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Smitten Book Club (Anthology 4-in-1) by…
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Smitten Book Club
Colleen Coble, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter, & Kristen Billerbeck

Book Summary: At a rummage sale, Heather, a member of the Fireside Book Club, discovers a turn-of-the-century romantic advice book written by a once-famous Smitten, Vermont, resident. When she shares the precious volume with her friends in the club, they find clues about a hidden treasure rumored to be buried in their tiny town. As Heather, Abby, Lia, and Molly take turns reading the book, each projects onto it her own literary tastes. Heather sees it as a mystery. Abby discovers delicious dashes of Jane Austen. Lia sees in it the idealism of a bygone day. And Molly just wishes they'd made the book into a movie! One by one, each of the women finds romantic love—often in spite of the historic book's advice. And in searching for the legendary gold, the friends discover the best kind of treasure. The kind that brings hope and healing to each of their hearts.

Review: I liked the overall theme that the stories kept of the Treasure hunt through the book historic book of advice. It was fun to watch this time into the stories. I liked most of the characters but did not enjoy Molly’s story as much. I felt sorry for her the book opened with the death of her husband. But for me I could not connect with Molly as easily as I did Lia, Heather and even Abby. I like the male characters in all the stories. I think the changing seasons lent itself to the moving of time that led into Molly’s story. I liked Heather’s story the best overall. Usually if I like the first story I tend to enjoy all of them. Despite not connecting with Molly, I did find her spunk to be a plus by her learning to run the company. I think the most moving part for me is that Diann Hunt is now with the Lord and this is her last story. It is bitter sweet for her friends and family left behind. All that being said the book was worth the read and continues in the periphery the characters that have gone before always a real plus when reading a series style book.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone. ( )
  Robin661 | Jun 11, 2014 |
Smitten Book Club By Coleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diman Heart and Denise Hunter
Anthology, 4 stores based on the same theme from 4 different authors. Community helping one another..
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Love By The Book by Colleen Coble
Town of Smitten as in prior books in this saga. The Gentleman's Guide to Love and Courtship, this book is the basis of this anthology.
Molly has lost her fireman husband, Curtis in a fire and the others try to raise money to help her. The book club sells books and Heather finds an old book guiding one how to attract the opposite looks appealing and a letter drops out that promises clues to the gold mine are in the book. Paul comes to aid to help in the book sale.
Advice is given at the beginning of each chapter and discussed during the chapter as the women go through Pearl's old photo albums to find more clues to the mine. Paul has returned and he's working on an organic farm project and Heather can help him-she's not gotten over him since they split. Lots of secrets.
Although there are other books that build the characters and town, you can get a good idea from the current events in this book. Authors don't leave you in the dark about the past.
Heather is afraid that she still cares for Paul but then she sees him kissing Isabella....
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Shelved Under Romance by Kristin Billerback
This story in the continuing saga is mostly about Abby, librarian, another book club member. Wyatt really likes books also and has volunteered his time to catalog the whole library into digital format, keeping paper trail.
The saga continues about the gold mine and the others in the club intervene to take Abby out to update her...
Heather has given the book to Abby and she's able to uncover a few more clues... Love how Wyatt's mixng up business with pleasure...liked hearing of how his app can help others who are medically challenged.
He also has a letter from her father and she's agreed to use the tickets... Loved hearing of this adventure! Sad misconceptions about the letter occur-you're so sure they will find one another..
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A New Chapter by Diann Hunt
This one is about Lia and on Thanksgiving Day she bites into a walnut shell and cracks a tooth. Her mother and others talk her into getting it fixed that day as the dentist owes them a favor. Joey is the dentist when she arrives and they agree to have a coffee after...
They meet for coffee later and catch up with one another. He's lost his wife and has a child and is living at his relatives house til his house can be built. Lia's mother talks him into renting Lia's apartment upstairs and that way she can watch the child when needed.
Lia is also given the book from Abby in hopes they can find the gold for Molly. Lia is a school teacher.
Grace has a problem communicating with others since her mother died but Lia knows sign language. Joey wants to take Grace away for the holidays because he thinks it's too much of a reminder of her mother. Love hearing of Lia's mother and her knitting.
Reading her bible and the guide help her to see things in a new light and she tells Joey he needs to forgive the man who ran into his wife's car.
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Happily Ever After by Denise Hunter
This part of the book concentrates on Molly and her son Noah and she knows the business is failing. She does get an offer for help from a competitor and she learns to accept his help.
She needs to learn the business of giving tours from Gage Turner. Love all the talk of getting ready, right equipment, etc.
The girls give the book to her in hopes she can find more clues to solve the mystery of where the gold mine is, that could save her life.
God will get her through the hard times.
Won this book along with 9 other copies in a Facebook contest. I have read the other Smitten books and liked them. ( )
  jbarr5 | Apr 30, 2014 |
Smitten Book Club is a collection of four stories written by authors Colleen Coble, Kriston Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter. It is the third book in the Smitten book series. Smitten is a quaint little town in Vermont and the romance capitol of the world. The stories are about four young women in the book club. I loved the comradery of these four women. I loved how they were always there and always had an ear to listen when one of their friends had a problem. In the beginning of the book one of friends, Molly's husband has just died in the line of duty as a firefighter. Her friends organize a book sale to help defray the cost of the funeral. At the sale one of the girls finds the book "A Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship" written by Pearl Chambers who was a relative of Molly's late husband. The book gives advice to woman in the courting of men and offers clues as to a treasure that may or may not exist. Each of the four girls reads the book and gleans advice from the book. Each of the girls try to decipher clues as to where the treasure could possibly be.

