I enjoyed this fun book by four of my favorite authors. The concept of a dying town becoming a love-themed tourist destination was a great take on what to do when the main source of labor vanishes. This is a book for just relaxing and laughing.
Take four women who are some of the best authors of Christian Fiction, and have them collaborate and design four unique characters, each with a bit of their own personalities, create a storyline and a place and put it all together and you have the makings of the novel, Smitten. It was written by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter with each of them writing a specific chapter geared around the small town of Smitten, Vermont, who has come under hard economic times. Faced with the mill closing which employs 500 people, the town rallies around the idea of creating a play on the word of their town's name, Smitten, which they believe implies the feeling of love.
Their idea is to create a tourist town that will draw people to it, honeymooners, lovers, people celebrating such milestones as weddings and anniversary's and those simply looking to find love to the town of Smitten. Most of the town is excited about the prospects this could mean for new business opportunities but also a great place to call home. However when Carson Smitten hears about the idea, he is greatly opposed and thinks there is a better way, but he can't quite come up with one that will work fast enough and slowly the town's residents begin to warm his heart up to the idea.
In the first installment of the book, "Natalie: Birthday Wishes" by Colleen Coble takes the story first when the idea is presented to the town council. Natalie Mansfield, is the owner of Mountain Perks, and who is also raising her niece Mia, now 5, since her mother, Lisa abandoned her and left town. Rumors circulate that Carson Smitten is the father, although he denies ever being with Lisa long enough for that to happen, but Natalie can't help but wonder why he won't subject himself to a paternity test to prove it. While working together to find ways to remodel the town for the new look of love, she finds herself working closely with Carson to help renovate his fishing cabins which remain seriously outdated and less than booked for the season. Natalie learns that Carson's brother has a great idea to help kick start the town's new launch and it may boost more love in the town than anyone recognized.
In the second installment of the book, "Julia: Small Town, Big Dreams" by Kristin Billerbeck, the emerging story of the character of Julia we caught a glimpse of earlier in the book continues to grow with her story as one of Natalie's closest friends. Julia Bourne is trying to do her part with the town of Smitten to redefine itself as a romantic destination and desires to open a upscale spa. Since leaving New York, she reaches out to contact Devlin Stovich, a successful New York spa owner and someone who has the money she needs to invest in her idea. When he agrees to come to Smitten, he finds the location of Smitten Grill, a former restaurant geared to the logging industry as the perfect location that now lies abandoned and vacant. However upon closer inspection they both learn that the owner, Zak Grant has ideas of his own on how to renovate the space. Will they be able to work together for the good of the town or will Julia be sent back to New York instead?
In the third installment of the book, "Shelby: You've Got A Friend" by Diann Hunt, we meet the third in this group of 4 best friends, Shelby Evans who arrives to her home in Smitten and meets the local fire department there to put out a fire in her Victorian Home. Nick Majors, a volunteer fireman stops her from entering along with her Shih-poo, Penelope until it is safe to go inside. Shelby was using the downstairs for Classes for Social Graces, a program to help young girls become ladies while she lived upstairs. She learns through Nick, that she is responsible for leaving a glue gun unattended and apparently there are more that just sparks flying between the two of them. Will romance be fanned into flames or will they simply be smitten with one another but remain friends?
In the final installment of the book, "Reese: All Along" by Denise Hunter, we get the opportunity to meet Reese Mackenzie, the local girl who is your all around sports enthusiast who is trying to launch her own business of opening a sporting goods store and is working with her friend, Griffin Parker. What makes this difficult for Reese is that the whole town is rallying around recreating their town and making it the newest romantic destination to compare with the Poconos but in addition to this is the celebrity wedding to their town's newest country star, Sawyer Smitten, Reese's former boyfriend, who is planning on using the town to host his own wedding. Will Reese be able to define her own feelings for Sawyer or is she about to be smitten with someone from her past instead?
