The Art of Rivers: A Coastal Hearts Novel

The Art of Rivers: A Coastal Hearts Novel

by Janet W. Ferguson

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Overview

Rivers Sullivan bears both visible and invisible scars—those on her shoulder from a bullet wound and those on her heart from the loss of her fiancé during the same brutal attack. Not even her background as an art therapist can help her regain her faith in humanity. Still, she scrapes together the courage to travel to St. Simons Island to see the beach cottage and art gallery she’s inherited from her fiancé. When she stumbles upon recovering addicts running her gallery, she’s forced to reckon with her own healing.

After the tragic drowning of his cousin, James Cooper Knight spends his days trying to make up for his past mistakes. He not only dedicates his life to addiction counseling, but guilt drives him to the water, searching for others who’ve been caught unaware of the quickly rising tides of St. Simons. When he rescues a peculiar blond woman and her sketch pad from a sandbar, then delivers this same woman to his deceased grandmother’s properties, he knows things are about to get even more complicated.

Tragic circumstances draw Cooper and Rivers closer, but they fight their growing feelings. Though Cooper’s been sober for years, Rivers can’t imagine trusting her heart to someone in recovery, and he knows a relationship with her will only rip his family further apart. Distrust and guilt are only the first roadblocks they must overcome if they take a chance on love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780999248508
Publisher: Southern Sun Press LLC
Publication date: 07/01/2019
Pages: 298
Sales rank: 662,459
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.67(d)

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The Art of Rivers: A Coastal Hearts Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
amybooksy 19 days ago
The Art of Rivers is the third installment from Janet W Ferguson’s Coastal Hearts series. It is, also, my first book I have read by this author. Since I have not read the first two books in the series, I feel as though this one can be read as a stand alone. I would love to go back read them to see what had happened prior. The Art of Rivers tells the beautiful story of Rivers Sullivan, who is suffering from external and internal pain. She has lost her faith and decides to take time away at the beautiful St Simons Island. She meets up with James Cooper Knight, who is, also, learning how to deal with his own struggles and pain. I enjoyed The Art of Rivers. I thought it was a fabulous story of love, overcoming, moving on and second chances. I am giving it a well deserved five plus stars. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
Ourpugs 20 days ago
The Art of Rivers A story of hope, and starting over. Rivers ( love her name) is engaged but her fiancé gets killed in the first chapter. She inherited a beach cottage and art gallery in St. Simons Island. After traveling there she meets Cooper. He does addiction counseling. This is a wonderful story. Love how Cooper is determined to help others. Also how Rivers wants to help but her and Cooper still has so much to deal with. I definitely recommend reading this book. I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author through Prism book tours. This book review is my own opinion.
Nicnac63 23 days ago
I love reading Christian fiction that conveys the power of grace and forgiveness. Rarely do I read such a book that deals with as heavy topics as drug abuse and recovery. This issue is prevalent in today’s society and is dealt with realistically and empathetically in this book. This is my first experience with Ms. Ferguson’s work. Even if not for the title, The Art of Rivers, it would be evident that she’s a lover of art by her flowery writing and word choices. Her writing style is abundant with colors, textures, and vivid descriptions. Although this is a plus, to some extent, I found the descriptions a little much at times. Both of the main characters, Rivers Sullivan and Cooper Knight, are reeling from tragic and painful pasts (some not so distant) and must learn to navigate life through a new lens. With themes of loss, grief, faith, trust, and redemption, this story covers a gambit of important issues and takes the reader through as many emotions. Overall, I feel the heavy topics were balanced with love, humor, and a lovely spiritual thread throughout. Source: I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of Prism Book Tours. Opinions expressed are completely my own.
