This past month I had the privilege of reading a collection titled Secretly Smitten with four stories by four wonderful female authors: Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter. I had read a few of their works, but wasn’t sure what to expect with this title as the independent stories are connected as each showcases one woman in a particular family in the quaint town of Smitten.
About Secretly Smitten
There’s a secret in Grandma Rose’s attic-a forgotten set of dog tags belonging to her first love. But David Hutchins was killed in action and never returned to Smitten. How did the dog tags end up in the attic?
The mystery intrigues Rose’s three granddaughters-Tess, Clare, and Zoe-and they decide to investigate, though their mother, Anna, warns against meddling. But as the seasons turn and the mystery unravels, the three young women and their mother encounter some intriguing mystery men of their own. Has a sixty-year-old puzzle sparked something new for this close-knit family of women?
Join popular romance novelists-and real-life BFFs-Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter for four delightful intertwined tales of mystery and sweet intrigue.
Meet “The Gals” Who Wrote Secretly 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.
My Thoughts about Secretly Smitten:
I’ll admit it… I really enjoyed this title. Unlike a straight novel, you get the cohesion of one story with the feel of four unique ones. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t entirely sure how it would all flow with the different authors. I was pleased to have each individual story possess it’s own feel, yet the pieces fit well together. You could tell that the authors are great at communicating with each other so it comes across feeling like the story of a family from the perspective of 4 women.
One upside I discovered for this particular set up was that I could read one ‘section’ per night and not have the same “I’ve got to read just a few more pages” feeling. Not that there’s anything wrong with wanting to stay up all hours of the night to read a great book. I just appreciated knowing that I could feel that one character’s storyline was mostly ‘wrapped up’ within the confines of their own story and as thus could eagerly anticipate reading the next story on a different night.
While each author wrote in their own way the story of one Thomas lady, they were true to the overall story line which sees each lady find the love of their life over the span of about a year. Woven throughout these four stories is a fifth love story, that of the family matriarch, Grandma Rose. Each story has some suspense and a little twist here and there. But, in the end, each woman gets her happy ending.
If you are looking for a book with ‘depth’, then this might not be your cup of tea. But, if you want some fun romance that is kept clean written by talented female authors, then put this book on your list. After sampling their writing, you might be adding their other work to your reading list. And, if you are like me, you’re about ready to go searching for a community like the Smitten to visit or even call home.
Don’t just take my word for it! Visit the Secretly Smitten blog tour page to see what other reviewers have to say about this title.
Visit with “the Gals” of Secretly Smitten:
The “gals” are celebrating the release of Secretly Smitten with a fun Live Webcast on February 5th. They’ll be debuting the *NEW* animated Smitten trailer, giving away tons of prizes, dishing on the book and their friendship. They’ll also be wrapping up the Secretly Smitten blog tour, answering audience questions and testing your trivia skills. Don’t miss the fun and bring your friends. Click here to RSVP and set up a reminder.
Disclaimer– I was provided with a copy of this title to facilitate a review through Litfuse. No monetary compensation occurred and all opinions are my own.