I received Smitten by these amazing and talented authors compliments of Thomas Nelson and Net Galley for my honest review. I really enjoyed these individual but connected mini romances found inside the cover of this book. You truly feel like you're getting 4 books in 1 and this is one of the reasons I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. This novel is geared to the hopeful romantic in all of us.
overall, this was a good book but it's not good enough for me to want to read it again. Dont get me wrong-it was beautifully written but it didntvreally engage me in any way. This is not the best book by these authors.
This Book was supplied to me by Thomas Nelson through NetGalley for a review in return.
When a failed logging company threatens their town's survival, four friends devise a plan to turn Smitten, Vermont, into the country's premier honeymoon destination. But little do they know that love is already on the way---for each of them! Enjoy four page-turning romances, each written by a best-selling romance author. Includes reading group guide. 400 pages
This book is a story about a town called Smitten and is located in Virginia. It has 4 stories in the book about 4 different couples but all intertwine together.
This book opens up and there is turmoil in the town because the mill has to shut down. There are numerous people who have lost their jobs. In the meantime, there are 4 women who want to save the town. So, they get their thinking caps on and start on doing this. They want to turn it into a Romantic Getaway place. Now, wouldn’t that be nice to have something like that in your hometown.
In the meantime, these 4 women, (Natalie, Julia, Shelby and Reese) all have to try to get the men involved in this also. It is funny how they go about all this. I think you would enjoy this book as I did.
It is a GREAT book about all of these stories and one that I think you would laugh in and also cry. My favorite character is Shelby. She is funny yet you want to cry with her as well.
I won’t say anything else, I don’t want to spoil the book for you. I would definitely suggest this book to my family and friends. Thank you, Thomas Nelson for letting me read this and give this review.
Have you ever been through or lived in a small town ? One, that survives on the operation of a particular business and if that business was to go under - the whole town's financial situation would collapse ? It got me thinking ,this book with the recession that for the past years has been on/off and with many smalltown businesses closing around NZ and hearing about others around the world. Smitten tells the story of four women Natalie , Julia , Shelby and Reese - the four women have settled and made Smitten their hometown and each have big plans for their futures. When news of the Smitten Mill closing down , the town flurries into a panic as this is their main source of income - how will the town survive without the mill operating ? Natalie , wanting to make Smitten her home along with niece Mia decides to use the town's name Smitten and play on the words as a tourist attraction , as it has worked for other towns - in the novel they use the example of a town called Santa Claus which was made into a Christmas township all year round. If Santa Claus can do Christmas , then Smitten can do Love and Romance. The four women take their idea to the local Council forums and most of the town are onboard , but before things can get started and the women find themselves happy , they must find love themselves. Can the four women trust love ? Is their a Mr.Right for them all or is he an illusion ? Will the foursome be able to save Smitten ? A lovely novel that will have you enjoying and if you don't have the sense of a close-knit community where you live, envying the close-knit family. Look out for Book #2 Secretly Smitten and check out the website that accompanies the book www.smittenvermont.com and as you will recall in Julia's tale - the hunky country western singer Sawyer - a song called Smitten by Love is on the website.
Smitten is the story of how the people in a small town fought together to save it after the closing of the lumber mill. Natalie, Julia, Shelby and Reese dreamed up the plan to make Smitten the new romantic vacation spot. The men in town don't see it working, but eventually get just as involved as the women.
There are four stories with each one telling about the plans of each woman. Each one has a man of interest that helps them and everyone knows everyone from their younger years. Some have moved away and come back home, others have lived in Smitten all their lives. The ladies don't really have a past with their man of interest, but they have things that make them feel they can never be together.
I would recommend this book for a good clean read, it show's how people can pull together for the good of their community. Even with disagreements things can get worked out and people prosper not only financially but emotionally as well. You have to forget about things in the past and see what the present and future hold for you.
I won this book and was not required to read it or do a review.
I loved the idea for Smitten, a town turn-around into a romantic destination for lovers but I was hoping for more. The authors write awesome books and I was a little disappointed, it just didn't flow quite right. It was an enjoyable light read but not as special as I'd hoped.
Any company going out of business should not bring a town's whole economy to a halt, but the mill is the main employer in the town of SMITTEN, Vermont.
