Secretly Smitten: Love 'Really' Changes Everything
February 25, 2013
Secretly Smitten is an amazing hope filled book that has four stories dealing with one family and a terrible secret that will shake their foundation. This book brought three daughters and their mother on a world wind adventure that also told the possibility of another story being told in the background surrounding some old dog tags that belonged the grandmother's old beau.
After the first story, I didn't think the book would progress as it did. The slow forming of the missing veteran/dog tag story slowly built in the background as the daughters and their mother found love of their own. The suspense of that one story kept me reading, as the stories began to change one by one I noticed a little heartwarming sensation that I hadn't with any other book thus far; My shear resemblance to the middle daughter, last story, Clare Thomas. Reading her story was a good end for the book. I see how God works differently in others lives. God's the only one who knows what approach to use best.
Secretly Smitten is an amazing read for someone who is smitten or better yet secretly smitten. I recommend this book to anyone who likes fun, romantic, short reads. It isn't melodramatic but has the appeal of real life. Also, The first book, Smitten, is not recommended to read before this, but do read it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÂ®.com <http://BookSneezeÂ®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Secretly Smitten is the light-hearted follow-up compilation of short stories to Smitten, and it re-invites readers into the quaint small town life of Smitten, Vermont. The discovery of new or lost love is the focus of each of the stories; and in these four feel-good novellas, the conflict is resolved rather quickly and easily. These are stories to be read when you want a happily ever-after escape.
I have to admit that I found the plots and characterization of the first three stories to be less developed than I expected. The mystery of grandma Rose's long-lost love adds depth to the overall story; but as a reader, I felt a detachment to the characters and their emotions at times. Secretly Smitten does conclude on a strong note with Denise Hunter's final novella about Clare. Denise Hunter proves that novellas can be written so that the characters are developed and well-rounded. As a reader, I felt sympathetic to Clare's feelings and struggles. Denise Hunter was not only able to pull me into Clare's world, but she also provided a satisfying resolution to grandma Rose's past as well.
Overall, Secretly Smitten is a light and fluffy read; so if you are ever looking for a brief escape from reality, it just might be the right fit for you.
I received a complimentary e-copy of this novel from BookSneeze, courtesy of Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Secretly Smitten: Love Changes Everything, by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter, is a collection of four stories, all set in the town of Smitten, Vermont. While the town of Smitten is attempting to make a name for itself, the members of the Thomas family find themselves trying to solve a very old mystery.
In Love Between the Lines, by Colleen Coble, the family discovers a pair of dog tags in the attic belonging to Grandma Rose's first love, a man who died in the Korean War, whose dogs tags were never found. Tess Thomas begins the search for the answer to the mystery, ending up finding proof the man never died and finding love in the process. In Make Me a Match, by Kristin Billerbeck, Zoe Thomas begins a matchmaking business, only to be hounded by the new town manager about her wiring issues. The sisters dig further into the mystery of the dog tags, and Zoe finds a match for herself. In Knit One, Love Two, by Diann Hunt, Anna Thomas finds herself young enough for romance after all. In Love Blooms, by Denise Hunter, Clare Thomas discovers love with a complete stranger, and the sisters find the answers to the mystery.
I enjoyed this book. Despite the four authors and their various writing styles, the story flowed well and unfolded a little at a time until the very end. I would recommend this book to all who enjoy a good romance or a good mystery!
I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.
Secretly Smitten is Christian fiction and this is a genre that isn't my typical read. I was pleasantly entertained by this book which is actually considered a novella. If you are not familiar with the term, novella is fiction that is shorter than a novel but longer than a short story. Secretly Smitten is a collection of four novellas each written by a different author. The stories are "Love Between the Lines", "Make Me a Match", "Knit One, Love Two", and "Love Blooms". The stories have the same characters just with a shift in the main characters. Each is a romance. The book is number two in the Smitten Series but it can be read on its own. At the back of the book is a reading group guide. I'm thankful for the Christian-minded romance stories of Secretly Smitten; it was sweet and entertaining. This was the first book I read on my Kindle and that made it quite fun, too!
The intrigue begins when dog tags are found in Grandma Rose's attic. They were the dog tags of a man Grandma had loved long ago. But he had been killed in the war and had never come back. How did those dog tags get in Grandma's attic?
Tess, Zoe, and Clare Thomas are not going to let the issue go. But Tess is distracted when a handsome man and his young daughter shop at her bookstore. She is also working extra hard at seeing to it that the train will stop at Smitten. That would help the town so much.
And Zoe has other things on her mind as she is getting her new matchmaking business going. Unfortunately, the new city manager, a stickler for making sure businesses adhere to all the city ordinances, is getting to her.
Anna Thomas, the girls mother, is thinking about raising sheep so she can spin her own wool. That would be a nice addition to her knitting shop. Then Michael, a retired military man, shows up in Smitten to take care of his ailing mother. He offers to help Anna but she is not so sure she should allow herself to get close to this man..
And Claire, she loves her routine at the nursery where she works. She wouldn't even think of rearranging the shop. But when she hires a homeless man, she wonders if she could dare risk love.
What a treat, this second book about Smitten, Vermont. And you certainly don't have to read the first one to thoroughly enjoy this one. The four stories written by the authors flow well. The authors, who are themselves friends, really did a great job in creating a fun to read collection of romance stories. And it all comes out in the end - the dog tags, I mean. What a fun read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.