Monthly Archives: February 2013

Secretly Smitten Love Changes Everything by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter Publisher: Thomas Nelson ISBN: 978-1-4016-87137

Secretly Smitten Love Changes Everything by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter, is the second book in the Smitten series. Each author wrote a novella that provides a look into the lives of the Thomas women.
Smitten is a logging town in Vermont that is trying to reinvent itself as a tourist attraction. The Thomas women are long time residents and have strong ties to the community.
The first story, Love Between the Lines, opens with the family at a bridal shower. A child playing in the attic makes an interesting find. The discovery of dog tags that belonged to a David Hutchins leads to a shocking discovery. He had been the fiancé of Grandma Rose. It was thought he died in the Korean conflict and that his body was never recovered. How did the tags turn up in her attic? Tess, her granddaughter, decides to solve the mystery. Along the way Tess is forced to face her insecurities and, as a result, she finds love of her own.
Zoe, Tess’s sister, is the protagonist of the second story, Match. She doesn’t heed the family wishes for her to attend college. Instead she opens a matchmaking service in a building with wiring issues. The new City Manager, William Singer, tries to tell her there are code violations, but she decides to go ahead with an opening party that ends unexpectedly and with surprising results. In Knit One, Love Two we meet Anna Thomas who is the mother of the Thomas girls. She doesn’t think it’s a good idea to uncover the mystery of the dog tags-some things are better left alone. However, Anna has her own story. Ten years ago her husband left her for another woman. She established a new life, but a new man in town creates conflict for her. She, too, comes face to face with her fears. The fourth story, Love Blooms, is about Anna’s daughter, Clare- a talented and independent woman who thrives on routine. Like her sisters, she had not yet found love. Without warning, a mysterious man appears from out of nowhere. And, just like her sisters and her mother, she discovers that love can happen when least expected.
This book is delightful and easy to read. The characters are approachable, charismatic and easy to relate to. Even though there are four different authors, the book is seamless and the end result is impressive.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Missing Persons by Jack Erickson

Missing Persons, by Jack Erickson, is a short story. It is both a love story and a tale of mystery. The story opens with a retired man, T. Jefferson Winslow, digging a hole on his property in order to plant fruit trees. He uncovers a box that contains letters written fifty years ago to a previous married owner of the property, Harriet Summers. The letters are from her lover, Arthur Parker
Mr.Winslow decides to learn more about both Harriet and Arthur. His research reveals that both went missing within two weeks of each other in 1948. Presumably, Harriet drowned. Arthur simply disappeared. Neither body was ever found. The contents of the letters that Arthur penned to Harriet clearly show his love for her. It became obvious that while Harriet’s husband was in the military she spent time with Arthur. Mr. Winslow had his suspicions about what really happened to Harriet and Arthur and this led him to finally uncovering the truth. Now he is faced with a dilemma- what does he do with his newly found knowledge?
This is well crafted story with depth. The suspense is well layered and held my attention to the end of the story. I wasn’t sure how the author would end the story and for me, this is the mark of a good mystery. I recommend reading this book.
I received this book at no charge from ReviewTheBook.com and I give this review of my own free will.

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The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas The Overlook Press ISBN 978-1-4683-022-2

The Kashmir Shawl, written by Rosie Thomas, opens with Mair Ellis and her siblings going through their deceased father’s home in present day North Wales. The discovery of an exquisite Indian made shawl and an envelope containing a lock of hair ignites Mair’s curiosity to uncover their history. How had they become part of her father’s possessions? Nerys Watkins, Mair’s grandmother, died before Mair was born. Nerys and her husband, Evan, had served as missionaries in India in the 1940’s and Mair travels to India to learn what she can about their time there and, hopefully, the history of the shawl and the lock of hair.
The story is told both in the present and the past, gracefully alternating between the voices of Mair and Nerys. While Mair tries to reconstruct Nerys’s time in Srinigar the author gives the reader the treat of reading Nerys’s accounting of her life. Even though Mair and Nerys share commonalities, they remain two distinctly different personalities. Each grapples with their own issues. I felt that the more Mair learned about Nerys, the more she began to understand herself.
I found this to be a story worth telling. The author skillfully interweaves many different stories all the while captivating the reader. Life is given to a diverse group of interesting characters. History, mystery, great loves and losses as well as a carefully constructed story are the characteristics of this novel. I find myself hoping for a sequel. This is a memorable book and I recommend reading it.
I received this book free of charge from Author Marketing Experts, Inc. and the opinions expressed are my own.

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