Four women, all friends, endeavor to remake the town's image and revitalize it through tourism, of sorts. They envision their town as a "Smitten is for lovers" destination to play off the town's cute attribute, its name. However, to convince an entire milling town to change their course is a tall order, but these four friends each have a story to make of their own life too.
In addition, for one reason or another, each of these women will have their tales begin and end in Smitten.
Throughout the seasons, Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese tackle this new challenge, revamp a town, change the minds of the townsfolk, and face their own life's challenges along the way. Nevertheless, it is two children demonstrating what true faith is all about.
Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter cross-stitch a cohesive story together but apart from each other because each one writes the story of a main character. In reality, SMITTEN is different novellas sewn into an entire book without the reader ever seeing the individual treads.
You'll find friends, faith, laughs, tears, and trouble in SMITTEN with some quirky and cute characters too.
This read is an escape to where romance is always in season, just like growth, opportunity, and God's favor. The next book in this series, SECRETLY SMITTEN, will release in December 2012. ***Though the publisher provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***
Smitten, Vermont has always been a small town where everybody knew their neighbors, families loved the small town communities and never thought that someday Smitten might not be there. When the mill in Smitten is forced to close, no one is sure what will happen to their town. The majority of the workforce is hired by the mill, which also generates most of the towns income.
While having coffee one night, four single friends, Julia, Natalie, Reese and Shelby come up with an idea to save Smitten. For years the town has been made fun of for it's name, but now the friends have decided to use the towns name to re-market the town as a honeymooner's get-away. With plans set, and the women of the town on board transformations start to happen.
As Natalie, Julia, Shelby and Reese get the town on board and help in the transformations of the town they all start on a journey towards something they never expected, to finding love in the least likely of places and with the most unlikely of people, some of which not supportive of the girls changing Smitten into a 'girly' town. Will the town be able to pull this off? To come together and support each other? Will the guys in town try to keep it from happening?
Award-Winning Authors Colleen Coble, Denise Hunter, Kristen Billerbeck and Diann Hunt have come together with a story of four single women in a town about to go under. Together they have weaved a tale of the best of friends who you want to become your own friends. By the end of this book you will have fallen in love with Smitten.
This book was provided complimentary from Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Smitten is a fun read, but it doesn't degenerate into syrupy chick-lit like I expected it might. Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese come up with a plan to turn their hometown into a romantic tourist destination, despite protests from the loggers and other town men. Each woman's story is separate from the others, but the book as a whole is cohesive, and each woman sounds like herself in all 4 stories. Fans of Christian romance and those who enjoy reading the 4-in-1 novellas will love Smitten.
With thanks to Thomas Nelson via NetGalley for my review copy.
I had high hopes for this book but, though the book was decent and had much potential, it never quite lived up to that potential. I don’t take the time to read very many novels as there’s far too many good theological books crying out to be read; however, since I have read some books in the past by the authors of this book, I thought it might be a good relaxing book for those rare moments of down time. Sadly, it wasn’t. I really liked the idea that this book was written by different writers (Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter) but, in the end, it just didn’t work as well as I hoped it would. Parts of the story were okay: the characters are decently portrayed and idea of a town struggling to remake itself is plausible but, overall, it just didn’t turn out to be a book that I couldn’t put down nor was it a book I couldn’t wait to pick up.
Beyond that, though, and far more important, I didn’t feel that I got to know God better through the reading of this book nor do I see how He was especially glorified. Yes, I know it’s fiction, but Bach believed that all music was for the glorification of God and I believe the same thing about writing.
This isn’t a terrible book, it just isn’t the best I’ve read. Some parts are pretty enjoyable and some readers will open this book and find it an excellent read and feel that their time was well invested. If you have a strong desire to read it, go for it.
DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book for purposes of review through BookSneeze. I wasn’t required to give a positive review, only a fair and honest one. My opinions are my own.
Summary: Smitten is a wonderful romantic book about a small town in Vermont. The proposed closing of the lumber mill has left the residents of the town in shambles as the mill is the main source of employment. Desperate to keep their town alive, four women come up with the idea to turn Smitten into a romantic tourist destination like the Poconos. As these women fight to keep their town alive they face battling with the men who want to keep their “manly” town. Will these ladies be able to get the men to see their vision?
