There are some reviews that are just hard to write. Reviews for good books come easily, as I must admit, so do reviews for bad books. But the in-between/nothing-special-but-not-terrible books are perhaps the ones I find the most challenging to write. And Every Perfect Gift was one of those books. Technically, there wasn't anything wrong with it or the author's actual writing. But it had one deadly flaw for me: I found it boring. The story was very....generic. It seemed like every other Christian Romance out there. The heroine-struggling-to-succeed-in-a-man's-world, the hero-with-secretive-and-hurting-past is just a too-common occurrence in the genre to really be original. This could have been saved had the rest of the book been amazing, but the characters and the rest of the plot didn't capture my attention really any more than the book's main premise did. I had to make myself get through the first half of the book, and then it did get my attention and I hoped that I would enjoy the rest. But no, my interest tapered down not long after as the plot settled back into predictability. For that reason, I'm rating Every Perfect Gift a 5 on a scale of 10.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review
Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love is a historical novel set in 1886 Tennessee. Sophie Caldwell returns to the town she grew up in while living in an orphanage. Sophie is quite the writer and after working for a newspaper in Texas she decides to start one in Hickory Ridge in order to prove to herself and others that she is a capable woman. While reporting on a the new Blue Smoke resort in town she meets Ethan Heyward who she can't seem to get out of her mind. Sophie and Ethan both have clouded past that they have no desire to discuss or think about but seem to follow them everywhere they go. Will they learn to settle with the past before moving on with their future?
I discovered that Every Perfect Gift is the third and final book to the Hickory Ridge novels and that they are Dorothy Love's debut novels. I haven't read the first two books so I'm sure some of the characters in the book I didn't know as much as I could. You can definitely read this book alone from the first two books though. The cover is absolutely beautiful and one of the best I think I have ever seen, especially for a winter novel. I loved the concept of Sophie starting her own newspaper and following her around while she reported on stories. I enjoyed the characters and main plot to the story, although it is extremely predictable. The story is a little slow going but still an enjoyable read. I will be looking into the other two books to add to my reading list.
"I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishing through their Booksneeze program. This is my honest opinion of the book."
Sophie Caldwell has moved back to Hickory Ridge to follow her dreams about running a small town newspaper. It wouldn't have been her first choice - her childhood memories aren't good and she is hoping the townspeople have forgotten the rumors that followed her as a child. Ethan Heyward is an accomplished businessman and architect who is helping put Hickory Ridge on the map. He and his rich partner are building a lavish resort in the mountains above the town which will draw wealthy tourists from all over. But Ethan too is hiding a childhood secret. And although these two are attracted to each other immediately, there's a lot of baggage and prejudice in the way.
Dorothy Love has written an enjoyable story. The characters were well developed, with believable reactions to the joys and sorrows of their pasts and strength of character that enabled them to push on to a brighter future. The description of the social times was well crafted as well, displaying the contrasts of good people with the strong prejudices of the day. Many post-Civil War stories depict the pioneers who literally left the painful past behind. Every Perfect Gift stands out as a story about those who stayed, rebuilding both towns and their dreams.
I enjoyed this concluding book to the Hickory Ridge series. While I have read earlier books in the series, I would say that Every Perfect Gift also read well as a stand-alone story.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.