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Customer Reviews for B&H Books Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1

B&H Books Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1

With high hopes, Dorothy Ballinger lands her dream job at The New York Times. But it's not long until writing about weddings becomes a painful reminder of her own failed romance, and her love of the city slowly sours as well. Is it time to give up the Big Apple for her small hometown of Appleton?

When her eccentric Aunt Dot passes away and leaves a sizeable estate to Dorothy, going back home is an easy choice. What isn't easy is coming to terms with the downright odd clauses written into the will.

Average Customer Rating:
4.571 out of 5
4.6
 out of 
5
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14 out of 14100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1
Review 1 for Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Wow Wonderful

Date:March 2, 2014
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Wilani
Location:Franklin, NC
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Wow! What a wonderful first book to the Dear Daphne Series. It is beautifully written. I love the characters. Daphne has great character traits. She inherits from her aunt with strings attached. Will she be able to fulfill those strings? I guess we will just have to wait until the end of the series. In the mean time we will get to enjoy the process and come to fall in love with Daphne. I can’t wait to pick up the second book in the series and read it.
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Review 2 for Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Melody Carlson

Date:October 23, 2013
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lukeandlibby
Location:Prescott, AZ
Age:55-65
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
Anything written by Melody Carlson grabs my attention. If she wrote blurbs on cereal boxes, I would read them. Her ability to develop realistic interactions between characters is an amazing talent. She makes me care about what happens in her stories. This is a delightful beginning in the new "Dear Daphne" series.
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Review 3 for Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great book

Date:November 8, 2013
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Linbto
Location:Eugene, Oregon
Age:55-65
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
The story is really good! I did not realize that it was the first book in a series. Waiting for the next book is hard!
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Review 4 for Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Start of a great series

Date:September 14, 2013
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Katharina
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
One thing I really appreciated about this book is that it didn’t solve all her problems in a 320 page time span, it didn’t try to cram in a year’s worth of struggles and life lessons, but rather set a slow and steady pace and didn’t rush the what Daphne was experiencing.
Daphne is a very likable character who has gotten stuck in her life and job – not that she’s complaining though. She’s smart and funny, yet she has very real worries and confusion about life, love and the future. I really enjoyed her Dear Daphne letters to herself and watching her faith and trust in God grow.
Melody Carlson writes clean romance stories and this one is no exception. There are a few kisses and Daphne is caught unawares in her pjs once.
Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 5 for Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A Light, Fun Read

Date:July 26, 2013
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Pam Burke
Location:Potosi, MO
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
This is the fourth book I've read by Melody Carlson, and all have been fairly light, quick-to-read stories that provide a good amount of entertainment in return for the time invested in reading them.
In Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Daphne and her friends are fun characters, each with their own little quirks that add flavor to the story. The deceased Aunt Dee sounds like someone it would have been really fun to get to know in real life!
While the author fleshes out a good story, she also leaves you wanting more. The story ends without tying up all the loose ends, leaving room for lots of guessing until the next book in the series comes out. I look forward to seeing where Daphne and company go next!
This book was provided free of charge by Shelton Interactive in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 6 for Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Fun book to make you laugh

Date:July 19, 2013
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Terri
Location:Wisconsin
Age:45-54
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
Daphne Ballinger’s dream job at The New York Times has lost its appeal. When her Aunt Dee dies, leaving her sizeable estate to Daphne, returning home is an easy choice. What isn’t easy is coming to terms with the clauses written into the will. Daphne only stands to inherit the estate if she agrees to her aunt's very specific posthumous terms – including getting married within one year. And if she fails to comply, the sprawling old Victorian house will go to a cat shelter.
How can she make a rational decision with that kind of pressure looming over her? She’s suddenly surrounded by eligible men with admirable qualities. And all those revelations about Aunt Dee – advice columnist (that Daphne’s supposed to take over), sleazy romance writer, grandmother.
Then a pastor challenges her to look to God to fill her soul rather than looking for a soul mate. She’s got eleven months to go. Relax, enjoy life, let God guide her.
Here’s a book that kept me reading to the end, even laughing out loud at times. It’s been a while since I’ve read any of Melody Carlson’s books. This was a great one to come back with.
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Review 7 for Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Loved this book and can't wait to read more!