KendraNeal 4 months ago
WOW, just WOW!! I picked up this book and began reading it, not knowing what to expect. Well, it truly is a WONDERFUL book about Second Chances, Forgiveness, moving forward and so much more. Rivers fiance dies and it takes her a year to go to the Cottage she inherited from her beloved. She intends on cleaning it out and heading back home, but she meets Cooper, the cousin of her deceased fiance. Cooper is recovering from addiction and Rivers is not sure she can handle the life of a recovering addict. Will Rivers and Cooper form a relationship and overcome their obstacles? Will it flourish into a love story? Grab a copy of the book, you will not be disappointed! The Art of Rivers is the 3rd book in the Coastal Hearts series, but it is a GREAT stand alone book. I have not read the first 2 in this series, but I am on the hunt for them to read the first 2. GREAT author and GREAT book!
Reading_Bee 5 months ago
Wow! Everyone loves a good happily ever after, right? But what about when happily ever after disappears into darkness and hopelessness and the life you thought you’d lead turns out to be completely different after all? Can you still forgive? Find hope? Live? These are some of the tough questions that author Janet Ferguson tackles in this spellbinding, heart-wrenching, and utterly amazing book. From the first couple of pages I was completely drawn in and knew this story would be something special. The author did a fabulous job of crafting a story of hope even in the midst of shattering pain and darkness. She drew characters with faith—strong faith in their true God. Characters with fascinating journeys that intertwine into a road that was incredible to follow along. So give this one a shot! Does it have hard topics? Absolutely! Pain, struggle, and impossibilities? Yes. What about an incredible God and redemption that only He can work? Yes, it does!! I received a copy of this book for FREE, and a positive review was not required.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I enjoyed this story featuring a topic I haven't read much about. I felt like we really got into an addict's head as we see how much Cooper struggled with the shame and guilt of his choices and still struggled with his addiction even after five years of being clean. I admired him a lot for all that he overcame and for all he was doing to help others. I liked Rivers as well and admired her strength and willingness to forgive. I liked the strong faith message as the gospel is clearly given and Rivers, Cooper and others encourage each other with Scripture and prayer. Davis especially has a funny, direct way of encouraging a person and telling it like it is at the same time. I also like how they knew they were fighting a spiritual battle. There was some sweet romance and I thought there was going to be more suspense than there was but the story went in a different direction. I liked how the past was brought in by the journal Rivers found and read that belonged to Cooper's grandmother but I wish more would have been done with it. I liked the gorgeous setting of St. Simons Island. I really liked the focus on art and art therapy. I hadn't read the first two books in the series but I didn't feel lost at all. Overall, I liked this story and it kept my interest. I would recommend it if you like stories with more spiritual depth or that deal with issues. I received this book from JustRead Tours. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own.
Erin_Slocum 6 months ago
I wasn’t sure what to think when I started into this novel, The Art of Rivers. In the first chapter you get the happiest moment and the saddest worst moment imaginable. That’s a lot to put within a few paragraphs. This is the third in a series, I have not read the first two that come before this one, but I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything by reading this one as a stand-alone title. Such a powerful book with a powerful message. In this book, you’ll find out about loss, grief, substance abuse, counseling, healing, and some major law breaking drug running. But you also are exposed to healing through art. This is something I can get behind as I’m already behind healing with animals. Rivers lose her fiance to violence. He was shot and killed beside her. Rivers herself was also shot. She bears the scar of this on her shoulder plus internal scars as well. She vows to never love again. But then she finds herself drawn to a guy when she’s cleaning out the house her fiance inherited. And she’s also faced with addicts and grief and healing and recovery. Can she trust herself to love again? More importantly, can she get over her hang-ups about addiction to even consider some of these people her friends? Will she ever be able to trust? When circumstances don’t go the way they hope can they hang on? Will Rivers continue to support substance recovery? Can she paint again? But mostly can Rivers heal herself and her new friends family? Great story. It’s very moving and I love how all these hard topics are woven together with such grace and care. They’re tackled and talked about and normalized. This book is a recommend from me and I’m going to have to check out the first two books in the series now. A new author for me but I really love her style of writing. I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from JustRead Publicity Tours. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.
