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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson Bittersweet Surrender - eBook

Thomas Nelson Bittersweet Surrender - eBook

Average Customer Rating:
3.833 out of 5
3.8
 out of 
5
(12 Reviews) 12
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Rating Snapshot (12 reviews)
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10 out of 1283%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Bittersweet Surrender - eBook
Review 1 for Bittersweet Surrender - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

When the ones you love betray , Can you forgive ?

Date:May 7, 2012
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The Phantom Paragrapher
Location:Tauranga, New Zealand
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
When I saw the cover of this book , I knew I just had to read it as it sounded and looked very appealing and it eventually proved to be correct. To me, the novel Bittersweet Surrender started off a bit slow with the introduction of main character Carly who owned a Chocolate Spa along with workers Amber and financial accounts Scott. We read the banter between Carly and Scott and learnt that Scott's wife Ivy had recently passed away and that Carly's Stepmother Magnolia who has just moved in with Carly after her dad's death was also Ivy's biological mother making Carly and Ivy step-sisters in a sense. The novel starts with Carly in a bit of financial strife , family problems and most importantly her weight and the fact that old crush Jake - who Carly has been emailing is moving back to town and Carly wants to look perfect for him.
The first half of the novel to me was very light but the second half - reader's embrace yourselves as it hits an emotional high when we discover that the people we thought we really knew and cared about aren't actually what we thought and that we may grow up with them but do we really know the truth about people behind closed doors. The whole cast of Bittersweet Surrender are about to recieve a domino effect of wake-up calls and reality checks which in the final hour , the deciding factor will be - Is God's love and Christian Love strong enough to overcome the most horrible hurts and anger towards those who you trust?
Bittersweet Surrender is a novel that definitely will not bore you and a piece that made me smile was that a wee while ago I reviewed on the site a book called "Smitten" in which 4 authors had put together and DiAnn Hunt was one of them , the town "Smitten" makes a guest appeareance.
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Review 2 for Bittersweet Surrender - eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:May 2, 2012
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AyReen
Location:CA
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Carly Westlake is an owner of a spa, famous for their chocolate treatment. (hmmmm... I wanted to go to spa, badly! :D)
So, Carly is a cancer survivor. She's divorced. Her husband dumped her when she was struggeling with cancer. BAD GUY! :(
Her spa is quite famous, but the business itself isn't that good. There seems to be something wrong with the finance or the way the spa was run. Carly best friend, Scott, helped her managing the tax and financial admins. Scott's wife was Carly's best friend, and helped her managing the spa's stock purchase. She passed away few months back, but Scott remained to help Carly on the Spa. Scott has just found the reason why her spa wasn't doing well, but he kept that as a secret, because it might broken Carly's heart. He was conflicted, and silently promise to keep by Carly's side.
On the other hand, Carly's high school crush, Jake, is back in the hood! And with his daughter! Romance alert!!
anyway...
The story was a bit dissapointing for me. Maybe because I can't relate to her, at all.
It was good, but not that good.
Later through this book, we'll see how Carly learned some secrets of her family and friends, remembered the past, and yet keep on moving.
You'll have to be patient though, as the plot moves slowly. I think i won't buy this book if i saw it on the store. Truthfully, I read it till the end, just because I hate to not finishing a book.
I got this e-book from Booksneeze and Thomas Nelson publishing. This review is my own opinion. No one forced me to say good things, or bad things about this book. :)
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Review 3 for Bittersweet Surrender - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Enjoyable But a bit lengthy

Date:March 15, 2012
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Beth
Location:Azusa, CA
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Bittersweet by Diann Hunt summarized by Thomas Nelson: “Carly Westlake is living the dream. She spends her days at a spa (okay, so she owns the place), she's dating a hunk, and she's surrounded by chocolate—milk chocolate, her favorite—that she uses for the chocolate facials that made her spa famous. But when long buried secrets threaten Carley's business and her friendship with business-partner Tom, she fights like crazy to keep the dream—and the illusions—afloat. It takes a miracle of grace to get Carley to finally make that bittersweet surrender to love and real life.”
I thoroughly enjoy chic lit! This is a typical Christian romance. I read Smitten just before this and thoroughly enjoyed it! The story is easy to read. My only drawback is the length; it is over 500 pages. However, the length did allow for the full development of the characters. The beginning was a little slow, but I got into the story once her business partner, Tom, got out of the picture. My favorite character was Scott, the devoted friend and accountant to her business. My least favorite character was Jake, the “hunk” from the description above; he’s a shallow jerk!
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
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Review 4 for Bittersweet Surrender - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great read!

