Friday, December 2, 2011

Come Visit Smitten

Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter
(Thomas Nelson)
ISBN: 978-1401684945
December 2011/432 pages/$15.99

Four friends devise a plan to turn Smitten, Vermont, into the country's premier romantic getaway--and each finds her own true love along the way.

With Smitten Lumber Mill closing, residents wonder if their town can stay afloat. Then four friends and local business owners--Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese--decide the town is worth saving. How will they do it? They'll turn Smitten into a honeymoon destination!

As Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese work to save the town, each discovers romance in her own life. Meanwhile, the faith of a little child reminds the whole town what it means to have real faith in the God who is the always and forever Love.

Discover a novel written by four of Christian fiction's most popular romance novelists--friends in real life who've drawn an amazing story of four friends! Includes a Reading Group Guide as well as "Conversation over Coffee with the Authors".


You can tell by the picture that these gals are great friends! This is a picture from their Girls Write Out blog, which Cheryl Hodde (who writes as Hannah Alexander, whose latest book I reviewed yesterday) recently joined.

Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit Colleen's website.

Kristin Billerbeck is the bestselling, award-winning author of several novels, including What a Girl Wants. A Christy Award finalist and two-time winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award, Billerbeck has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times. She is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit, where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head. She lives with her family in northern California. Learn more at Kristin's website.

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate. Get to know Diann at her website.

Denise Hunter is the best-selling author of many novels, including The Convenient Groom and Driftwood Lane. She lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too! Visit Denise's website.


I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which is really four novellas in one. It's always fun when authors collaborate on a series, with each author focusing on a different character and weaving the stories together. The challenge comes in ensuring continuity and in making the stories blend seamlessly enough so that the differences in the writing styles don't distract from the stories, as well as ensuring continuity. Because the authors are such close friends and communicated constantly, they were extremely successful in both aspects. I have met only Colleen Coble personally, but I understand that each of the characters reflect their own personalities to a certain extent, which just added to the enjoyment. Smitten was a complete delight to read and made me want to visit! I loved how Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese were portrayed as competent women, yet they were still vulnerable to the inner insecurities common to so many women: trying to overcome past hurts, forgiving others, longing for love, doing their best to trust God, and learning when they need to step out in faith. And although I was sorry to end my stay in Smitten, an extra treat awaited at the end of the book: a conversation between the four authors about their experiences writing it! I felt as if I were sitting at a coffee shop with them. I definitely urge you to grab a copy of this book. You'll be. . .well, Smitten!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson/BookSneeze as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed 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.”


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1 comment:

Cathy said...

I just got the e-version of this yesterday to review. I can't wait to read it. I have to finish what I'm reading first though and it's really good too.

Thanks for the review.