Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Smitten Book Club

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Enter Today | 2/3 - 2/20!
Smitten Book Club Coble, Hunter, Billerbeck, Hunt

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Smitten Book Club Brunch Coble, Hunter, Billerbeck, Hunt

Authors: Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
January 2014
ISBN: 978-1401687168
Genre: Contemporary romance / novella

The century-old Gentlewoman’s Guide to Love and Courtship is no ordinary book club choice. But for the little book club in Smitten, Vermont, it might be their best pick yet!

The thick, leathery tome Heather pulled out of the dusty cardboard box was definitely coming home with her. Not only was The Gentlewoman’s Guide to Love and Courtship an appealing curiosity by virtue of its title; it was also written by Smitten, Vermont native Pearl Chambers, a local gentlewoman from three generations back. Little did Heather know the repercussions this little curiosity would have on her and her friends’ romantic exploits.

When Heather and her fellow book club members begin passing the book around, their respective interpretations are unleashed on their respective love lives . . . for better or for worse. Is it a mystery? An idealist fantasy? An intimation of Jane Austen? As romantic love finds its way to each woman, theGuide proves itself both surprisingly prescient and hilariously irrelevant.

What’s more, a handwritten inscription indicates that the arcane book might hold the only extant clues leading to buried gold—exactly what one of the members needs to keep her house. How could they not go treasure hunting?

In this remarkable collaborative novel, best friends Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, and Diann Hunt tackle the tale of the Gentlewoman’s Guide by writing for one book club member apiece. Smitten Book Club is a hopeful, hilarious story of friendship and healing, written by friends for friends.

SMITTEN BOOK CLUB is the third and final novella collection in the Smitten, Vermont series. This is the last novel that these four best friends will write together since Diann Hunt passed away from cancer.

The first story is written by Colleen Coble. Her character, Heather, found an old romantic advice book called A Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship and the lives of her and her three best friends begin to change. Heather’s old flame, Paul, came to town and plans to stay, and she begins to learn to trust and love despite his past bad decisions.  This was a really cute story. I could relate to Heather and her fear of being hurt again by a man who already hurt her once. 

The second novella is by Kristen Billerbeck and stars shy, unadventurous Abby who dresses and lives as if she is an eighty year old librarian instead of a twenty-seven year old one. However, she discovers her father left her a mission before she died- to have an adventure. And in the steady hands of Wyatt, Abby soon finds that she might have more in common with another literary character than she thinks.  This one... I enjoyed it, but it seemed more of a make-over type book. Become someone other than who you are to find love. I didn't like that message so much. 

The third novella in Smitten Book Club is by Diann Hunt. Lia, is a sweet kindergarten teacher who has a second chance at showing her best friend, Joey, how she really feels. However, he’s hesitant to move past a former loss. As Lia and Joey rekindle friendship, Joey sees the importance of forgiveness, moving on, and trusting God in the wake of sadness and anger.   This story was cute, slow paced, but it had a good faith message in it about forgiving those who hurt you.  It did seem to end rather abruptly to me--with the black moment and then it's over. 

The last story is by Denise Hunter and brings to a close the storyline that underlies all four novellas- the mystery of the gold and where it is hidden. Molly is still reeling from the death of her husband. Her outdoors business is more than she can handle and heading towards ruin. When business competitor Gage offers to help her out, Molly is instantly suspicious but eventually says yes. As they become closer, Molly realizes that she can trust again and follow her own dreams. And this was my favorite story in the collection. Dreamy sigh.  I love Denise Hunter's writing. 

I enjoyed all four novellas. They were cute, well written, and sweet. If you liked the first two books in the Smitten series, then you will want to read  THE SMITTEN BOOK CLUB.  $15.99. 384 pages. 5 stars. 

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/t7BO1

Meet the authors: 

RITA-finalist Colleen Coble is the author of several best-selling romantic suspense novels, including Tidewater Inn, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series.  

Christy Award finalist and two-time winner of the ACFW Book of the Year award, Kristin Billerbeck has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times. Her books include A Billion Reasons Why and What a Girl Wants.  

Denise Hunter is the award-winning and best-selling author of several novels, including A Cowboy's Touch and Sweetwater Gap. She and her husband are raising three boys in Indiana. 

Diann Hunt has lived in Indiana forever, been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, her dog, and, well, chocolate. Diann lost her courageous battle with cancer in December 2013.

1 comment:

Judy said...

I'm looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for your review of it Laura! I have the first two books but haven't had a chance to read them yet.

Judy B