Date:February 22, 2012
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JessicaTurner
Location:Dallas, TX
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
When I saw the cover of this book, I knew I wanted to read it. There are chocolate, candles and a bath towel, some of my favorite things! I love long hot baths, scented candles and chocolate. I read the description of the book and was definitely hooked! It reads: Carly Westlake is living the dream. She spends her days at a spa (okay, so she owns the place), she's dating a hunk, and she's surrounded by chocolate—milk chocolate, her favorite—that she uses for the chocolate facials that made her spa famous. But when long buried secrets threaten Carley's business and her friendship with business-partner Tom, she fights like crazy to keep the dream—and the illusions—afloat. It takes a miracle of grace to get Carley to finally make that bittersweet surrender to love and real life. Growing up with a family that was all about secrets, I was really curious to see how the book turned out! You can guess what will end up happening in the book, but it's a great story. I loved every minute of reading it and was honestly sad to see it end! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an electronic copy of this book free from Thomas Nelson as part of their Blogger Review 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."
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Review 5 for Bittersweet Surrender - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

light contemporary Christian romance

Date:February 7, 2012
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bookwomanjoan
Location:Oak Harbor, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Carly Westlake's life certainly wasn't what she had thought it would be. She had lost a breast to cancer. She had lost her husband too, to a younger woman with a perfect chest. She had also lost her closest friend, Ivy – died in an automobile crash.
Carly is making a go of it as the owner of a spa, recently specializing in chocolate treatments. Ivy had been her partner, but now Carly was on her own. She is a woman struggling with her own image, having been shunned by the man she loved.
She begins an email relationship with an old flame from high school But when he returns to their home town, something is off.
Carly's life gets more complex when her stepmother moves in. Then she alienates her brother, a gambling addict. But her friend, Scott, is always there for their morning run. He;s always there to listen to her.
Bit by bit we learn the secrets in Ivy's life. Slowly we see the attraction build between Carly and Scott. But Scott has his secrets too.
At first I thought this was a typical chick lit novel. The chocolate spa and Carly's crush on her old high school flame seemed so frivolous. But as the novel unfolded, there are serious issues that are addressed. As secrets come to light, many of the characters must face their own weaknesses and seek forgiveness. And Carly must learn to find her worth from God and not how she appears to other people.
All in all, this is a pretty serious novel after the light beginning. There is a reading group guide at the back so this would make a good choice for reading groups who enjoy light Christian romance.
I received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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Review 6 for Bittersweet Surrender - eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:February 5, 2012
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Lindsey
Location:TX
Age:25-34
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Carly Westlake, divorcee, survivor, chocolate lover, runs the Mocha Day Spa. She is missing her business partner, and best friend, who died in an accident, and she’s carrying on a secret e-relationship. Her family’s a mess, her business may be failing, and she needs to lose some weight. Enter Scott Hammond: he’s the accountant for Mocha Day Spa, and happens to be Carly’s best friends widower. He’s determined to help her lose weight–starting by taking away her chocolate.
Honestly, I didn’t think I’d enjoy this much; however, I came to like Carly and Scott (and ignore her frequent laments about her weight). It was a fun read.
FTC disclaimer: review copy provided by the publisher; I was not compensated for this review, nor required to give a positive review.
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Review 7 for Bittersweet Surrender - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good escape

