Striving to create a home strong in the foundations of love, respect, and God's truths ...

Monday, January 21, 2013

"Secretly Smitten"

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?

Summer, fall, winter, spring-Smitten, Vermont, is the place for love . . . and mystery!

I loved the first Smitten book, but this one is much, much better!  The common theme in each of the stories - besides love, of course - is a history-mystery-romance, brought into the modern day and just begging to be solved.  There's nothing I like better than when characters stumble upon a long-lost love and have to decide how - and if - they should investigate.

Written by four authors who just happen to be best friends, these stories are woven seamlessly to create one large book, spanning a year in the life of Smitten residents.  The way that each story began in the one prior and then continued on throughout the others really made this book feel like one large novel.  That's probably my next favorite thing about it.

When a book is really well written, you fall in love with the characters.  You're not ready to say goodbye to them when you turn that last page, and no matter how long the book is, it's just not enough.  The genius of the Smitten series is that you don't have to.  Because each story is set in the same town among the same cast of characters, you continue to learn about the previous story's main character and how their lives are progressing all while meeting new ones.  The same may be said of some book series, but with Smitten you don't have to wait around for the next book to be published - you have it in your hand!  If you find yourself wanting to share a recipe or invite a certain character over for dinner like I do, this is a major advantage - and you'll want to befriend the women in this book.

While the stories are romantically dramatic, you won't need your tissue box to read this book, but you will need your funny bone.  I appreciated the drama and the sweet notes written into the plot, but even more than that, there are real life lessons inherent in this book: things that all women struggle with at one time or another.  Are we worthy of love?  How do you forgive a major hurt?  I'm working for a good cause - and so the rules don't apply to me, right?

I can't wait to meet the next cast of Smitten characters.

To buy Secretly Smitten right now, click here, or you can read more reviews from this blog hop here.

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, Hunthere.

I received a free copy of Secretly Smitten from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

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