At first, I thought I might give this a four star rating. After all, it is a romance with a bit of sappiness, and everything works out just as it should in a typical romance novel. Nothing earth-shattering there. It's written by four authors, and the book is a nice, clean Christian romance. At first glance, the book is not a stand-out. I figured it would be four short stories since each author wrote a certain section.
Here is what makes this book absolutely unique and makes it deserving of the rating I have given it. Don't let the fact that four authors write this book together cause you doubt how wonderful the book is. I believe the authors have accomplished something that very few authors (if any) could do. This book does not read as four separate stories written by four distinct individuals. Instead, it reads like a cohesive novel that was written by one person. Somehow these four women have made it work. I honestly could not tell the difference between writing styles of these authors, and the story made complete and perfect sense.
I have to admit the only truly negative thing I would say would be that I wish each romance had developed a little slower. I realize the authors were working under a time constraint, but I think it could have been accomplished--or at least tried to do so. If you like romances, small towns, and a little inspiration, this is a quick, easy read for you!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
"Secretly Smitten" by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter and Diann Hunt is a series of 4 romance novellas set in the town of Smitten, Vermont. Each novella is written by a different author but the stories all intertwine beautifully and include many of the same characters. Here's a synopsis from the publisher:
"Summer, fall, winter, springâ€”Smitten, Vermont, is the place for love . . . and mystery!
There's a secret in Grandma Rose's atticâ€”a forgotten set of dog tags belonging to her first love. But David Hutchins was killed in action and never returned to Smitten. How did the dog tags end up in the attic?
The mystery intrigues Rose's three granddaughtersâ€”Tess, Clare, and Zoeâ€”and they decide to investigate, though their mother, Anna, warns against meddling. But as the seasons turn and the mystery unravels, the three young women and their mother encounter some intriguing mystery men of their own. Has a sixty-year-old puzzle sparked something new for this close-knit family of women?
Join popular romance novelistsâ€”and real-life BFFsâ€”Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter for four delightful intertwined tales of mystery and sweet intrigue."
This is the perfect book to take along on your summer vacation or to the pool for the afternoon. Each novella is entertaining and the characters are likable and unique. While the stories are somewhat predictable, knowing that is actually quite comforting, as the reader gets to speculate about how each one will work out. Sometimes groups of novellas can feel disjointed and can leave me unsatisfied but this wasn't the case with "Secretly Smitten." I liked the fact that the characters all have story lines that continue through each novella, and each time I finished one I was compelled to start the next right away. I would recommend this book to anybody who enjoys Christian romance novels with fun and quirky characters.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.comÂ® <http://BookSneeze.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."
Book Summary: Summer, fall, winter, springâ€”Smitten, Vermont, is the place for love . . . and mystery! There's a secret in Grandma Rose's atticâ€”a forgotten set of dog tags belonging to her first love. But David Hutchins was killed in action and never returned to Smitten. How did the dog tags end up in the attic? The mystery intrigues Rose's three granddaughtersâ€”Tess, Clare, and Zoeâ€”and they decide to investigate, though their mother, Anna, warns against meddling. But as the seasons turn and the mystery unravels, the three young women and their mother encounter some intriguing mystery men of their own. Has a sixty-year-old puzzle sparked something new for this close-knit family of women? Join popular romance novelistsâ€”and real-life BFFsâ€”Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter for four delightful intertwined tales of mystery and sweet intrigue.
Book Review: Like all the stories very much. I think it would be hard to pick a favorite. Even the one that I was least interested in became very enjoyable to the point of wanting to know how it ended. I like the carryover â€˜mystery' involving Grandma it was a good link between the stories. I liked Denise Hunter's story because it tied everything up very well. Not all series do that. Grandma's mystery did not have a very exciting climax which was sad but with a limit to the length and content of the story something had to be decreased and left to one's imagination. I am looking forward to reading Smitten now.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
This is the first anthology fiction book I've read. I know. Where have I been, right? I was pleasantly surprised. Four very different authors with very different voices came together and pulled off a terrific book. I thought it was thoroughly enjoyable how each author wrote about a specific character and how each had their own twist to the short story. My time is excruciatingly limited, and at first, I was a little concerned at how thick this book was. All that for nothing. Each story was well written and I found myself flying through the book. Each character was well-rounded and likable with her very own traits that endeared them to the reader, and each hero was a perfect match. No one fell in love too quickly, and there was just enough romantic angst to keep you reading. It was a gently told story that weaved in much truth ~ each person, no matter what family they were born into, is different ~ with their own personality and worth. It's a keeper and I will read it again. If I could, I'd give it 4.5 stars.
~ I received a complimentary copy of this book, thanks to Thomas Nelson, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. ~
This was a delightlful collection of stories and I loved how all of the main characters from each of the stories really interacted with each other throughout all of the stories, because they are all a family so it was like a whole inter-connected series in one volume!
I loved how these stories were so well written and fun to read, and relax with. There was a mystery that wove all four of the stories together, and alot of love and laughter. I absolutely loved this small-town romance novella collection. I think you will to!
Overall, a lovely read that is wonderfully enjoyable. I loved visiting Smitten and I can't wait to go back!
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!