Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Smitten Book Club by Coble, Billerbeck, Hunt & Hunter (Blog Tour & Review)

Smitten Book Club
by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, & Denise Hunter 
Smitten series, Book 3
Christian Fiction / Contemporary / Romance
Available January 2014
Thomas Nelson
384 pages



About the Book
The century-old Gentlewoman’s Guide to Love and Courtship is no ordinary book club choice. But for the little book club in Smitten, Vermont, it might be their best pick yet!

The thick, leathery tome Heather pulled out of the dusty cardboard box was definitely coming home with her. Not only was The Gentlewoman’s Guide to Love and Courtship an appealing curiosity by virtue of its title; it was also written by Smitten, Vermont native Pearl Chambers, a local gentlewoman from three generations back.

Little did Heather know the repercussions this little curiosity would have on her and her friends’ romantic exploits.

When Heather and her fellow book club members begin passing the book around, their respective interpretations are unleashed on their respective love lives . . . for better or for worse. Is it a mystery? An idealist fantasy? An intimation of Jane Austen? As romantic love finds its way to each woman, the Guide proves itself both surprisingly prescient and hilariously irrelevant.

What’s more, a handwritten inscription indicates that the arcane book might hold the only extant clues leading to buried gold—exactly what one of the members needs to keep her house. How could they not go treasure hunting?

In this remarkable collaborative novel, besties Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, and Diann Hunt tackle the tale of the Gentlewoman’s Guide by writing for one book club member apiece. Smitten Book Club is a hopeful, hilarious story of friendship and healing, written by friends for friends.

Buy a copy  |  Read an excerpt  |  Find out what others think

My Thoughts
Love by the Book by Colleen Coble
This novella starts the book off well. The town rallies around Molly in her time of need, and I'm interested to see how that story continues to play out later. Heather is a sweetheart of a character, and I loved how giving she was. When Paul comes on the scene, I could see where this story was going, but I enjoyed the journey, quick as it was. Great start to the collection! [4 stars]

Shelved Under Romance by Kristen Billerbeck
Oh, Kristin Billerbeck! I love how her characters are so stereotypical. It definitely adds a bit of humor to the story. :) Abby is the quintessential nerdy, boring librarian who seriously needs a social life. Her friends are so sweet to encourage her to try new things, and Wyatt definitely breaks her out of her comfort zone! The ending is pretty rushed, but I enjoyed Wyatt and Abby's friendship as they learn to look past the obvious to see the true character of the person inside. [3.5 stars]

A New Chapter by Diann Hunt
This novella has so many elements that I love in a story—childhood friends reuniting, kids playing a main role in the story, forgiveness as a major theme! Sigh. As Lia and Joey reconnect, I enjoyed getting to know them and see how their relationship grew out of their friendship as kids. While this was a short story at around 80 pages, it didn't feel short, and I think it has a lot to do with the fact they already knew one another. I also adored Lia's mom and Joey's daughter! Sweet story all the way around. It's hard to choose, but I think this one might be my favorite story in the collection. :) [5 stars]

Happily Ever After by Denise Hunter
After reading a bit about Molly in the previous novellas, I was pleased to finally read her story. I had such empathy for her as she faced one struggle after another. And I loved Gage—a true hero! The final story in this collection is the longest and has the feel of a complete book, though I would have been happy to read about Molly and Gage for much longer than the 120 pages that Denise gave me! [5 stars]

Overall
I've thoroughly enjoyed the previous books in the Smitten series, and Smitten Book Club was no exception! All four authors did a great job including the main characters from the other novellas, and it was fun to continue reading about their stories throughout the other stories. The idea of a book possibly giving clues to a hidden treasure was fun, and I loved the hint of mystery woven throughout the book. With four talented authors contributing to this book, I don't see how anyone could be disappointed! Highly recommended! [4.5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Authors
RITA-finalist Colleen Coble is the author of several best-selling romantic suspense novels, including Tidewater Inn, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series.

Colleen Coble Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Christy Award finalist and two-time winner of the ACFW Book of the Year award, Kristin Billerbeck has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times. Her books include A Billion Reasons Why and What a Girl Wants.

Kristin Billerbeck Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Denise Hunter is the award-winning and best-selling author of several novels, including A Cowboy's Touch and Sweetwater Gap. She and her husband are raising three boys in Indiana. 

Denise Hunter Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Diann Hunt was a writer of romantic comedy and humorous women’s fiction. She lost her courageous battle with cancer last fall. A Hallmark Channel adaptation of her novel For Better or For Worse will air fall 2014. Learn more about Diann's books on her website.

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