Thursday, February 6, 2014

Smitten Book Club - Book Review & Tour

Smitten Book Club
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.

Purchase a copy:

Meet the authors: 

Colleen Coble, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter, Kristen Billerbeck

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. Diann lost her courageous battle with cancer in December 2013.

Follow the Tour!

My Thoughts:
What happens when four of the best novelists out there get together and write an anthology? A wonderful, full-length novel you're sure to enjoy for years to come emerges. 
Each author, writing in her own style and voice, writes life into each distinctly different character and shows the reader her respective talent. This is the way I prefer to be introduced to a new-to-me author. I've read books by Colleen Coble and Denise Hunter, so I knew I'd like this novel. Throw in new to me authors Kristen Billerbeck and Diann Hunt and wild horses couldn't have stopped me from grabbing a copy.

Love by the Book - Single mom Heather, written by Colleen Coble, is beautiful, bright, and loving, but she has past regrets she wishes she could erase from her memory. Not the least of which involves handsome Paul. Will she allow her past mistakes ruin something that perhaps was meant to be after all? Or is she doomed to live a life of a single mom raising a son?

Shelved Under Romance - Librarian Abby, written by Kristen Billerbeck, is shy, timid, and definitely NOT the adventurous type. But good-looking Wyatt wants to prove that she's more than she thinks she is and he's willing to take every single trick he's got to show her how special she truly is.

A New Chapter - Elliana's story touched my heart. When the man she's loved since childhood comes back to Smitten, she realizes that he may never grow to love her in return. How true to life is that?! Come on, remember that first crush you had? Just think, what would happen if he suddenly returned and wanted to regain that friendship? Would it be easy for you, or would you have reservations about losing your heart all over again with the possibility that things would never come of it? Yeah. Me too. 

The best for last. In Happily Ever After, written by Denise Hunter, we are introduced to spunky, plucky Molly who is recovering from the loss of her husband Curtis. Juggling being a single mother and trying to get Curtis's dream business up and running, she runs into problem after problem. And one of those problems is the handsome and charming Gage Turner who just happens to be her competition - and Curtis's old nemesis. Will she be able to get over the past or will she hold the grudge without knowing the reason why? Will she be able to make a go of the business, or is she doomed to fail?

Meet Heather, Abby, Lia, and Molly. Four women, each with her own set of problems, trials, and triumphs, will show that life goes on. That they may have been knocked down, but they're not out for the count. After mistakes have been made, after regrets have been vanquished and pasts forgiven, these women show that courage doesn't mean you have to do everything on your own. That God gives us friendships - a truly special gift. Sharing their grit and determination to be what God wants them to be, these four embrace their destinies and encourage each other along on their own respective walks. Everyone needs friends like these. This book will not only touch your heart, but it will encourage you to be a better friend and to look past your own hardships and reach out to someone else.


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