Review: I really enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend it. Initially, I was a little hesitant to read this book as it was written by four romance authors. I was unsure how the book would flow; however, I was pleasantly surprised. The book flowed really well and was so enjoyable to read. The book is a collection of novellas written about the main four characters: Natalie, Julia, Shelby and Reese. Each woman has her own interesting story. Be sure to check out the back of the book as there are some extras including an interview with the authors, recipes, and exercise tips. If you like this book you may be happy to learn that “Secretly Smitten” will be available in December 2012. Enjoy!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I have to admit that sometimes I am a bit weary about reading a collection of inspirational fiction short stories because past experience has shown me that the characters can be somewhat one-dimensional and lack plot development. However, when I saw the authors who had contributed to Smitten, I decided that this particular collection may well be worth my time. I have enjoyed books from each of the authors in the past; and like the introduction and acknowledgments explain, Smitten is a work that developed as a result of their friendship.
As the authors state, elements of each of the four friends' personalities mirror their own. It is this real-life friendship that creates one seamless story about the trials, support, laughter, and love among friends and community members in Smitten, Vermont. Although each short story focuses on one of the four friends, Natalie, Julia, Shelby, or Reese, it progresses through the year as the town rallies to save the town by transforming it into a romantic destination. As a reader, I relished the descriptions of the idyllic small-town with citizens working together to create successful private businesses. Despite the small town appeal, Smitten would be a failure without a plot that develops each of the characters and encourages readers to relate to them. Fortunately, like the title suggests, readers will likely become emotionally connected to the characters' struggles, and "smitten" with their stories.
Smitten is a collection of light-hearted and uplifting stories to escape to at the end of the day. Readers can re-visit Smitten at www.smittenvermont.com, and a sequel entitled Secretly Smitten will be available December 2012.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their book review program, BookSneeze. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above 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.”
What do you get when you put four talented authors together to write a book? A wonderful read called Smitten. This was a clever idea to set Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter in fictional Smitten, Vermont to weave their own stories and characters. Colleen writes about Natalie (energetic, like her), Kristin writes about sophisticated Julia, Diann writes about graceful Shelby, and Denise writes about athletic Reese.
The lumber mill in Smitten has just closed and just how will the town survive without the main employer. Four friends come up with a plan to save Smitten and make it the romantic capital and capitalize on the name Smitten.The hometown hero, Sawyer Smitten wants to hold his wedding in Smitten on Valentine's Day so the town gets busy changing and transforming Smitten into a tourist destination for lovers. They put together a sweet shop, high end spa, new romantic cabins and new sport shops.
Each story is about 100 pages long with a romantic tale throughout the story. The endings were pretty much figured out but it still did not change the fun of reading the story of each of the four lives. Each author did a great job of conveying her character's high points and flaws.
Fun book and, unfortunately, you have to wait till December 2012 for the continuation of Smitten, Vermont. Thanks to Thomas Nelson for sending me this book free just for my honest opinion.
I'm reading Smitten, a collaboration by Collen Coble, Diann Hunt, Kristen Billerbeck, and Denise Hunter. It's about four young, single women who are trying to save a town, by transforming it into a romantic hotspot for newlyweds.
This book is christian, and you can tell! Although I found it highly predictable at times, it was a good read, and cute. The characters were unique and funny, but right off the bat, you can tell the future lover of each girl, and that kind of ruins it :/
This book was a very good book. I read it in two days. It was a bigger book then I had thought it was 400 pages. This book is about 4 friends and how they fall in love with their partners and there are 4 sections to the book and each section is from each friend from their perspective so you get to read the book from four peoples perspectives. I like that this book didn't have religious overtones in it and was a just a book to read to get away from the stress of the world and be in the world of the book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com 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.”
Smitten is a delightful novel with four stories written by four authors, about four friends who step out in faith to save their town Smitten, Vermont—and overcome their own personal challenges. (Please don’t make me say that again.)
Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese want to change the image of the rough and tumble mill town into a romantic getaway. However, with the mill closing, those rough and tumble men can’t quite capture the vision of what they consider a froo-froo plan sure to fail.