Date:January 17, 2012
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Carly Westlake has gone through breast cancer and has lost a husband who ran out on her while she was going through the treatment to save her life. The owner of the Mocha Day Spa, Carly is trying to put the pieces of her life back together to move on. She longs to have reconstructive surgery done, but it's quite expensive and to be honest, she doesn't really know where she will manage to find the money for it. Needless to say, with all of this pain, Carly turns to chocolate as a comfort food. How will Carly's life possibly turn aroudn for the better? Who will be there to walk through this new stage of life with her? Will there be anyone there to comfort her other than chocolate?
I liked this book, but it was a little predictable. However, it was a great book to just sit back and read on a cold and rainy day and provided me a little escape to Spring Creek.
_____________________
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.
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Review 8 for Bittersweet Surrender - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Fun escape!

Date:January 8, 2012
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Christy G
Location:Houston, TX
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Over the holiday break, I was looking for a light, fun read to fill some empty hours, and <i>Bittersweet Surrender</i> by Diann Hunt fit the bill perfectly. Carly Westlake owns a chocolate spa, is recovering from breast cancer, adjusting her to step-mother moving in with her, struggling with losing weight and juggling her lack of love life. She does it all with humor, sarcasm and a realization that she really needs to depend on God as she comes through her issues. As the story unfolds, there is also a mystery going on around her with her friends and family that might end a blossoming romance before it even starts.
This story was a lot of fun, went fast, but was very in depth with character and set descriptions. My only complaint was that I felt like I was reading a book in a sequel, that I was picking up in the middle of a story. But it was a stand alone book, not part of a series. Hunt did a great job of catching me up on where these characters were in the story. I look forward to reading more of her books when I need a light escape.
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
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Review 9 for Bittersweet Surrender - eBook
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Not so Sweet

Date:December 28, 2011
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Carrie
Location:Central California
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Carly Westlake owns a chocolate spa. She’s recovered from losing a breast to cancer but she’s not quite recovered from losing her husband to a younger, whole-er woman. She’s recently lost her best friend and co-worker in the spa in an accident. Her father also died and her elderly stepmother is moving in. Her life is stressful. She’s also been emailing a new man … sort of. Her brother’s best friend, Jake, whom she had a crush on when they were younger. Jake is moving back to town with his teenage daughter. Carly’s brother’s marriage is shaky due to her brother’s C.J.’s drinking and gambling. Did I mention Carly’s life is stressful? Her best friend who died, Ivy’s husband, Scott, is helping Carly figure out her finances and why a spa full of customers isn’t making money.
If that sounds like a lot, just try being Carly.
It all sounds like the perfect setup for a fun, lovely, sweet book.
I can only give it about 2 stars. If that.
I didn’t love it. Which even I find hard to believe since it’s got all the elements I love in my fiction. Chocolate. Romance. Fun. Purses. Chocolate. A spunky heroine. Chocolate.
But the elements didn’t mesh for me. Carly came off more irritated and petty instead of spunky at the beginning when her stepmother moved in and Scott volunteered to help her lose some weight by working out with her. She was resentful and childish.
The book wasn’t edited well. At one point, Carly uses a deep breathing technique that she learned in her Christian yoga class. Later, she’s at a class with her sister-in-law, but all of a sudden it’s Carly’s first time at the class. The next day she’s sore, again from that first time. If it was her first time, where did she learn all the deep breathing techniques?
Carly talks about a spa called West Baden in Indiana (the book takes place in Vermont). In the next chapter, she drives 30 minutes to the next town over to check out the West Baden Spa. Those details make it hard for me to get into the fictive story world. I kept getting pulled out to flip back and make sure that I understood the previous comment and then reading the current page again.
The “hero” that Carly is crushing on, anyone can see that he’s a self-centered jerk, but Carly is sure he’s the thinking about a future with her.
The other reviews I’ve read of this book were quite glowing, so maybe it was just me.
I was furnished a free e-copy of this book from Thomas Nelson, in return for an honest review.
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Review 10 for Bittersweet Surrender - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

