Amber Weathersby, craft store owner is also owner of the prestigious garden gnome, Gnorman. Gnorman can be often seen gracing the gardens of the winners of the Garden Club contest The Spring Fling Early Bloomer.
Stan has known Amber all of his life and when the invitation arose to join the Garden Club with his best friend, he couldn't think of a better way to spend his time.
When Gnorman disappears from sight Amber and Stan try to stay one step ahead of the napper, but are finding that strange clues are a commonplace to the hunt.
Will Gnorman be recovered?
Will the town of Bloomfield capture a heart for romance?
Promising creative characters, picturesque scenery, and progressive plot will provide entertaining hours. A delightful and fun novel with mystery, romance and a bit of comedy (loved reading the clues), that will surely occupy a special place in a readers library. As a gardener and one who enjoys a cozy mystery, I will certainly recommend this inspiring entertaining book to others. 4 Stars! Thanks to B&H Publishing Group for the complimentary copy from the blog.
Stan and Amber have known each other a long time - from birth. They've been friends forever. Amber now owns a garden gift store and Stan owns an auto repair shop. They have settled into a familiar friendship.
Amber is a member of the local garden club, even though she's not very good at gardening. Stan helps her out, though, like he's always done.
It has become a tradition for Amber to place her gnome, Gnorman, in the garden of the winner of the garden club prize. But this year, as the club assembles in the winning garden, it becomes evident the gnome is missing - and along with it, the trophy he held.
Over the next weeks, Gnorman appears in various gardens of club members, always with a note, a clue to the next location. Stan faithfully helps Amber as they try to solve the mystery of the missing trophy and their friendship turns into something more serious.
This is probably the calmest mystery/romance I have ever read. The plot is a bit weak and the action is rather slow and repetitive. There is a little humor, but not very much. The end was kind of cute, but you knew it was coming.
If you have high blood pressure and need to remain calm while reading a novel, this one would work for you.
I have read other books by Gail and this is not her best.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Amber Weathersby is an unlikely member of the Bloomfield Garden Club. So far, she's managed to kill pretty much everything she's tried to grow outside her house. If it weren't for her best-firend-since-childhood, Stan, who installed an automatic sprinkler and told her never to touch it, there would be no hope of even a patch of green, let alone multi-colored flowers.
Still, Amber is a crafter with a little shop where many of the club members pick up their garden ornaments. Her most famous is Gnorman the Gnome, whose job it is to hold the trophy when the winner of the Spring Fling garden contest is announced. Only this year, Gnorman-and more importantly, that precious trophy-have gone missing.
A note with words cut from the newspaper appears, leading Amber, with Stan hot on her trail, to Gnorman, who's wearing a new funky costume. The note tells her not to move Gnorman or she'll never find the trophy. For several weeks Amber and Stan follow these clues around Bloomfield and try to figure out who is behind the gnome-gnapping and where the trophy is.
Stan is stunned to find he's fallen in love with his very best friend, but what's holding Amber back? Why is she so panicked out about the annual garden club membership review? And. . .is it possible she's fallen for him, too, and just won't admit it?
Take the Trophy and Run is an entertaining romp around the town of Bloomfield. If you enjoy some chuckles with your romantic reading, give this read (and series) a try. It's hard to pull a new story out of this trope, I think-the one where a man and a woman have been friends forever and don't see each other as marriage material, and don't want to ruin the friendship they have established. The author found a new twist or two to pull this tale together.
Bloomfield is a series about a fictional town created by a team of authors contracted by B&H Publishing. Thanks to B&H and Netgalley for a review copy.
Amber Weathersby owns the Gardens and Gifts Galore. Each year, she places a gnome in the garden that wins the Bloomfield Garden Club prize. Except this year, Gnormon (with a silent â€˜g') the gnome has gone missing, along with the trophy. She soon finds a clue, a poem comprised of letters cut out of the local paper, and this leads her and her best friend, Stan Wilson, to the gnome. But no trophy. And then Gnormon disappears, and so starts the chase to find Gnormon's next location, and hopefully the trophy.
As he works with Amber, Stan discovers that Amber isn't just the girl he grew up with, his oldest, closest friend. He's in love with her. And she seems to be drawing away from him. He doesn't know that Amber is also struggling with financial issues. Her parents are dead, and her uncle is pressuring her to repay his business loan, on which he has doubled the interest payments (not exactly sure how he could do that with a written contract, but never mind).
I found Take the Trophy and Run difficult to get into, although I usually enjoy cozy mysteries and I have a real soft spot for friends-to-lovers plots (this is Christian fiction, so lovers in the Victorian sense, not the modern sense). The style of writing didn't really work for me, although there was nothing I could pinpoint as why. I think my main problem was that I was more interested in the relationship between Amber and Stan than in the mystery of the missing gnome or Amber's financial issues. And even this has been done better, particularly in the Smart Chick Mysteries by Mindy Starns Clark. Take the Trophy and Run wasn't bad, it just didn't grab me until about three-quarters of the way through, and that wasn't enough to make up for the weaker start.
Thanks to B&H Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.