tealovingbookworm 7 months ago
Addiction is a real, ongoing, serious issue, and this novel offers insight to the never-ending struggles one endures while trying to battle their addictions. Author Janet Ferguson has created a very believable, enlightening novel with warm, relatable characters, all with their own individual concerns. Poor River Sullivan is trying to rebuild her life after the untimely death of her fiancé, and finds herself in the throes of the lives of others who are involved with the Re-Claimed addiction ministry. She learns, with the help of the strong brother and sister team of Kevin and Gabby, as well as from the still-suffering Cooper, how to get back living again. She has to learn to trust and yes, love, again. I especially loved the character of Davis, an addict/preacher and his never-ending wisdom, such as “every tub has to sit on its own bottom”. The author expertly delves into the addiction crises without becoming preachy and has woven an enticing story. I highly recommend this book as it was eye-opening for me. I received a copy of this book from JustRead Tours and was under no obligation to write a positive review; all opinions are my own.
Mandy Elliott 7 months ago
*SPOILER ALERT IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH. I received a complimentary copy of this book in an exchange for posting an honest review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review. The Art of Rivers is an excellent story that deals with the harsh realities of overcoming addiction, social stigmas surrounding them, forgiveness, fear and trauma. I truly loved this book, it tugged on all my heart strings! Author Janet Ferguson opens with a chapter that is tender yet shocking then continues to weave a story that is both entertaining and touching. The novel is well written, endearing and even cute! I devoured it; a definite page turner. The main and sub characters are charming, witty and relatable. I loved the occasional banter between Rivers and Cooper, was enamored with how their love story unfolds and enjoyed how Ferguson used their relationship to bring about healing in a family. Readers will find it hard not to "feel" along with Rivers and Cooper. They're so lifelike and the things they struggle with are very real. Through them, Ferguson gives readers a look at life after trauma and addiction. She doesn't sugarcoat it, but uses faith as a basis for recovery and depicts the redemption found only in Christ. It's truly beautiful. The faith based elements of this book are strong, but do not overpower the story in my opinion. I do enjoy books with a Christian viewpoint however and realize that some people may feel this book comes on a little strong. Nevertheless, I encourage readers to read between the lines and see the power that comes from overcoming addiction, helping others and allowing struggles to make us stronger. This book is a SOLID FOUR STARS and was VERY GOOD! I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy a cozy romance, comtemporary fiction and faith based fiction. I believe the story would be suitable for teenagers 16+ as it is clean. Please be aware the story does contain triggers and mentions of things such as a shooting, addiction, teenage death, drinking, drugs, loss and drug trafficking. The only thing that kept this novel from tipping over into five stars for me, was simply a personal preference. The ending wrapped up beautifully but the last chapter made me cringe. Throughout the story, I had imagined and felt Rivers as a whimsical romantic with a playful side. The fact that she proposed to Cooper, who supposedly couldn't get enough of her, detracted from their romance. I'm not against women proposing, it just didn't feel right for this couple. I also wasn't a fan of the fact that Ferguson included the song Jesus Freak in their wedding music and used the phrase "I'm always willing to let my freak flag fly." (this was also alluded to earlier in the book). As a Christian, I don't enjoy being stigmatized as a freak and don't think anyone should be categorized that way under any circumstance. Between those two things, I ended the book with distaste but felt it didn't really detract from the story I had enjoyed so immensely up until those last closing lines.
GratefulGrandma 8 months ago
This is a Christian Fiction story about second chances, drug addiction, romance and forgiveness. A year after her fiancee is shot and killed and she injured, Rivers heads to St. Simon's island to clean out both the cottage and store that she inherited from Jordan. She plans to sell them both and head back to Memphis. What she does not expect is to meat Jordan's cousin Cooper aka Jay, who is a recovering addict and now works at a recovery home as well as running the gallery she has inherited. What happens next is unexpected by both Cooper and Rivers. I have not read anything by Janet W. Ferguson and was quite impressed with the way she handles the storyline of addiction. She writes about the impact on the addict as well as the addict's family and friends. She does not sugar coat it either, she includes the dirty, gritty side as well as the hopeful side of those who are successful in recovery. Anyone familiar with the twelve step program knows how much forgiveness plays a part in recovery and this book stresses forgiving oneself as well as others. I loved the character of Rivers. She was fragile, still dealing with her loss of Jordan, yet strong in her convictions of helping others. Cooper is also a great character. He does not mince words when he talks about the fragility of being sober and how easy it could be to relapse. He loves Rivers, but does not want to complicate her life, especially where Jordan's parents are concerned. My heart broke for him. He went through so much in his life, yet came out of the storm with a strong faith and caring attitude. The second thread I really enjoyed is the art therapy story. Art therapy is a great way to deal with so many different mental health issues, and emotions both for the patient and the therapist. It was very well done in this book and woven seamlessly into this story. This book is clearly Christian Fiction and the thread of Christian faith is strong throughout the book. I enjoyed this story very much and will be looking for others in the Coastal Hearts series.
