Camille Gardner has her life all planned out, or so she thinks. Artist at heart, but working for S&J gas and oil company, she is a mineral rights broker. Suddenly her Uncle Scott has demand that she return to Sweet Olive to negotiate a land deal, but she soon finds that this undertaking will demand more than the short few days she was told it would take. Dealing with both the most power men in the state and the humble artists that sit on a fortune in gas and oil, Camille soon finds herself fighting for the local artists and their community.
Marshall Cameron is the lawyer that has taken up the fight for the Sweet Olive community, but from his first encounter with Camille he is both attracted and frustrated with her. While doubting her motives for interacting with the Sweet Olive community, Marshall can't help but feel the pull of his heart to her.
I really enjoyed this book. I found the characters pretty well written and fun especially Ginny. Camille and Marshall were wound a little too tight for my tastes, but they grew throughout the book and in the end they were very likable.
There was a smattering of God throughout the book, and the only character that seemed to have any faith at all was Ginny. I wish that God would have been a stronger presence within these pages.
I really loved the whole artistic theme and the thing that God whispered to me about this book was the concept that God gave every single person a creative side. Being an artist doesn't just mean that your paint or sculpt or create wind chimes out of scrapes of metal, but even in everyday things. Cooking, or planting a flower bed or garden, knitting. even the houses that we live in, these are all things that we created.
The only downside to this book was that toward the end of the book, I had to reread a couple of times how Camille's father played into all this.
Overall it was an entertaining book that let me enjoy a different part of the country for a while. I would and will recommend this one.
I just didn't really enjoy this book and gave it a 4/5 stars. The story itself was slow to start and I actually got confused at the beginning. The characters were written to be these deep thinkers but I found them to be boring and was not entertained. I did enjoy the town setting and thought the author was excellent at describing things and locations. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick Christian fiction book that will entertain you for an evening.
I would like to thank the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.
Sweet Olive by Judy Christie is a most delightful book and a joy to read. Camille Gardner is a "landman" which is someone who works for an oil company and whose job it is to get property owners to sign over the mineral and water rights to their land. Camille is in Samford, Louisiana, against her wishes but her uncle Scott, and boss, forced her to accept the job. Camille once spent the worst weeks of her life in Samford so her plan is to get the signatures in record time and get back to Houston where she plans to work in an art gallery. After meeting the artist in the Sweet Olive area of Samford, Camille definitely has a problem for she has fallen in love with the artists and greatly admires their works of art which are proudly displayed in their yards and she completely understands why they do not want oil drilling on their land. Shortly after arriving in Samford, Camille meets Marsh Cameron who just happens to be the attorney representing the Sweet Olive landowners. Sparks begin to fly between the two and all of them are not about the oil deal.
The author did an excellent job in the development of this story. The characters were so well developed that they came alive on the pages of the book. I especially liked all the artists and was hoping that they would not give in to the oil company. When the author was describing the homes and art of the residents of Sweet Olive, I could very clearly see each one in my mind's eye. And then add the descriptions of the personalities and lives of the artists, and I immediately felt as if they were close friends. Camille was very realistically portrayed and I could feel her doubts and pain and her growing affection for Marsh. I definitely liked that the author had Camille finally turn back to God and let Him lead her life. She found what had been missing in her lifeâ€”faith, friends, and love. There were several twists and turns in the plot and quite a bit of suspense . The story had a great ending and proved that honestly is the best policy. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that likes a great story set in the south, Louisiana to be exact.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Lovely cozy, feel-good read with a southern settin
April 2, 2014
Big oil companies, small-town Louisiana setting, and a small community of artists combine in Sweet Olive, a book by Judy Christie that I greatly enjoyed. I've always been drawn to stories with a small-town setting and quirky characters, and would have to say that Judy shines at this. I easily connected with these characters and hope to see more of them in future books. Writing and characterization are strong, Marsh and Camille make compelling lead characters - but it's the ensemble cast within the artists' community that steals the show.
Oil-and-gas negotiator Camille Gardner must entice a group of rural landowners to sell their mineral rights and, instead, finds herself drawn to the folk art created by those same landowners. To oil companies, these people were a vital commodity in the race for gas production - and while Camille initially thought of them in terms of the number of acres they had to offer, soon they became real people to whom there were more important things in life than money.
Marsh, a lawyer representing the artists, was charming, handsome, and determined - yet "he wanted a chance to work more with everyday folks, people whose lives could be changed by the right champion at the right moment." Romance seemed secondary to plot, but Camille and Marsh being on opposite sides of the oil issue added good conflict to a sweet romance.
The artists' community - with their folk art that included metal sculpture, whirligigs, watercolors, glass, pottery, woodcarving, and oil paintings - are at the heart of this story. And it was Camille who became a catalyst for change in their lives, helping them to believe in their own abilities and discover a renewed passion for their art.
I loved how Judy used fiction to shine the light on two completely different attitudes toward money: those whose lives are motivated by greed, and those who realize some things are more important than money. "The beauty of their Louisiana land, earned through hard work and family tradition, would not be sacrificed for oil-company cash." The theme of God's provision is woven throughout the narrative, and that's something I never tire of being reminded of.
That God might have had a purpose in sending Camille to a town she never wanted to revisit made me smile as I thought of times I found myself thrust out of my comfort zone, only to eventually see God's hand in the situation. Camille's growing friendship with Ginny was one of my favorite parts, and it was through Ginny's leadership that the community pulled together - and therein lay their strength.
I fell in love with the Sweet Olive community and am eager to see where Judy takes us in the next book of the Trumpet & Vine series, Magnolia Market, which releases in the fall of 2014. Sweet Olive is a cozy, feel-good read that I thoroughly enjoyed and am glad to recommend.
This book was provided by BookSneeze and Zondervan in exchange for my honest review.
I had the pleasure of reading Sweet Olive by Judy Christie for my most recent Booksneeze review. And now I have a new author to follow. I love it when that happens!
Camille Gardner heads to Samford, Louisiana to close an oil deal. She knows the oil business and feels confident she can get the job done - and then get out of Samford as quickly as possible. What she doesn't count on is falling in love with the people of the art community in Samford called Sweet Olive. She also never expected how returning to this tiny town, a place that holds painful memories for her, could do anything to heal her heart.
Judy Christie's writing is straight forward, easy to follow and fun. Her characters are believable, loveable, hateable and everything I generally hope to find in this type of fiction. This isn't a mystery, but there were enough twists to make it interesting and keep me guessing. I also learned a few things about the world of big oil.
I have always enjoyed reading new authors, especially ones who focus on a particular area. Christie's focus in several of her works is in Louisiana, an area with which I am not familiar. I'm looking forward to reading more by Judy Christie.
I was given a copy of this book by Booksneeze in exchange for my honest opinion. My opinions are all mine.