Other objectionable: Mention of an affair, kissing, flirting, mention of using illegal drugs, an abusive father, and a mother leaves her kid.
Suitable for: Well, it's adult fiction, so I'd say adults and highschoolers would enjoy it.
Pros: I loved the mystery combined with the romance. It made it interesting, more than your average "boy meets girl, boy dates girl, boy proposes to girl, boy marries girl" type of fluffy romance. The mystery surrounding the house provided a little bit of purpose to the story. Owen & Brooke are great characters coming from similar backgrounds (one divorced, one widowed) but I think that Brooke's healing process was more developed than Owen's because she leaned heavily on her faith. Owen basically gave up on God. The extra characters also enhanced the book by providing backstory and a little side action other than the main plot.
Cons: I do hate how the house was bought by Owen just to spite his ex-wife since Smithville is her ideal hometown. That's a slap in the face to her. I wish the house had been bought with no ulterior motives, but would that be too surreal to be true?? I don't know. That's the only thing I can think of.
I knew Beth had to be a great writer -- Amish just isn't my go to genre -- but I loved this contemporary romance! The House that Love Built is a story of hope and forgiveness. Set in the town from the movie Hope Floats, it tells the story of a single mother of two who begins to fall for a newly divorced man who buys a huge mansion in town to spite his ex-wife. Because Brooke runs the local hardware store and Owne doens't have a clue about home repairs, they end up spending lots of time together. This was a sweet story with a wonderful cast of secondary characters who support and enhance the storyline. The romance was heart-stoppingly perfect. Beth has a new fan in me!
Beth Wiseman did a great job with this contemporary romance set in the small Texas town of Smithville, the town where the movie Hope Floats was filmed years ago. There are many characters in this book and quite a few different story lines going on, however, the different issues and mysteries are brought together in a satisfying conclusion at the end of the book.
Central to the story are the main characters, Brooke and Owen. Brooke is a widowed mother to two children. Owen has recently had his heart broken by an unfaithful wife and has gone through a divorce. Both characters are sure in the beginning of the story that they are not ready to move on and start new relationships. In fact, both question whether they could ever be ready to love someone again. Owen is also dealing with major trust issues in regards to love and women.
As the story progresses, attraction builds, along with humorous situations and quite a few serious situations that must be dealt with. I really enjoyed this story and some of the surprising twists that Beth Wiseman wrote into it. I would highly recommend it to fans of Christian romantic fiction. I received a copy of The House that Love Built from Harper Collins Christian Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Two years later, Brooke Holloway is still grieving the death of her beloved husband. Both God and her children have kept her from sinking into despair. Freshly divorced, Owen is bitter and has ruled God out of his life. When he makes a decision to buy a huge fixer- uper with rich history both paths cross. As they both struggle with grief and bitterness, they find themselves closer to God, healing and second time love.
I highly esteem Beth for her creative writing talent. This is her second contemporary novel and I have enjoyed both this one and the first. She dealt with big topics, forgiveness, bitterness, grief, and wrote a beautiful tale of redemption and love. I loved the second stories that she includes as well. They add a fresh perspective towards the topics already included.
The characters were very well developed. I got to know each of the many characters at a 'personal' level. The book had all that you would want in a story: romance, rich history, mystery, conflict, bad guy turn good guy, the Bible, and a good ending.
I received a complimentary copy from BookSneeze in exchange for my independent and unbiased review.
Brooke Holloway would like give in to the desire to stay in bed and grieve the loss of husband but she has two active children and a business to run. Her mother helped for a while but she had become to dependent on her now it was time to face life head on. Her daily routine keeps her focused on her job but memories of her deceased husband still occupy most of her thoughts. Just like now when her thoughts were interrupted by Owen Saunders the new man in town. He recently bought one of the biggest old mansions in town that was in need of much repair and since she owned a hardware store he would become a frequent customer. Her coworker keeps pushing her to find a new man even though she keeps telling her and everyone else that she is in no hurry to start a relationship. But brother if she were looking, which she isn't, this handsome guy would fit the bill.
Owen Saunders admits to himself he may have, as the saying goes, "cut off his nose to spite his face", by purchasing a huge old house that is turning into a money pit. This is the house his cheating ex wife had dreamed of owning, so he bought the house just to rub into her face. He was determine to finish the house as close to the original as possible. He must admit he will probably never get it to original since he knows nothing about renovating anything. So here he is renovating this old house when his is heart probably in worse condition than this old house. He has had to make many trips to the hardware store owned by a very attractive lady. The more they see each other it is apparent they are building a friendship but they both made it clear they were looking for nothing more. God tends to have a say in what is planned for our life's plan. Maybe He wants them to start anew letting go of the bitterness and pain from their past and to trust in love.
The author adds many other interesting characters to the mix like two precious children, two grandmothers, a missing grandfather, a rebellious teen, a couple of crack head parents, a stray cat and well intended friends.
I found this an endearing story of love lost, bitterness, revenge, trust issues, tribulations and reconciliation. In the author's writing I could see God's plan in restoring the lives of His children. The author also writes about how the characters let anger, abandonment and fear eat away at their lives until they slowly and sometime quickly turning from God yet proves He never turned from them.
In one part of the book Owen advises Brooke on the importance of forgiveness and she points out," Isn't that kind of like the pot calling the kettle black". It is like seeing the err of our ways through another person's eyes or better yet by reading a great book like this one.
I highly recommend this book. It would be a great book for a book club and/or reading group. There are some very enlightening discussion questions at the back of the book.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson/Litfuse Publicity Group for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. This review is my honest opinion.