Debby Mayne in her new book, "Dixie Belle" Book One in the Uptown Belles series published by Realms brings us into the lives of Cissy Hillwood and Tom Jenkins.
From the back cover: Can a story that begins with deception ever end well?
Cissy Hillwood needs to leave her Alabama hometown to escape her abusive boyfriend, so she accepts an offer to work for her Uncle Forest in New York City. Sparks fly when she meets Forest's fiercest competitor, Tom Jenkins, but her uncle does not approve of their budding romance.
Tom is a Christian at night and on weekends, but he seems to leave his faith at the door when he gets to work. Yet the more time he spends with Cissy, the more he begins to question and reevaluate his business ethics.
As Cissy tries to keep her relationship with Tom a secret from her Uncle Forest, misunderstandings mount and conflicts arise, forcing Cissy to make a decision. Which should she choose: loyalty to her uncle or love for Tom?
Cissy does what a lot of women do not do, she testifies against her abusive boyfriend. High marks for Cissy however the rest of the people in Hartselle, Alabama. So she is packed off to New York to work with her uncle. There she meets the competition, Tom, where sparks fly and romance ensues. This book is all about how others can affect our lives. Uncle Forest does not approve of Tom and that can spell potential doom for their romance. Tom seems to be a Sunday only Christian and that is affecting his company. I think Tom and Cissy are wonderful characters that grow through the story. I also think that this book is a lot of fun and I am so looking forward to the next book in this series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Realms. 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: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
This novel is pure Christian romance. You'll not find any unexpected twists or turns. You'll not learn something new about a place, event or career (something I appreciate in novels). Nor will you see intense character development.
When Cissy testifies against her abusive boyfriend, the people in her small Alabama town shun her. After all, he was their high school football star and the best mechanic in town. Her parents decide Cissy should go to New York, to live with and work in her uncle's sewing notions company. Soon after she arrives in the big city, she meets Tom, the owner of her uncle's competition. The rest of the story is the makings of a typical romance novel.
Cissy is sort of the typical southern belle. She is not a strong, "I can do it" kind of fictional character. She is a nervous talker and frequently says more than is appropriate for the situation. And, though she does have a college degree in the business area, she seems out of her element working for her uncle. She does befriend another southerner who helps her navigate unfamiliar northern ways, giving her some independence.
There is a great Christian element to this romance. Both Cissy and Tom are strong Christians. The one area of character development included in the story is that of Tom, finding that he has failed to cause his deep Christian faith to permeate his business practices.
If you like a simple Christian romance, this is the novel for you. If you like a more complex novel with intense character development, one that informs you on a new topic, or one that includes lots of twists and turns, you'll have to look elsewhere.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.