My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was a bit outside of my normal genre that I usually pick up but the cover is so interesting that I chose to give it a chance. Secretly Smitten is a collection of four novellas written by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter. I was not familiar with any of these authors and honestly, I had no idea that this was considered book two. That doesn’t seem to matter. I was able to read and follow the story without any trouble. I thought this book was okay. It didn’t really jump off the page at me and pull me in but it wasn’t awful. I think it was just outside of a genre I really enjoy. It was romance—JUST romance. No other theme. With it being Christian fiction I was actually a little let down that there wasn’t more of a Christian theme. I never really saw the characters praying or the life lessons that I enjoy from Christian fiction. Overall though—not bad. I’m not sure I would read another part but it wasn’t terrible. It simply wasn’t my style, I think.
Love Between the Lines was the first story in this collection. It was written by Colleen Coble and follows the story of Tess Thomas as she tries to solve a mystery involving her Grandmother’s first love who was supposed to have died during war time sixty years ago. Her questions lead her to the attic of a young widower named Ryan. As time is spent with Ryan and his young daughter, Tess begins to open herself up to the possibility of love.
Then we move on to Make Me a Match by Kristin Billerbeck. The second story in this novella collection follows Zoe Thomas as she opens a matchmaking service for the Smitten community. She is determined to find love for everyone else while she is happy being single. That is—until William Singer makes his appearance in town. Zoe may find out that she is in need of love as well!
Story number three is called Knit One. Love Two by Diann Hunt. In this story we meet Anna, the mother of the Thomas girls. Anna’s husband up and left her for another woman and has nothing at all to do with his daughters. Of course, Anna’s heart is still mending and she is not looking for love when she meets Michael Conners. With her faith and trust shaken—Anna must learn to open her heart if she wishes to find love again.
Concluding this book is Love Blooms by Denise Hunter. I thought Clare Thomas’ story was the most interesting. Her prospective love interest was by far the most interesting and appealing sounding. He had a back story and a bit of angst that appeals to me in a character. I also felt that the spiritual overtone was most prevalent in this last story and I actually enjoy that. Said prospect, Ethan is rugged and interesting. I actually looked forward to the conclusion of their story. We also have the added bonus of an additional side romance. Although, I will say that I find it rather a stretch to believe that six women from the same family would all find love so close together.
Again, I don’t think this was a bad book or that someone else wouldn’t enjoy it. I think it just didn’t click with me the way that I had hoped. I think if you’re into romance and you would like a light happy-go-lucky story with very little drama or anguish then this is the type of book for you!
The “gals” are celebrating with a fun Live Webcast on February 5th. They’ll be debuting the *NEW* animated Smitten trailer, giving away tons of prizes, dishing on the book and their friendship. They’ll also be wrapping up the Secretly Smitten blog tour, answering audience questions and testing your trivia skills. Don’t miss the fun and bring your friends. Click here to RSVP and set up a reminder.
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. * 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.” * 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. * Diann Hunt has lived in Indiana forever, been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, her dog, and, well, chocolate.
Find out more about Coble, Billerbeck, Hunter, Hunt here.
I received this book free from the publisher through a fantastic program called Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts and opinions I have expressed are my own.