Friday, December 23, 2011

"smitten" by colleen coble, kristin billerbeck, diann hunt & denise hunter

When Smitten Lumber—the largest employer in Smitten, Vermont—closes, four friends unite to capitalize on Smitten's name and turn the town into a destination wedding location in time for hometown hero (and budding country music sensation) Sawyer Smitten's Valentine's Day wedding. Along the way, these four single friends—Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese—each find their own "happily ever after."

My take: I absolutely inhaled Smitten. Each woman's story can be read in about an hour, so this book is perfect for those times when you have a little bit of free time. (Or you could stay up until 3 a.m. reading the whole thing, which is what I did!) As with any anthology, some of the stories resonated with me more than others. By far, my favorite was Hunter's "Reese," the last story. Not only did it go in a different direction than I expected based on the first three stories, but it also had the most elaborate and twisty plot. The one story that didn't really click for me was Billerbeck's "Julia." It was fine, but it didn't engage my emotions like the other three stories did. (Perhaps I'm just not destined to be a Billerbeck fan—I've heard great things about her writing, but I had this problem the only other time I read something she wrote.)

Although I didn't connect with all of the stories, I still greatly enjoyed reading Smitten. I give Smitten 4 out of 5 stars, and I absolutely recommend it to romance fans or fans of any of the authors!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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 am reviewing this too, but I didn't enjoy the Billerbeck story and as a result have not finished the book yet. Billerbeck seems to reuse the same themes over and over and has used the spa stuff in other books. I am glad to hear the other stories might get better but overall so far this is cheesy and predictable. And the concept of the town suddenly being romantic because it's name is Smitten seemed unrealistic and I didn't buy it.

  2. I haven't read enough Billerbeck to know what themes she uses (and I doubt I ever will!). The last two stories are what really sold me on the book. Like I said, I absolutely loved the Hunter portion, and I was quite pleasantly surprised by Hunt's "Shelby"—I was prepared to dislike it based on the one other book of Hunt's I read in the past. I agree that the concept is far-fetched ... I guess I'm not too bothered by that stuff as long as I connect with the characters.


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