Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Review of "Secretly Smitten" by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, and Diann Hunt

Rating: 3 Stars
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Review:  Secretly Smitten is the light-hearted follow-up compilation of short stories to Smitten, and it re-invites readers into the quaint small town life of Smitten, Vermont.   The discovery of new or lost love is the focus of each of the stories; and in these four feel-good novellas, the conflict is resolved rather quickly and easily.  These are stories to be read when you want a happily ever-after escape.  

I have to admit that I found the plots and characterization of the first three stories to be less developed than I   expected.  The mystery of grandma Rose's long-lost love adds depth to the overall story; but as a reader, I felt a detachment to the characters and their emotions at times. Secretly Smitten does conclude on a strong note with Denise Hunter's  final  novella about Clare.  Denise Hunter proves that novellas can be written so that the characters are developed and well-rounded.  As a reader, I felt sympathetic to Clare's feelings and struggles.  Denise Hunter was not only able to pull me into Clare's world, but she also provided a  satisfying resolution to grandma Rose's past as well.

Overall, Secretly Smitten is a light and fluffy read; so if you are ever looking for a brief escape from reality, it just might be the right fit for you.

I received a complimentary e-copy of this novel from BookSneeze, courtesy of Thomas Nelson.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above 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.”

Summary from Thomas Nelson:  Summer, fall, winter, spring—Smitten, Vermont, is the place for love . . . and mystery!
There’s a secret in Grandma Rose’s attic—a forgotten set of dog tags belonging to her first love. But David Hutchins was killed in action and never returned to Smitten. How did the dog tags end up in the attic?
The mystery intrigues Rose’s three granddaughters—Tess, Clare, and Zoe—and they decide to investigate, though their mother, Anna, warns against meddling. But as the seasons turn and the mystery unravels, the three young women and their mother encounter some intriguing mystery men of their own. Has a sixty-year-old puzzle sparked something new for this close-knit family of women?
Join popular romance novelists—and real-life BFFs—Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter for four delightful intertwined tales of mystery and sweet intrigue.

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