What a fun book! I love how all of the novellas together tell a full, continuing story. What a wonderful idea for these four authors, to each take a character and tell that character's story in their specific novella.
I was already a fan of Colleen Coble and Denise Hunter, and am glad to have now read and enjoyed the novellas from Kristen Billerbeck and Diann Hunt. I must admit that it was bittersweet to read the story from Diann Hunt, knowing that she recently passed away and that the other three authors are missing their close friend.
I am excited to read the next installments from the town of Smitten. This was a cute and well-done novella collection.
Four friends writing together makes for four novellas full of fun. Each of the authors put her flair in their own novella, but the novellas all fit together into a well flowing story. The reader can't help but fall in love with the town and characters. Another great feature was the interview of the authors at the end to hear their take on working together. I look forward to returning to Smitten in future book!
I enjoyed this fun book by four of my favorite authors. The concept of a dying town becoming a love-themed tourist destination was a great take on what to do when the main source of labor vanishes. This is a book for just relaxing and laughing.
Take four women who are some of the best authors of Christian Fiction, and have them collaborate and design four unique characters, each with a bit of their own personalities, create a storyline and a place and put it all together and you have the makings of the novel, Smitten. It was written by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter with each of them writing a specific chapter geared around the small town of Smitten, Vermont, who has come under hard economic times. Faced with the mill closing which employs 500 people, the town rallies around the idea of creating a play on the word of their town's name, Smitten, which they believe implies the feeling of love.
Their idea is to create a tourist town that will draw people to it, honeymooners, lovers, people celebrating such milestones as weddings and anniversary's and those simply looking to find love to the town of Smitten. Most of the town is excited about the prospects this could mean for new business opportunities but also a great place to call home. However when Carson Smitten hears about the idea, he is greatly opposed and thinks there is a better way, but he can't quite come up with one that will work fast enough and slowly the town's residents begin to warm his heart up to the idea.
In the first installment of the book, "Natalie: Birthday Wishes" by Colleen Coble takes the story first when the idea is presented to the town council. Natalie Mansfield, is the owner of Mountain Perks, and who is also raising her niece Mia, now 5, since her mother, Lisa abandoned her and left town. Rumors circulate that Carson Smitten is the father, although he denies ever being with Lisa long enough for that to happen, but Natalie can't help but wonder why he won't subject himself to a paternity test to prove it. While working together to find ways to remodel the town for the new look of love, she finds herself working closely with Carson to help renovate his fishing cabins which remain seriously outdated and less than booked for the season. Natalie learns that Carson's brother has a great idea to help kick start the town's new launch and it may boost more love in the town than anyone recognized.
In the second installment of the book, "Julia: Small Town, Big Dreams" by Kristin Billerbeck, the emerging story of the character of Julia we caught a glimpse of earlier in the book continues to grow with her story as one of Natalie's closest friends. Julia Bourne is trying to do her part with the town of Smitten to redefine itself as a romantic destination and desires to open a upscale spa. Since leaving New York, she reaches out to contact Devlin Stovich, a successful New York spa owner and someone who has the money she needs to invest in her idea. When he agrees to come to Smitten, he finds the location of Smitten Grill, a former restaurant geared to the logging industry as the perfect location that now lies abandoned and vacant. However upon closer inspection they both learn that the owner, Zak Grant has ideas of his own on how to renovate the space. Will they be able to work together for the good of the town or will Julia be sent back to New York instead?
In the third installment of the book, "Shelby: You've Got A Friend" by Diann Hunt, we meet the third in this group of 4 best friends, Shelby Evans who arrives to her home in Smitten and meets the local fire department there to put out a fire in her Victorian Home. Nick Majors, a volunteer fireman stops her from entering along with her Shih-poo, Penelope until it is safe to go inside. Shelby was using the downstairs for Classes for Social Graces, a program to help young girls become ladies while she lived upstairs. She learns through Nick, that she is responsible for leaving a glue gun unattended and apparently there are more that just sparks flying between the two of them. Will romance be fanned into flames or will they simply be smitten with one another but remain friends?
In the final installment of the book, "Reese: All Along" by Denise Hunter, we get the opportunity to meet Reese Mackenzie, the local girl who is your all around sports enthusiast who is trying to launch her own business of opening a sporting goods store and is working with her friend, Griffin Parker. What makes this difficult for Reese is that the whole town is rallying around recreating their town and making it the newest romantic destination to compare with the Poconos but in addition to this is the celebrity wedding to their town's newest country star, Sawyer Smitten, Reese's former boyfriend, who is planning on using the town to host his own wedding. Will Reese be able to define her own feelings for Sawyer or is she about to be smitten with someone from her past instead?
I received Smitten by these amazing and talented authors compliments of Thomas Nelson and Net Galley for my honest review. I really enjoyed these individual but connected mini romances found inside the cover of this book. You truly feel like you're getting 4 books in 1 and this is one of the reasons I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. This novel is geared to the hopeful romantic in all of us.
overall, this was a good book but it's not good enough for me to want to read it again. Dont get me wrong-it was beautifully written but it didntvreally engage me in any way. This is not the best book by these authors.