Review: It All Started With a Lima Bean by Kimi Flores

A past that haunts can be laid to rest through the act of forgiveness, even if the person you forgive is yourself. It must be gifted freely.
Abby Sullivan cherishes the life she is creating for herself in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California. She adores her best friend and supportive family. Her job as a kindergarten teacher offers her life hope and purpose. She is very talented at many things, especially hiding the pain of her past. That is until her world collides with Caleb Hunter’s, giving them both a lesson in forgiveness and love.
A life changing love is cruelly snatched by sickness and death. A person must be willing to give love, the greatest gift of all, to receive love.
A successful writer, Caleb is living life day-to-day. Giving refuge to his sad and lonely heart since his wife's sudden death from cervical cancer, his primary focus becomes honoring her memory by rearing their five-year-old daughter, Madison. Yet, when Madison Hunter walks into Miss Abby’s kindergarten class, everything changes for all three of them.
With a little nudge from a loving mother-in-law who has everyone’s best interest at heart, anything is possible, especially when forgiveness and love gift even more blessings than ever imaginable.

I don’t even know where to start in describing how much I loved this book!!  This is Kimi’s debut novel and I am truly impressed.

Abby is a kindergarten teacher but she has a secret.  Caleb is a widower whose wife passed away four years ago and is raising his daughter, Madison, on his own with the help of his in-laws. 

Grace, his mother-in-law, has always known Abby and her mom so she brings Madison to her class on the first day of school.  Little did Abby know the handsome stranger standing behind them was Caleb, Madison’s daddy.  So, what does she do?  She embarrasses herself the first time she sees him. 

Grace and Leah, Abby’s best friend, seem to keep making sure that Abby and Caleb are always running into each other everywhere they go.  Can they be any more conspicuous?  Where one is, the other one is.

I have read a lot of books with children and they haven’t impressed me much but I fell in love with Madison right from the start.  I love the crazy words she uses and I was sitting there smiling as I read.  Madison pulls at my heartstrings and for the ones that know me, this takes a lot.  You can tell how much she loves her daddy but she’s not the normal kindergartener.  She sees how happy “Miss Abby” makes him.

 “My daddy didn’t smile before, and now he does every day.” - Madison

Abby knows she has feelings for Caleb from the first moment she sees him, who wouldn’t?  But, she feels like with her past that she isn’t worthy of his love and could never be good enough.  Little does she know, he has his own secrets and it’s something he’s not proud of at all and you really see how strong she is when she has to face his past.  She deals with things a lot better than I could have.

As they are getting closer, Abby has a visitor from her past and she now has to deal with what she was trying to forget.  Caleb is so supportive of her and one of the sweetest men I have read about. 

               “You took the broken woman that I was and helped put me back together” - Abby

Caleb knows he wants Abby but not just for a fling.  He knows he needs a stable future and a mom for Madison.

               “You are an amazing woman, and I am in awe every time I’m around you.” - Caleb

He is one protective dad and will do anything for her, which is a very important part of this book. The love he has for Madison and what he develops for Abby makes this one of the most touching books I have read.  Abby falls for him right from the start, literally, and sees what a great man and father he has become.  Caleb and Abby have this connection that everyone dreams of.

This is one of the most tender and sweetest stories I have read.  The love Caleb and Abby share is one you won’t soon forget.  This book can be read by anyone and not just considered an “adult” read.  It kept me interested throughout the whole book.  It has humor and a soft side which only makes me want more.  I would give this one 5 stars and can happily say I want more from Kimi!!


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