I read this book. I’d like to offer how these emotions make this story an undeniable read, even if you have never read Perry’s other books. Seriously, you could read this extended novella and learn about the writer who is Devney Perry because the stories she writes evoke distinct emotions. So here goes:

  1. Nostalgia. I wrote this first because I felt this heavy feeling of nostalgia as I finished The Bitter Root Inn. It was a strange feeling because I was just finishing the book, and it didn’t seem that I should miss something of it yet. But I did. It weighed in my soul as I said good-bye to characters I had fallen in love with. I’ve not felt this with too many other books (and I’ve read quite a few – just check out my GoodReads profile). Yet, I felt it distinctly at the end of the series. And then again at the end of The Candle Palace. Perry brilliantly recreated this feeling in some final thoughts and words of Sara’s. I didn’t think I’d feel it as I did in her previous book, but it was central to my understanding of this book. In hindsight, I suppose this is a bit of a love letter to her fans through this book or even a goodbye to those characters. I’m not sure.  And, in my opinion, it’s what makes it special to me. It’s why it receives the rating I’ve given it, and it’s also why I think everyone should read it, even if you haven’t read any of the other books. 
  2. Love. It seems obvious that love would be one of the emotions I felt about this book as it’s a romance. However, the love I’m referring to is an appreciation for the characters of this story. I fully love Milo and Sara. These are regular people. There are no billionaires waiting to sweep the heroine away; there are no mafia kings/queens; there is no royalty. Milo and Sara are just plain blue-collar people who find their soulmate in each other. And I think it’s important to understand the significance of that because it’s a trademark, I think, of Perry’s writing. She writes regular folk who live out their somewhat regular stories on the page and fall in love with the person he/she is destined for. And Milo and Sara are no different. To Sara, Milo is extraordinary (and he thinks the same of Sara). However, as it seems, to most of the other characters, they are unremarkable. They are simply fated for each other, so they see the beauty in each other. That’s the charm of this story. It’s why love is front and center in talking about these characters. It’s real, and it connects the reader into Perry’s story. Easily. 
  3. Angst. While Milo and Sara are easy characters, there are characters in this story who provide the angst, a trademark of a Perry story. This isn’t rom-com, and it isn’t heavy angst. But there is something about this story that pulls at your soul. Sara’s mother can’t love Sara in the way that she needs to be loved, and this creates complications. Once again, it also connects readers to this reality. Many of us have felt this in our lives. Yet, Perry gives Sara someone who loves her enough that the angst is only temporary. There is also a situation of sexual harassment in this romance. I don’t want to reveal anything more about it, but it too adds layers to a seemingly simple book. Above all that is the connotation of the name the Candle Palace. I will absolutely not reveal its significance here. Just understand that it’s another layer to Sara and Milo’s book. 

If this review reads like a profession of love to Devney Perry’s intelligence as a writer, well, then so be it. I was ecstatic to read this book because I knew she would offer us the meaning of love through Milo and Sara’s story. Unremarkable, everyday people, soul-deep love, and loving beyond the outside describe the power behind Devney Perry’s The Candle Palace. If you love Devney Perry, you will be forever grateful for this story. If you haven’t read her books, then you’re missing out on immaculate story-telling. 

In love and romance,

Professor A

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Author:

I teach students to write for college. I love to read writers who write romance. Why not review and promote the writing of people who love to write romance? Win-win for me

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