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Book Review: Smitten Book Club by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter

Posted by Julie on February 18, 2014 in Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

519fdbtKEPL._AA160_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.

 

I absolutely adored the premise behind the Smitten Book Club. An old book find full of sage advice from a local woman three generations ago finds its way through Smitten. There is the mystery of buried gold and whether Chambers hid clues to the treasure within the pages of her Gentlewoman’s Guide. There’s the fun of watching romance unfold throughout Smitten thanks to the book.

I thought each story was seamless and as cozy as a Vermont drive. The romances were natural, as were the book club members and their friendships and struggles. The mystery was a fun touch, too.

The hard part for me was reading Diann’s story. I took twice as long because I kept thinking of her and her family as I read, knowing she received her eternal homegoing two months ago. I read so much from the others knowing no matter what Diann was facing or feeling, she met her deadlines. I savored her story knowing how hard she worked to deliver a story readers would love. How hard this must be for Colleen, Denise, and Kristen to promote without their friend.

Diann’s wish is realized. Smitten Book Club is a story readers will love. It’s a smart story that effortlessly weaves friendship, romance, humor, and mystery.

About the authors:

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.

smitten

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.

To purchase Smitten Book Club, click here.

I received a copy of Smitten Book Club from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Sabbath Sunday: Because of Him, Toward Him, With Him

3cb753cead3011e293fe22000a1fcb64_7

…so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 1 Corinthians 2:5, NIV

Each Sunday I try to post my own nature’ish picture along with a thought or two of God’s love for you.

Given this is a college scene I captured earlier this spring in Burlington, VT, and it’s grad season, I thought this might encourage someone.

My college diploma is a nice piece of paper that opened doors for a job I had for a decade.

God’s power blew down doors to a marriage going on 17 years, 2 kids doctors warned me I couldn’t have, a writing and speaking ministry that I don’t take for granted.

Take that step of faith because of Him, with Him, toward Him.

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Sabbath Sunday: Because of Him, with Him, Toward Him

3cb753cead3011e293fe22000a1fcb64_7

…so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 1 Corinthians 2:5, NIV

Each Sunday I try to post my own nature’ish picture along with a thought or two of God’s love for you.

Given this is a college scene I captured earlier this spring in Burlington, VT, and it’s grad season, I thought this might encourage someone.

My college diploma is a nice piece of paper that opened doors for a job I had for a decade.

God’s power blew down doors to a marriage going on 17 years, 2 kids doctors warned me I couldn’t have, a writing and speaking ministry that I don’t take for granted.

Take that step of faith because of Him, with Him, toward Him.

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Sabbath Sunday: Because of Him, with Him, Toward Him

3cb753cead3011e293fe22000a1fcb64_7

…so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 1 Corinthians 2:5, NIV

Each Sunday I try to post my own nature’ish picture along with a thought or two of God’s love for you.

Given this is a college scene I captured earlier this spring in Burlington, VT, and it’s grad season, I thought this might encourage someone.

My college diploma is a nice piece of paper that opened doors for a job I had for a decade.

God’s power blew down doors to a marriage going on 17 years, 2 kids doctors warned me I couldn’t have, a writing and speaking ministry that I don’t take for granted.

Take that step of faith because of Him, with Him, toward Him.

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0

Sabbath Sunday: Because of Him, with Him, Toward Him

3cb753cead3011e293fe22000a1fcb64_7

…so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 1 Corinthians 2:5, NIV

Each Sunday I try to post my own nature’ish picture along with a thought or two of God’s love for you.

Given this is a college scene I captured earlier this spring in Burlington, VT, and it’s grad season, I thought this might encourage someone.

My college diploma is a nice piece of paper that opened doors for a job I had for a decade.

God’s power blew down doors to a marriage going on 17 years, 2 kids doctors warned me I couldn’t have, a writing and speaking ministry that I don’t take for granted.

Take that step of faith because of Him, with Him, toward Him.

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Sabbath Sunday: Ever-Present

Posted by Julie on May 26, 2013 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Nature, photography, Sabbath Sunday |

5dc44a3cad2f11e2b6fe22000a9f12db_7God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

-Psalm 46, NIV

My amateur nature picture of the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain, Burlington, Vermont.

Trust Him today. He truly is ever-present.



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