Date:June 30, 2013
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Cara Putman
Location:Indiana
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
There was something about this premise that grabbed me: a Daphne Ballinger, a 34 year-old who lives in NYC, is stuck, stuck, stuck. Then her great-aunt dies, leaving her a house and inheritance. There are a few strings that complicate things -- immensely -- but you'll have to read the book to find out what they are. Let's just say she has to take over her aunt's advice column, house, and a couple other things. In the process Daphne learns secrets... and more important, learns how to live. She finds she can break out of her rut. And comes to peace with whatever the future holds...and not settling just to get along. It was a fun story with lots of great characters and I really hope we get to read the next book in the series. These are characters and a story I long to return to! Unfortunately I read this one too fast. It sucked me in so completely, I had it finished in mere hours!
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Review 8 for Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Can't wait to read the next book in this series

Date:June 26, 2013
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Brenda
Location:WV
Age:35-44
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
Daphne Ballinger's left her small town life in Appleton with high hopes of having a writing career in the Big Apple. Thing is it's thirteen years later, and she is finds herself stuck in a job that is far from what she hoped for, sharing the same apartment, and still heartsore from a relationship from ten years ago when a boyfriend burned her bad. When she gets a call from her father that her rather eccentric ninety-one year old aunt Dee passed away she goes home. She is soon surprised that her aunt left her sole beneficiary of everything that she owned, including a beautiful old Victorian, a vintage Corvette and plenty of money, there is just a couple of snafu's her aunt left some pretty specific requirements and Daphne has a year to fulfill her aunt's wishes. If she doesn't the house will be given to the "Cat House" the shelter where she adopted her beloved kitties Lucy and Ethel. As several secrets come to light about Aunt Dee Daphne learns things that she would have never guessed. Will Daphne leave New York behind and move back to Appleton, and if she does will she be able to meet the requirements of Dee's will?
Melody Carlson is one of my all time favorite writers, her versatile writing skills, has taken me on several adventures and "Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel" allows me to watch Daphne Ballinger go from someone who seemed unhappily stuck in her life to someone with choices if only she can embrace them. Daphne is a character that is so easy to relate to, she was someone that had hopes and dreams, but after years of the same old same old her life was in a rut! I enjoyed seeing the changes that precipitated in her life once she returned to Appleton. Plenty of secondary characters really stood out for me including Daphne's dad, his life was in transition as well, and the secrets that he learned about Aunt Dee was something that he took in stride.Even though Aunt Dee has passed away, her character played such an integral role in the plot, she seemed like a fun loving someone, who did have a few regrets and hoped to keep Daphne from making some of the same mistakes. Ms. Carlson's descriptions easily allowed me to feel the small town setting of the story, and the advice column reminded me of Dear Abby! While there is an inspirational bent to the story, it isn't overwhelming, and seemed perfectly plausible I will say the author certainly left me hanging with the ending, and I know I will keep wondering until the next installment how things will work out for Daphne! If you have never read anything by Ms. Carlson this book is the perfect time to start, or if you're like me and are a long time fan, you're not going to want to miss this one. I only hope readers don't have to wait long for the next installment in the Dear Daphne series!
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Review 9 for Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 21, 2013
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lcjohnson1988
Location:Indiana
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
After writing so many reviews and reading many books, both great as well as not so great, sometimes it is hard to write another review or read another fiction. Sometimes it seems as if I might be saying the same thing, but publications aren’t all the same neither are those who write them. I guess that is why I continue to read and write; the joy is in discovering another story between the pages. There are authors who write a standalone novel, others write series and some who entertain by doing both. I have read works that are complete when the last page is turned and others that leave the ending up in the air, whether there is a sequel planned or not.
Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel turns out to be a first in Dear Daphne Series, and what a great way to begin the journey! When you read this, you will discover it is more than it appears to be, that of a romantic work. However, the more the plot develops as well as the characters, the farther the reader is sucked into the pages, wondering what the ending will look like. Daphne is writing wedding announcements for the New York Times when she receives a call to return home due to a death in the family. What looks like a possible sad story actually ends up opening up a Pandora’s Box for Daphne. She flies back for the funeral of her dear Aunt Dee only to find out the little town she once called home holds more changes and challenges for her than the last twelve years of working and living in New York.
Daphne’s Aunt Dee writes a will that is going to change more than just Daphne’s life; those close to her are going find out there was more to this spinster aunt than anyone ever knew. What Aunt Dee does will bring a host of emotions and shock to the family, town and neighbors even though Daphne can never reveal everything to anyone. Ryan was Daphne’s past love interest that has unexpectedly shown up after ten years and has proposed! The tumult within Daphne only heightens as her friends from childhood offer their advice and her Dad is making lifestyle changes that cause Daphne to wonder what else may occur once she remains in town.
I really became a captive audience of one as pages were turning and twists in the plot kept coming up. I wondered how it was going to end. However, just like real life where some situations aren’t wrapped up in a certain amount of time, Daphne’s story continues on without a neat ending. I am glad the author chose to do that as her fictional work would have been ruined if she had. Melody has crafted a heart stirring novel that I look forward to continuing in the next installment. Great job Melody! I can’t wait to see what occurs next in Daphne’s fictional world!
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Review 10 for Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Another great Melody Carlson book

