book, Book Review

At Bluebonnet Lake by Amanda Cabot

About the Book:Book - At Bluebonnet Lake
Author: Amanda Cabot
Publisher: Revell
Source: Publisher Provided
Publication Date: 2014
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Series: Texas Crossroads, book 1
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis: Marketing maven Kate Sherwood’s world is fast-paced, challenging, and always changing. The last thing she wants to do is slow down to a crawl at Rainbow’s End, a dilapidated resort in the Texas Hill Country. But she cannot deny her ailing grandmother’s request to visit the place where she and her deceased husband spent one glorious week (albeit fifty years ago). There Kate meets Greg Vange, the resort’s handyman. But there’s more to Greg than meets the eye–billions more, in fact, as he recently sold his successful software company and is at the resort in search of what’s next for his life.

Kate isn’t looking for romance, but she can’t deny the sparks of attraction that fly every time she and Greg are together. She even starts to see potential in the rundown resort. Could there be a future there? Or will Kate’s long-sought promotion take her back to the big city? – Goodreads

Review: Any first meeting between an author and their reader can be difficult. That was the place I was in when picking up this new novel from well-known historical author, Amanda Cabot. At one time I owned several of Amanda’s books, but having never gotten around to reading them I put them in a “donate” or “giveaway” box because I was overwhelmed enough with my bookshelves to add something I wasn’t sure about. When I read the author was dipping into the contemporary genre (a favorite), I excitedly jumped onto the tour and this review is a mingling of the resulting thoughts.

There is story after story that seems to tell the tale of a person or in this case, two people “finding themselves” when returning to or finding a small town and in that, the climax is about them understanding or coming to terms with what they feel God want’s them to do with their lives. Boiling it down, that is essentially what this story is about. It’s cute, fluffy and the kind of book anyone can read on a rainy afternoon and close the page with a happy face. For me, I enjoyed its (overall) likeability and the familiarity with which the characters march across the pages – meaning, we’ve met these characters in stories before and it’s because of this that they’re so easily endearing, however there is something lacking from the book that the writing or concept never quite makes up for. I don’t think I can point to any one thing aside from personal likes versus dislikes, which in no way should sway anyone from checking out this recent release.

Fun characters keep the story interesting and in this Bluebonnet Lake world, there is definitely many set-ups for characters that ensuing books could be about, which makes things fun and leads us to wonder about future pairings. There are some slow portions in the book and if I’m being honest, I am not the biggest advocate of the parallel love stories in novels. Just something about it detracts from the people the synopsis promises the story will be about or maybe I find the idea of this element cliché, either way, that wasn’t my favorite. Beyond that, this is a sweet read. If you’re a fan of the kind of story you read on one of those cozy afternoons, look into At Bluebonnet Lake.

Book - In Firefly ValleyComing Next from Amanda Cabot: Marisa St. George is devastated when she is a victim of downsizing and has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it’s a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow’s End resort. The only silver lining is Blake Kendall, a new guest who is making her believe in love at first sight. But will her dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers who he really is? – via Goodreads, May 2015 

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

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