Friday, January 25, 2013

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

About the book (provided by Litfuse): Summer, fall, winter, spring—Smitten, Vermont, is the place for love . . . and mystery!

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?

My take: I enjoyed Smitten when I read it about a year ago, so I was eager to read Secretly Smitten—not truly a sequel, but set in the same town with a few overlapping characters.

Secretly Smitten is pure fun. There's nothing too serious about it, and sometimes that's exactly what you want in a book! Because it's four novellas written by different authors, sometimes I felt like I didn't get to know the characters well enough before one novella would end and the next would begin. I would have enjoyed glimpsing the romances from the preceding novellas again, rather than just hearing that the couples were happy. But I greatly enjoyed the thread that ran through all of them—the story of Grandma Rose and the dog tags—even though I accurately predicted the outcome at some point back in the second novella.

If I had to pick a favorite, I'd say it was Tess's story (written by Coble), closely followed by Anna's (written by Hunt). Tess's story did strike me as a bit too convenient (I guess that's the cynic in me rearing her ugly head), but Tess was also the character I most closely identified with, and the romance tugged at my heart more than the others. And Anna's story, of finding love again after divorce, was very sweet. I love reading about second chances at love!

Overall, I enjoyed Secretly Smitten very much. If you're looking for a light, quick read, check out this book! 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Also, I have to note: I've been hard on Kristin Billerbeck before, so I should tell you that I really did enjoy her entry in this collection. Zoe and William were cute, and I enjoyed their chemistry. In fact, their story is the one that kept me reading past my bedtime!

See what other bloggers are saying.
Buy the book.
Read my review of Smitten.

About the authors: RITA-finalist Colleen Coble is the author of several best-selling romantic suspense novels, including Tidewater Inn, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. * 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.

Find out more about Coble, Billerbeck, Hunter, and Hunt here.

About the giveaway:  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.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. 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 have this one downloaded onto my computer, and cant wait to read it!

    Enjoyed your review!! =)

  2. I am going to review this for Booksneeze. Looking forward to it!


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