Review of Smitten Book Club, a Collection of Novellas From Christian Romance Writers



Last year I reviewed two Smitten novella collections. These fun stories are set in a small town called Smitten. In the first set of novellas, the town of Smitten is in danger of closing down along with the lumber mill that was its main source of income; but a group of friends get together and work on encouraging the town to make Smitten a tourist attraction- a romantic attraction. The second collection- Secretly Smitten- involves a mystery surrounding one of the town's older residents and her true love who was supposedly killed in World War 2. Like the first novella collection, this one has four separate but related stories.

I really enjoyed both of the other Smitten books, so I was glad to review Smitten Book Club. Once again four writers join together- Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, and Diann Hunt- to weave a collection of stories set in Smitten.

The book's description:

"Consider that your beau is like a coveted novel whose compelling first lines you’ve just begun to read.” —A Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship
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.
Once again, I really enjoyed returning to Smitten. The stories are short, nothing deep or introspective. They are just easy, enjoyable, short reads. Each one centers around one of the four friends. The characters are likable. The romances are sweet. One interesting thing that I noticed is that in some of the stories- at least one of the members in the relationship has been married before and have children. I liked this because it fits a different romance novel niche. There are Christian singles who have lost spouses and are looking for relationships again. And the typical romance novel doesn't address this at all.
The book is sold as Christian fiction, but it's not preachy by any means, and there isn't any great moral lesson proclaimed. It's just a book with the value of love and friendship and community.
I can definitely recommend this newest Smitten novel. I give it 4 stars and a G rating for content.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.