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Saturday, April 5, 2014

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

Smitten Book Club
by Colleen Coble, Kristen Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter
Thomas Nelson / 2014

Amazon, B&N, Goodreads

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.

My rating:
My thoughts:

Smitten Book Club is the third book in the "Smitten" series. I have to say, this has been one of the most unique series I've seen. All of the books are a collection of novellas from four authors with different main characters - and yet there's one central theme/story that binds them together.

For Smitten Book Club, it was Pearl Chambers' book and the search for the legendary buried gold. I think this was my favorite part about the book, as I loved the little bit of mystery it brought to the story. The quotes from "the Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship" (Pearl's book) at the start of every chapter were fun, too!

As for my favorite novella, that was the last one: Happily Ever After by Denise Hunter. It seemed like the novellas got better with each one: Love by the Book was just okay for me; I felt like it needed better editing, as the story didn't seem to flow that well and was confusing at times. Shelved Under Romance was good and I liked this story. A New Chapter is my second favorite novella in this book; I enjoyed it very much and the only thing that I didn't care for all that much was how quickly things moved in the end - didn't seem believable. As I said, Happily Ever After is my favorite of the bunch. I felt like it was the most complete novella and flowed the best. I really liked that one! :)

Overall, a fun read! If you like contemporary reads, you might enjoy Smitten Book Club.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*


  1. I'm looking forward to this book coming up on my TBR list- thanks for sharing your thoughts about the novellas. I'll watch for the stories to be getting better as I read :)

  2. Melanie you have a very pretty blog! I was just noticing the pastel buttons for facebook, twitter, pinterest etc. Where did you get them? Would you email me the link? ashmandabar AT gmail DOT com


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