My favorites were Heather's romance and Molly's romance. I had a hard time getting into the second one but it got better as the story went on. These romances follow the typical formula of a romance novel but I enjoyed it anyway. I really enjoyed the mystery of the treasure in the book and kept reading on because I wanted to know if the treasure was real.

My only gripe is that each of the stories were too short. Each of the stories would have done really well as a full length novel instead of being limited to 90 or so pages.

Thanks to Netgalley and the Thomas Nelson company for providing me an ebook of this book to read and review. ( )
  kaykwilts | Feb 16, 2014 |
I love visiting this town in Vermont, this is my third visit here, and hope for more.
Smitten is now known as the romance capitol, and we are about to embark on four romance adventures, of course, with the help of four writers. Love how they intertwine the stores, and page one seems to end at the end of the last novella.
We start with Abby, and end with Abby, but enjoy the stories of Heather, Molly and Elliana (Lia]. We are reading a side book through out....The Gentlewoman's Guide to Love & Courtship by Pearl Chambers, a long ago author from Smitten. We also, because of this side book, go on a hunt for gold.
I love how there is so much support of each other, and are there whenever there is a need. Whether it be a new dress, or holding one another at a time of grief, or directing another down the right path.
Don't miss this great book, and don't worry if you haven't read the other two, this one is complete by its self. Do yourself a favor and read the other two!

I received this book through Net Galley, and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review. ( )
  alekee | Feb 16, 2014 |
What happens when four of the best novelists out there get together and write an anthology? A wonderful, full-length novel you're sure to enjoy for years to come emerges.

Each author, writing in her own style and voice, writes life into each distinctly different character and shows the reader her respective talent. This is the way I prefer to be introduced to a new-to-me author. I've read books by Colleen Coble and Denise Hunter, so I knew I'd like this novel. Throw in new to me authors Kristen Billerbeck and Diann Hunt and wild horses couldn't have stopped me from grabbing a copy.

Love by the Book - Single mom Heather, written by Colleen Coble, is beautiful, bright, and loving, but she has past regrets she wishes she could erase from her memory. Not the least of which involves handsome Paul. Will she allow her past mistakes ruin something that perhaps was meant to be after all? Or is she doomed to live a life of a single mom raising a son?

Shelved Under Romance - Librarian Abby, written by Kristen Billerbeck, is shy, timid, and definitely NOT the adventurous type. But good-looking Wyatt wants to prove that she's more than she thinks she is and he's willing to take every single trick he's got to show her how special she truly is.

A New Chapter - Elliana's story touched my heart. When the man she's loved since childhood comes back to Smitten, she realizes that he may never grow to love her in return. How true to life is that?! Come on, remember that first crush you had? Just think, what would happen if he suddenly returned and wanted to regain that friendship? Would it be easy for you, or would you have reservations about losing your heart all over again with the possibility that things would never come of it? Yeah. Me too.

The best for last. In Happily Ever After, written by Denise Hunter, we are introduced to spunky, plucky Molly who is recovering from the loss of her husband Curtis. Juggling being a single mother and trying to get Curtis's dream business up and running, she runs into problem after problem. And one of those problems is the handsome and charming Gage Turner who just happens to be her competition - and Curtis's old nemesis. Will she be able to get over the past or will she hold the grudge without knowing the reason why? Will she be able to make a go of the business, or is she doomed to fail?

Meet Heather, Abby, Lia, and Molly. Four women, each with her own set of problems, trials, and triumphs, will show that life goes on. That they may have been knocked down, but they're not out for the count. After mistakes have been made, after regrets have been vanquished and pasts forgiven, these women show that courage doesn't mean you have to do everything on your own. That God gives us friendships - a truly special gift. Sharing their grit and determination to be what God wants them to be, these four embrace their destinies and encourage each other along on their own respective walks. Everyone needs friends like these. This book will not only touch your heart, but it will encourage you to be a better friend and to look past your own hardships and reach out to someone else. ( )
  AmandaWrites | Feb 6, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Colleen Cobleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Billerbeck, Kristinmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hunt, Diannmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hunter, Denisemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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This anthology contains 4 novellas:
Love by the book / by Colleen Coble

Shelved under romance
/ by Kristin Billerbeck

A New chapter
/ by Diann Hunt

Happily ever after
/ by Denise Hunter.
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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. 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.… (more)

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