a Great Romance novel

Date:December 26, 2011
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Marianne
Location:El Mirage, Arizona
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
My Review
Although I love chocolate as much as the next woman, I am not sure I would be able to deal with being wrapped in it, or seeing other women wrapped in it, as in a chocolate spa. The idea is totally unique, though, and well done in that the reader is not subject to the sights of this.
Diann Hunt manages to deal with many issues in this novel. Relationships between siblings, in-laws, at work, between friends, and everything in between, obviously, but also infidelity, gambling, anger, grief are touched on here. The story flows smoothly, told mostly from Carly Westlake's point of view, but also from those her life touches. She tries to be everything everyone else needs from her brother's keeper to her old flame's daughter's friend, then feels disappointed when her needs are not met. Her husbands unfaithfulness when she was dealing with breast cancer, though it happened before the story starts, is very much a part of her, as is the death of her best friend, who was manager of her spa, and also was the wife of her accountant. Secrets threaten the relationships. Romance is in the air.
A well written novel, that I would be glad to recommend to friends.
i received this ebook free from ThomasNelson publishers through their Booksneeze program for the purpose of reviewing. i was not required to give a positive review, just an honest one.
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Review 11 for Bittersweet Surrender - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

LOVED this book!!!

Date:December 21, 2011
Customer Avatar
LizBird
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Bittersweet Surrender by Diann Hunt is about Carly Westlake and her day-to-day struggles. Carly owns a delightful “chocolate spa”, which is in some financial strains; has been emailing her high school crush, whom has decided to move back home with his teenage daughter; is trying to help her brother who is struggling with personal issues of his own; and to top it all off - her stepmother moves in with her.
Carly has just come through a tough fight with breast cancer and is dealing with the effects that it has taken on her body physically, as well as the deaths of her dad and her best friend. Will Jake, the high school crush, really like her when he sees her after all these years, or will he be turned off by the changes in her since high school? Must her best friend’s husband, who is her accountant and weight loss partner, spend his free time with “Miss Perfect” from the spa? Can she help her brother as he spirals down? It seems as though she faces each of the questions day after day; however, she seems to dig deep and find the strength to do the right thing, while on the inside she is dealing with what seems to be her main question, “Will I ever be a whole woman that a man can truly love again?”
As I read Bittersweet Surrender I was drawn to the fact that Carly was struggling with a problem many women face each day. I have known women that have survived breast cancer for many years, but never knew the inner struggles that came with the healing process and the after effects from the treatments. I give Diann Hunt ‘two thumbs up’ for opening my eyes to these struggles. To all breast cancer survivors out there, “DITTO” on the thumbs up.
I absolutely enjoyed this book!!!
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Review 12 for Bittersweet Surrender - eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Fun read, where's God?

Date:December 20, 2011
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princesseilonwy
Location:Singapore
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Female business owner (Carly) has weight and body image insecurity, best friend Scott is a guy who helps her out. Sounds formulaic, but Hunt makes it work. Big, life issues like illness, desertion, adultery, teen angst, alcoholism, gambling addiction, with a side of snarky females-on-the-prowl make for a fairly fun two hour read on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
What's excellent about Hunt's writing is that she somehow makes it all sound believable, if a little packed with hot-topic issues - throw in an LGBT and this might be the perfect hot-issue book. Carly is fairly likable as a slightly overweight cancer survivor, and Scott's lightbulb-over-the-head moment (you'll know what I mean when you read the book) has to be one of the better written male perspectives I've seen in a while.
Switching between Carly and Scott's POV was a little bit disconcerting at first (as I had assumed we'd be "staying" with Carly most of the time), but it did well to provide a more rounded look at all the plot points raised. Unfortunately, due to the myriad issues raised, many other plot points were glossed over. I felt Hunt could have done more to explore the difficulties of raising money for a business, for example, or discussed Magnolia's history a little more. (I think Magnolia's life would make an excellent follow-up book.)
The most problematic issue was the lack of mentioning God (beyond the general italicised prayers, which - let's be honest here - show a woman who uses God when it suits her or when she needs him, rather than one who relies on Him for strength.
Fun read, where's God?
+1point
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