Date:June 20, 2013
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
I have yet to read a Melody Carlson book I don’t like and this book was no exception.
If you are looking for a light-hearted read with great characters then this is the book for you.
Daphne Ballinger just inherited a bunch of stuff from her Aunt Dee, including her secrets. Because of some stipulations in the will Daphne is thrown in to a whirlwind of decisions.
I could relate to Daphne because she likes to play it safe. That’s me. I like to have some idea before I walk into a restaurant what I will get. I will even go online and look at the menu if I can so I won’t be surprised. Daphne is very much the same way but because of the things happening in her life she is finding she can’t always live life that way. And truly what is the fun (I need to take some lessons)?
In this book you can travel along with Daphne as she discovers what it means to live and enjoy life.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 11 for Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Lock, Stock and over a barrel

Date:June 19, 2013
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mamaof4
Location:Tennessee
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
Daphne Ballinger has been working for the "New York Times" for over 10 years. When she started, it was her big break, her dream come true! What new journalism grad would turn down a job offer from the Times, even if it was writing for the social pages. And she had moved up, now she writes the wedding columns. But when she receives the call that her beloved Aunt Dee has passed away, she drops everything to return to Appleton for the service. Little does she know what the reading of the will reveals.
Aunt Dee, who had be a sort of mother figure to Daphne after her own mother died when she was 7, had named her in the will. And in a big way. Daphne is to inherit everything: car, house, investments, everything. The whole family is in shock. And Daphne also finds out that there is a stipulation to the inheritance. And it is quite life changing for her. But after a night to read the will and contemplate Aunt Dee's intention, Daphne decides to follow Aunt Dee's directions. She returns to New York to clean out her apartment and resigns her job. Then she returns to Appleton to start her new life.
I enjoyed this novel. It was easy to read and the characters were well-developed. I do not want to give a way to much of the story, but I am ready for #2 of the series.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the publisher, BH Publishers. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Review 12 for Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A for Appleton

Date:June 19, 2013
Customer Avatar
Sally
Location:Tampa, FL
I enjoyed this first book in the series, and I'd like to read the next one. The author cleverly wets the reader's whistle without creating a frustrating hanging non-ending. Daphne inherits her aunt's estate with a few strings attached. She is to live in the old, Victorian house and care for two cats. Secondly, she is to write her aunt's advice column, Dear Daphne; and thirdly, she is to marry--within a year! This promises to be an interesting year for Daphne and for the reader.
Daphne is an easy person to like. She makes friends quickly when she relocates back to her childhood home. The people of Appleton are typical small town folk. I think it'd be a nice place to live.
I look forward to the next book in the series.
Discussion questions included.
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and B&H Publishing Group for my copy.
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Review 13 for Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A definite addition to your summer reading list!!!