Shonda Fischer 9 months ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this book! The characters pulled me into the story making me fill as if I was part of their world. I found myself rooting for Cooper and for him to know he mattered. There are many unexpected twist and turns in the story that will keep you in aww. Upon reading I was starting to get wore down by the never ending problems that came up against Cooper, isn’t life like that though. Seems when your going through a storm and about to have a break through it just pours and pours. I found this to be realistic and thought the author did a great job of showing the reader how the devil works trying to destroy lives. River had to go through some rough times to be sympathetic to those she feared. The fact that the characters turned to God to overcome gave me such a feeling of praise for our Heavenly Father. This book will take you on a journey that will make you laugh, cry and just praise God! Was given a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
Changed-by-Christ 9 months ago
This book surprised me in all the good ways! To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect - but I didn't think I'd end up moving it. The storyline was unique and unlike anything I've read, but I loved it and the fact that it dealt with some very real and sad issues that are very prominent in our culture today. The only issues I had with the book was that the first chapter played out a bit like a murder mystery - which this book isn't, so that was a little misleading. And I also felt like the book was a little long and drawn out and a bit on the slow side for me. Other than this, this book was so good! The characters were real and well developed and I really enjoyed the storyline. **I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher via JustRead tours, but was in no way required to give a positive review. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are my own.**
Anonymous 10 months ago
"How does a woman anchor her faith when she has experienced so much pain?" That's my favorite quote from the book. I love the story of pain, redemption, forgiveness and reconciliation. Rivers had gone through too much of pain and disappointment in her life and at a particular point, I was wondering how much more she could take. Cooper, had carried the guilt of being a source of pain and disappointment all his life to those he loves and he sort to make it right by giving his life to help people caught in the same grips he was caught in. I love how their paths crossed, the hurdles they had to pass through and the decisions they made. I love that the need for prayers, the Word of God and Godly friends were illustrated beautifully in this book. After all we can't fight the devil alone. I love the setting of the book, it is somewhere I'd love to visit. I'd recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a beautiful read on moving on after disappointing the people they love, to anyone who needs to forgive and move on from the past. God is good and he works and fights for those who love him and are called according to his purpose. I received a copy of this book for my honest review. (less)
swissgranny 11 months ago
I admire Janet Ferguson’s courage in tackling the heart-wrenching subject of addiction and the struggle of those battling it to overcome its chains and break free. It’s such a timely subject, as it’s so prevalent in our society today. It crosses all classes of society and no one is totally immune to its grasp. While it’s not easy to read about the struggles of addiction, and I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Ferguson to write about it, she has crafted a poignant and powerful story that is honest, yet hopeful. The emotions and feelings of the addicts, their families, and those involved in fighting for their recovery are vividly and masterfully portrayed. It was easy for me to connect to Rivers and Cooper and hope for healing and a future for them, and the stellar supporting cast is colorful and realistic. With an obvious depth of research into the subject, the author has penned a story that comes alive on the page. Themes of forgiveness, redemption, hope, grace, and mercy run through it, and add a strong positive message. Janet Ferguson is a gifted writer whose stories I’ve enjoyed in the past, but I think this is her best one yet. 4.5 stars
Randi_AMDFT 11 months ago
