Friday, April 18, 2014

Daddy Next Door / The Soldier's Sweetheart

Author: Carol Voss
Publisher: Love Inspired
August 2013
ISBN: 978-0373878345
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Not Your Everyday Hero

Nearly setting her house on fire isn't the way Alyssa Douglas is supposed to begin her new life. Luckily Ben Cooper, her handsome new neighbor, is there to charge to her rescue. A widowed single mother, Alyssa has moved to Rainbow Lake to build a future for her young sons in the big-hearted Wisconsin seaside town. And she's getting a warm welcome from Ben, a crusading reporter struggling to raise his daughter. With his help, Alyssa starts to believe that anything is possible—even second chances. But are Ben and Alyssa finally ready to trust each other with a love that can make two families one?

DADDY NEXT DOOR is the first book I read by Ms. Voss. It is a formula romance and fairly predictable. Alyssa is a strong heroine who doesn’t think she is. After the death of her husband she wants to take care of herself and her sons, but no one will let her, so in retaliation she moves to her grandmother’s summer cottage, determined to prove herself to her well-meaning friends and family who want to help her.

Ben is a giver, caring and kind, and not the first person Alyssa needed to meet, especially when she accidentally sets the chimney on fire. He’s quick to step in to help and she’s just as quick to get prickly. Alyssa needs to learn that sometimes it’s okay to allow others to bless us, because that is a blessing to them. But it’s a long road to get there.

A quick and easy read. Discussion questions are included at the end. $5.99. 215 pages. 3.5 stars.


Author: Deb Kastner
Publisher: Love Inspired
July 2013
ISBN: 978-0373817108
Genre: Contemporary Romance

The Single Dad's Fresh Start

Army vet Will Davenport knows all about missions but nothing about raising his young daughter. Settling in Serendipity, Texas, he hopes they'll both find the peace that has always eluded him. But when the widower goes to work for a local beauty, he gets much, much more. Samantha Howell is ready with a helping hand for everyone else but insists on taking care of her problems on her own. Will wants to be her hero, but too much stands in their way. For a future with Samantha, he has to bury the past. But forgiving himself may be his most difficult mission ever.

THE SOLDIER’S SWEETHEART is a sweet romance. Samantha is taken by surprise when Will shows up out of nowhere insisting her brother offered him a job in her store, and acting all surprised she didn’t know about it. He has a four-year-old daughter who he’s never—or rarely—seen and he’s eaten up with guilt about how lousy he is as a husband and father, but he does love his daughter even if he doesn’t have a beginning clue how to be a dad.

Samantha is getting mad at her friends and other single girls for pushing themselves at the widowed ex-military man working for her, but she’s the one by starting it by taking his picture on her cell and sending it to all her friends.

Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to like these characters, I didn’t. The story/romance is sweet, and not predictable. But it was just a story.  $5.99. 218 pages. 3 stars. 

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