Date:May 24, 2013
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Heart2Heart
Location:Victorville, CA
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
When Daphne Ballinger learns that she has inherited her Aunt Dee's estate, she is completely at odds at why her Aunt would leave everything all to her. She lives in New York and though she was fond of visiting her Aunt, she can't come to terms with why everything is now in her name. Unfortunately it's not quite a cut and dry proposal either. There are a few conditions before Daphne can lay claim to not only her Aunt's fortune but gain possession of the old home and everything in it. The first condition is that Daphne must be willing to live in the home and care for her Aunt's two cats, Lucy and Ethel. For Daphne that is a no-brainer since writing for the New York Times for the last few years she isn't going to ever gain a promotion working with her current boss who seems to have it in for Daphne.
The second condition is that Daphne must be willing to assume taking over her Aunt's advice column for the local paper, Dear Daphne as well as in the New York Times. This is an easy decision since all Daphne's been writing at the New York Times is engagement announcements so she feels this is a simple step up in her writing career.
The third stipulation is that she has to fall in love and get married within a year. Not that one may just in fact be the biggest challenge for Daphne to face since she has no prospects on the horizon either in New York or moving back to her Aunt's hometown of Appleton. If she doesn't follow all the stipulations in the will, the house and all the estate holdings will go back to The Cat House, a pet rescue facility where her Aunt Dee adopted Lucy and Ethel.
Looking for a prospect of a new future on the line, Daphne agrees to the conditions of the will and hopes that in time she may just find someone she can love. But if she can't she'll be both homeless and jobless and have to find a way to start over again quite literally from nothing. Good thing for her that Appleton is a small town and she seems to have no problem finding men who are interested in learning more about Daphne from her Aunt's gardener, to the local organic produce owner, and even her Aunt Dee's attorney seem to be lining up willing to date the latest heiress in their small town. In fact Daphne thinks things are fine until the man she fell in love with ten years ago that broke her heart suddenly shows up at her front door. Oh what's a girl to do?
I received Lock, Stock and Over A Barrel by best selling author Melody Carlson compliments of Shelton Interactive and B and H Publishers for my honest review. This is definitely one you want to add to your summer's reading list and features a list of characters you find yourself rooting for Daphne to chose as her potential husband. I was rooting for the local gardener with the Australian accent that stops by to help keep her landscaping looking amazing and enjoy a cup of coffee or lemonade if she has it available. I've been a huge fan of Melody Carlson's books and this one has found a permanent home on my library shelf. I'd rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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Review 14 for Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, Dear Daphne Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:May 17, 2013
Customer Avatar
Julie Graves
Location:Oklahoma
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Moving to New York after college Daphne had dreams of becoming a great writer. Getting a dream job for The New York Times she thought she was all set. But a failed romance and years of being stuck in the same job disillusions Daphne.
When Daphne's Aunt Dee passes away Daphne travels to her hometown to attend the funeral. When the will is read leaving the bulk of her Aunt's estate to Daphne she is as surprised as the rest of her relatives. According to her Aunt's attorney though there are some stipulations in the will that may keep Daphne from inheriting.
While Daphne gets to know her hometown all over again she meets many people that help to welcome her to her new life in Appleton. She gets reacquainted with her old friend Olivia who helps her choose paint colors to give her Aunt's house a facelift. She meets the local diner owner whom her father thinks would be a great match for her. She meets her Aunt's gardener who happens upon her sunning in the backyard in her nightgown. And her Aunt's attorney seems to be taking an interest in Daphne's social life as well. When a man from her past shows up to try and win her heart again, Daphne is confused about what she wants and wonders what her Aunt was thinking when she made the stipulations in her will.
Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel was a cute read. It kept me entertained throughout. I enjoyed the small-town atmosphere of Daphne's hometown and all of the people that came into her life once she moved there. I did find myself getting a bit frustrated at Daphne's indecisiveness, but as the book progressed she seemed to grow as a character. Being Book One in the new Dear Daphne series I am hoping for more maturity on Daphne's part to develop in the next book. I'll be looking forward to reading the next book to see if Daphne is able to meet all of her Aunt's stipulations to claim her inheritance. And of course to see if any of the eligible bachelors capture Daphne's attention ;)
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