One of those men is Carson Smitten whose has a vested interest in the town his ancestors founded—much to the frustration of Natalie. The change is just too much for him and he’s not about to sit still and let a group of women take over—least of all the incredibly attractive Natalie.
Julia had been torn between returning to New York and staying in Smitten. Her dream of opening an upscale salon seemed impossible in this town; however even with the new developments she isn’t sure Smitten is ready for her. Zak offers his bar and grill in hopes that Julia can look past both the rough exterior of his grill, and himself to see that both could fit well into her future.
Shelby carries a secret that prevents her from close relationships. She does enjoy teaching etiquette classes to little girls. Nick is drawn to the secretive Shelby, but not sure he trusts this woman with his little girl.
It only seemed natural that outdoorsy Reese would dream of opening an outfitters’ store. Her childhood “buddy” Griffen arrives in town for a visit and offers to help Reese remodel a building for the store she’s sunk every nickel into. While playing a basketball game, something happens that changes Griffen from Reese’s pal into something more. Afraid she might ruin their long-standing friendship, Reese stoops to subterfuge to get Griffen to see her as more than a friend.
The relationships between these four main characters are honest and realistic—and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. This makes sense when the four authors are also longtime friends. Popular authors, Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter bring their great writing styles and understanding of the sometimes emotional and confusing world of relationships.
There was one element of the story I would have liked to be more developed--is there a sequel? Otherwise, I enjoyed reading Smitten and would recommend this entertaining book to women wanting a few hours away from their own worlds.
***Thomas Nelson provided the ARC of Smitten for an honest review.
MY REVIEW i found this a very fun read...actually this is written like one book - it is just that each season and each main character is written by a different author. What makes this work extremely well is the fact that the authors are best friends, and according to them can finish each others sentences. Want to get to know these authors better? well, each author loosely based her main character on herself, the operative word being loosely. This novel really invites the reader to feel the friendships that the girls enjoy - from one season to another. Together they have a plan - to save their town, but first they must convince the residents (in particularly the men in their lives that not only is the plan good, it will work! A few anxious moments as the reader wonders if things will work out all around, many chuckles as the characters mess things up for themselves and you have a wonderful novel. i actually checked the start of the book to see if some of these novels were a continuation from other novels, that is how comfortable i was with the characters right from page one. The story (stories) flowed with out pause from one story or season into another. i have never read a novel that took novellas and welded them together so seamlessly, unless they were written by one author. i was disappointed that there were a few loose ends not tied up, and that the sequel to this one does not come out until December 2012. In every other way it met my expectations.
I was excited to read Smitten. I've read three of the four authors before (and love their work!) and was curious to see how they would pull off a collaborative effort. Let me tell you . . . they did a great job!
Smitten is the story of four friends who work furiously over the course of a year to turn their town of Smitten, Vermont into a romantic tourist destination. They face opposition of the men in the town. However, between their faith in each other and their faith in God, they are confident they will be able to pull it off. Throw in a few handsome bachelors and you've got quite a romance story!
The thing that made this collection of novellas unique is that four different authors were writing about the same characters living in the same town. I wasn't sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised! Generally, my biggest complaint with novellas is that they're just too short to really get to know the characters, but that was not the case with Smitten. Each story focused on one of the four main characters (Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese). I loved feeling like I really got to know each of the characters. Each story built off of the previous ones and the authors did a great job of making sure that the story flowed well from book to book. Smitten was thoroughly enjoyable!
I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my fair and honest review.
I was able to read and review the book “Smitten” recently. This is a Christian romance novel. Actually it is four novels in one. The authors are Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter. The central theme is about a small town whose main employer shuts down. As the town, Smitten, faces the fear of the town shutting down, four ladies come up with an idea. They believe they can save the town of Smitten by turning into a romantic town for tourists. Each novel focuses on one of these four women; Julia, Natalie, Reese and Shelby. This was a good, light, easy read. Probably my favorite novel was the one focusing on Natalie. All of them were good. It certainly was not the best book I have ever read, but if light reading is on your list then this book is for you!