“Smitten Book Club” Colleen Coble, Kristen Billerbeck Diann Mills, and Denise Hunter

I love the double meaning in the name. The setting is Smitten, Vermont. To say each of the four women whose stories are told become smitten would be cliché, though accurate. Besides the thread of friendship tying these stories together, there is also the Gentlewoman’s Guide to Love and Courtship, a book whose secret could be the answer to desperate circumstances—and love!

Each story was well-spun. A dash of mystery with a hunk of manhood thrown in keep each lady’s heart beating faster. Whether a woman burned by love and left with a child, or a librarian whose world is shrinking, a kindergarten teacher with a love-hate-love relationship with her new dentist, or a now-single mom with business trouble, God is there for them and sends them love and comfort in the form of a man.

I did find the book which ties these stories together was less present than I expected. None of the women put the book into practice deliberately. It was fun to have “excerpts” from the book at the end of each chapter highlighting what came before or will come after.

One of the stories is about a divorcee. While I am not against biblical reasons for divorce (and therefore remarriage), it is less exciting to read about than a “first time” romance would be. I find stories which include it either deal too realistically with the issues surrounding it to be entertaining, or neatly sweep it under the rug. Either way, when matched with a second chance at romance, it leaves the reader with the impression that divorce doesn’t ruin lives long-term, and is the only answer to a horrible marriage.

All were interesting, but I liked the other three better.

Love is just around the corner in Smitten. It is not the Romance capital for nothing. Spring, summer, fall, or winter—love is in the air. So take a deep breath and fill your lungs until you’re—well, smitten.

Thank you to NetGalley (https://www.netgalley.com/) and Thomas Nelson Fiction for providing me with this book to read and review.

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