**I received a complimentary copy for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. First and foremost, it is important to note that this is book #3 in the Coastal Hearts series. However, I must admit I would never have guessed as much as I read it. In fact, even though I knew it was part of a series, I’d assumed it was book number one. I didn’t in the slightest have that feeling of missing something as can often be found when you begin reading a series out of order.Though I must admit that I now look forward to reading now just more in the series but more by this author in general. Addiction is not an easy subject. Chances are most of us have been touched by the epidemic in one way or another- be it alcohol or drugs, a friend, a family member or even ourselves. In my own life and family I have seen the devastation it can cause and the heartbreak left behind. For some of us, it can be pretty easy to blame the addict. They made that choice to start using in the first place after all. I’ll admit that I struggle with that line of thinking myself...but I think this is why books such as this one are so important. Our primary characters Rivers and Cooper have both had their lives greatly impacted by addiction, though their experiences are on completely opposite sides of the issue. Cooper had lived the life of an addict and come through it with a passion to help others in those same circumstances. Rivers had lost everything due to the actions of addicts, and found herself with little compassion for those in the midst of the struggle. Through both of their unique experiences, this book beautifully takes a look at ALL sides of addiction… the good, the bad, the ugly and the hopeful. It reminds us that addiction affects not just the addict, but those around them too. Drugs and alcohol can steal so much, but there is hope to come out of it. And in Jesus there is forgiveness for all who seek it. This truly was a fantastic read that I think is so relevant to what is going on in our world today. Janet W. Ferguson has taken on this difficult, ugly topic and turned it into a beautiful story of hope that is so needed. I would certainly recommend this book to all, and I look forward to reading more in the series.
BrittanyMc 12 months ago
The Art of Rivers was a deeply moving novel that dealt with broken people finding hope again. The main characters were connected in so many ways, including the fact that Rivers’ deceased fiancé was the cousin to Cooper. But, equally compelling was the way the destruction of addiction had touched both of these characters’ lives in different ways. Cooper and Rivers had many things to deal with in this story and I thought that the author handled the topics in a sensitive way. There was much pain, the need for forgiveness, and hope all wrapped up in the pages of this novel. This is the third book in the series, yet can be read as a stand alone novel. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
SBMC 12 months ago
"The past has light and shadows we don't see without looking from a different perspective." I cannot believe this is the first book by Janet Ferguson that I have read! So many bloggers and reviewers have raved about the author's work and, obviously, I've been a little slow on following their advice. And now the author has found herself yet another fan of her work. Her writing is a deeply moving and thought-provoking work of art that blends words to create a beautiful canvas of hope and her characters are so real, tangible, broken, yet redeemed and they draw you right into their hearts and souls. The topic of addiction that is prominent in the story is well-researched, honest, and heart-breaking yet portrayed with tenderness and sensitivity. Misconceptions regarding addiction are shattered and hope for recovery is shown through faith and community. I especially appreciated that the struggles of all who are involved in addiction and recovery - those currently addicted (whether wanting recovery or not), those in recovery, those helping to make recovery a reality, and those whose loved ones are either addicted or in recovery - were addressed in this story which clearly shows that recovery is multi-dimensional and complex. And the characters! Oh, Rivers and Cooper are such tender-hearted, compassionate souls hurting deeply from their gut-wrenching sorrow and pain. Rivers has yet to recover from the death of her fiance and she's lost in a world of darkness when she used to paint light and goodness. Cooper is a recovered addict who is using his gift of art and counseling to help others gain and sustain sobriety but is still trapped in his past of regrets and mistakes. Their journey toward forgiveness, reconciliation, and freedom from fear is peppered with wonderful encouragement from Scripture and fantastic, funny, witty dialogue and interaction amongst the characters. You'll need a box of tissues as you read the book but you'll also find yourself laughing out loud unexpectedly from interesting similes and metaphors that one particular secondary character loves to spout. If you've never read a Janet Ferguson book and love contemporary romance, this is THE book to start your journey; if you're a fan of Janet Ferguson, you will be enchanted and captivated all over again. This is book 3 in the Coastal Hearts series but it is a stand-alone novel. I received a copy of the book from the author and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.