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Secretly Smitten



Title:  Secretly Smitten, Love changes Everything
Author:  Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt & Denise Hunter
Pages:  400
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
                Secretly Smitten is truly brilliantly written by four separate authors and set in Smitten, Vermont.  The main characters all come from the same family.  Now, before you think this will be boring or that the ending easily guessed, there are surprises within each story.  One great benefit of this novel is that the endings aren’t really endings at all, but beginnings.  Each woman in the family is not necessarily looking for love, but a few are.  A couple of the women have been hurt in the past and therefore are afraid to risk loving again.  A few have remained single all their lives and are quite content to stay so.   Not all the females in this family are the same age or come from the same generation, but they are very close to each other.
The matriarch of the family is Anna’s mother, Rose, who was married at one time and is now widowed.  A trinket found in an attic at a relative’s house becomes a mystery as to how they got there and why Rose was so affected when the name on the trinket was said aloud.  Anna is the mother of grown children; her husband left her years back and never returned.  Now a man has come to town to care for his dying mother, and with one trip to her store begins an adventure for the both of them.
Zoe, Clare and Tess are sisters; their personalities and gifts are very different.  However, their attitude and openness to love another and to be loved is unparalleled.  Each works hard at what they love and share each Sunday dinner after church in a potluck meal.  Due to these three girls investigating and prodding the mystery behind the name of the trinket, fear, doubt and a secret out in the open that has been hidden for decades result.
Smitten is working hard to lure the railroad to make a stop in their town as a tourist attraction.  When all hope seems lost because the railroad company chooses a different town, the resilient community continues to bask in its close knit community.  At the two-hundredth anniversary celebration, mysteries are solved as well as hearts and lives are changed.
The titles for the four stories are:  Love Between the Line; Make Me a Match; Knit One, Love Two and ending with Love Blooms.  If you’re not a romance novel reader, don’t be so quick to ignore this book.  While romances sometimes can be written in a way that turns readers away, this one will only snag the heart of the reader and not let go till the last page.  It was very enjoyable and exciting to see each of the stories come about and the way the authors placed them.  The theme of love above all isn’t so much the love of a mate in these stories, but God’s love.  Read it, get lost in the adventures and pull it off the shelf for a heart-lifter anytime you need one.
My rating is 5+ stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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