I’ve mentioned in earlier reviews that I often enjoy trying out multi-author books/novellas to see if I would enjoy reading a new or unknown author. Novellas are usually more affordable and give a taste of the author’s ability to tell a solid story in fewer chapters, the author’s writing style (1st or 3rd person, strong character building, descriptive scenery/setting, technical details, etc.), and the authors preferred genre: romance, mystery, suspense, adventure, humor, etc.
There are some drawbacks to novellas too. Sometimes the story is too short to gain true character depth, or events in the story seem to happen too quickly to be believable. Sometimes the story doesn’t reveal the true quality of the author or their typical style of writing. I discovered that last part when recently reading a Colleen Coble novel. In the Smitten series she has written three sweet little romances. When I read a full length novel, I discovered she can write some serious, chill-bump, edge of your seat, suspense! I was surprised, but thankfully not unhappy.
The Smitten Book Club by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter offers a good, clean, fun reading experience with only one drawback…the stories share a common story thread and may not reflect the author’s best work when read as an individual work versus reading all four stories together. Smitten Book Club features the romances of four good friends who desire to contribute to their small town’s success as a romantic tourist attraction and close-knit community. During a library fundraiser, one of the friends finds an old book on courtship and love. The advice in the book begins a series of events that sets each of the four friends on the path to their own romance. Wait, there is more! The friends discover that the book may be the key to solving where a mysterious treasure of gold that was rumored to be hidden. Each story features one friend’s romance and a clue or two about the treasure – the set offers continuation and a final ‘happily ever after’ for all four of them.
Would I call this series predictable? Yes. Was the series worth reading? Definitely! If you are a cozy, clean, happily-ever-after sort of reader I recommend you pick up the Smitten Book Club and the other two Smitten books in the series: Smitten and Secretly Smitten.