Branching Out, by Kerstin March

Branching Out picks up where it’s predecessor, Family Trees (reviewed here), left off. While Shelby and Ryan embark on a new journey, ready to form their union and spend forever together, they have secrets that threaten to damage their relationship and everything it stands for.

For Shelby, so much of the foundation of her life has been uprooted. It’s so hard for her to settle into a life with Ryan that’s so vastly different from what she’s known. And for Ryan, he can’t get over the past. It weighs heavily on him, but he’s not sure he’ll ever be able to admit that to Shelby. I felt as though Branching Out went more into the backstory of both main characters, allowing us the opportunity to understand the why’s behind who they’ve become and the dynamics of their relationship.

When tragedy strikes, the only place where Shelby feels she can heal is back home at Lake Superior. But in the midst of her own turmoil and grief, she’s left behind the one person she swore she’d spend eternity with, for better or for worse. Will their relationship survive?

Branching Out gives an honest look into the lives of two people who are trying hard to make it, and live a happily ever after in the process. There were many moments during the novel where I was overcome with emotion, teary-eyed, angry and undeniably sad. I knew there was a chance that all would end well, even if that meant the status quo had changed, which is so true to the way life works for most of us. I highly recommend the “Meyers Orchard” series, hopeful there will be a part three to Shelby and Ryan’s story.

Reviewed for Chick Lit Central

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