Readers of sweet romances will find themselves drawn into the journey of these characters as they come to discover who they are and what they want, not only for themselves but for their relationships as well. While the individual characters live with very real disabilities and struggles that will engage readers, the power and clarity of their individual storylines at times is diminished by frequent point-of-view shifts and occasional awkward transitions in the dialogue. Still, each character's personal doubt or flaw that makes connection a challenge feels highly realistic, capturing the reader's attention and sympathy, creating investment in this story and these lives.
Nankivell’s close perspective and intricate knowledge of the hearts and lives of people living with disabilities imbues this heartfelt story with convincing power. It’s a pleasant and inviting reading experience, despite a tendency to leap away from one moment to another. Each character brings an interesting individual struggle to the story, creating diversity within the novel and expanding readers’ understanding of atypical relationships. Readers who find joy in unexpected love and overcoming emotional and physical obstacles to develop lasting relationships with find this novel to be a good read.
Takeaway: This inspiring love story will win the hearts of diverse romance readers.
Great for fans of: Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You, Ruby Moon-Houldson’s Romancing the Professor.
Design and typography: A--
Marketing copy: A
Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Courageous Love by Paul A Nankivell offers a look into two very different characters with similar ailments that plague their hearts and minds. Despite her cerebral palsy and being confined to a wheelchair, Catherine overcame all obstacles to become a successful corporate attorney. While she was successful at everything else, romance was one place where she never found any success. So, when Catherine starts to find comfort in her coworker Nicole, Catherine starts to question her sexuality and if she needs a relationship. Alan Jones is a successful senior systems analyst at a Fortune 500 company and is happy with his life. With Selena as his caregiver, there isn’t much Alan can ask for. However, things change when, during a vacation, Alan is forced to look at his relationship with Selena. There is something there. All Alan needs is to find the courage to lay his heart bare to Selena. Will Catherine and Alan give love a chance, or will they let their insecurities win?
Courageous Love was a great chance to read a novel with characters with cerebral palsy as protagonists rather than just bonus characters for extra cookie points. I love how complex both Alan and Catherine are. Paul A Nankivell is a magician with words and has planned this story very well. Instead of making their physical disability the complexity of their characters, the author has made their emotional hurdles the burden for both Alan and Catherine to bear. Catherine has to come to terms with her sexuality and finally let herself feel what her heart wants. Alan, on the other hand, is far more pragmatic. Since Alan has to face challenges every day, he has a hard time accepting that the beautiful Selena would settle for a man like him. I loved the challenges both couples had to face and their unique approaches to these issues. The pace is perfect, the narrative is written to perfection, and the character development is on-point! I highly recommend this novel!
An inspiring romance novel with a unique focus, Courageous Love by Paul Nankivell offers an important perspective on romantic relationships. Alan and Catherine both have cerebral palsy and have overcome the challenges that come with the condition to become successful in their fields, but now new trials arise in the world of romance, as Alan pines for Catherine from afar. Highlighting issues about disabilities, the corporate workplace, and the innate humanness of love, this is a multilayered contemporary romance that is handled with great skill and sensitivity. Though the cover may not reflect the draftsmanship inside, Nankivell is a subtle and emotive writer, conveying an uplifting message about overcoming any obstacle, so long as you have an open heart and an open mind.