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Love on a Dime (Ladies of Summerhill #1)

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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  1,362 ratings  ·  158 reviews
In age of elegance and excess, Lilly Westbrook longs for a love both true and eternal.

Newport, Rhode Island, 1899, is a place of shimmering waves, sleek yachts, and ladies of leisure. Of opulent mansions that serve as summer cottages for the rich and famous. Home of railroad magnates and banking tycoons--dashing young men and the women who aspire to marry them.

But it's not
...more
Paperback, 310 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Thomas Nelson Publishers (first published May 8th 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Larik
Love on a Dime
By Cara Lynn James
I bought this book so long ago but kept avoiding reading it..don't know why but I certainly regret doing so. Now that I have had so many contemporary books to read I missed historical old fashioned romance so I got around to Miss James novel. It is so lovely. True love never dies it keeps going deep inside our hearts like little ambers hoping to be rekindled back into a full fire. Jack's and Lilly's love has weathered so much hardships and pressure--personal shyne
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Valerie (Val's Vicinity)
I don't often contemplate not finishing a book, but I have to admit that several times I considered giving up on this one. The story simply failed to engage me, and the characters didn't pull me in either. The descriptions and dialogue often struck me as feeling somewhat stiff and matter of fact, which admittedly could partially be due to the time period that it's set in...however, I don't normally have this issue with other books in the genre.

Though I really like the premise of being a closet d
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Amanda
A PERFECT 10!!
Cara Lynn James is officially on my favorite author's list!!! What first drew me to this book was the cover- LOOK at it, it's GORGEOUS! Then, the fact that it's set in my home state (RI) well, I just had to read it! But gorgeous cover and state pride aside, this book was WONDERFUL! I normally tear right through a book in one day, but I chose instead to savor this one and join the Westbrook's for a leisurely summer season in beautiful Newport. Taking my time seemed like the right ap
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Christina
Jun 03, 2010 Christina rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: yes
With social rules to follow and the threat of being ostracized, Lily Westbrook walks a fine line between truth and lies. By keeping her secret from her family, she deceives them. But in her heart she believes she is doing the Lord’s will by helping those in need.

Lily’s conflict is realistic and one that crosses the ages. Remember how Michal chastised David for dancing before the Ark? In her eyes it wasn’t proper and she felt embarassed. Her eyes weren’t necessarily upon the Lord. Love on a Dime
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Kristina
At first glance, Love on a Dime looks intriguing and inviting, but unfortunately the story is a big let down from the cover. This book does have the makings of a good story—mystery, intrigue, romance, but I think the error was in the execution of the plot. Unfortunately, it left something to be desired. Even with its downfalls, this book was not a horrible read. It had some decent character development with Lilly, the heroine and Jackson, the long lost love. The main plot revolves around these t ...more
Margaret Metz
This was such a wonderfully fun book for me to read. As I sat down to write the review and thought about trying to be objective and look at writing style and character development and all those lovely things I ought to measure ~ well I just kept going back to how good I felt as I was reading it and how much I personally related to the story. It's my favorite kind of book ~ historical romance. It's one of my favorite time periods, it has an awesome cover... Plus I write in secret as well. I know ...more
Cara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chloe
This book was like a sweet, slightly cheesy Hallmark movie. I enjoyed it, though it did have its flaws. All the characters in this book, including Lillian and Jack, were very pigheaded - to the point that I felt it wasn't justifiable. I also think that Harlan was set up to be the villain in such a way that was a tad too obvious and a bit over the top. The book really didn't pick up until the second half. I enjoyed the last half greatly... except for the last chapter. The book ended way too sudde ...more
Hannah
I ADORE the cover on this one but the content wasn't to my taste. I found it boring and overly centered on the romance. The main premise of the book, the fact that she is a rich society lady who is secretly an author in the Gilded Age, barely seems to have a part in the book... It's entirely focused on overdone descriptions of parties and gowns and a cheesy, underdeveloped romance between Lilly Westbrook and Jackson Grail. It wasn't the worst book I've ever read, but it certainly wasn't very goo ...more
Naomi
Meh...Christian romance is really a hit or miss with me and it is a really, really fine line that sends me over the edge...this was a bit too romanc(y) and Christian(and trust me, I am not a heathen) for me....also a bit too sticky sweet..like I now need to go to the dentist to have a cavity filled...On the positive side though..it was clean and sometimes, that is just nice.
Cari
This was a good story, and a well written one at that. I have to confess I did skim through some of it, as it didn't hold any particular interest for me at the time. I did love the message James conveyed in regards to novel writing, and I thought this ended on a splendid note. An excellent debut novel.
Paula
Lilly and Jack are in love and want to be married but Jack just doesn't have the money. Her family wants her to marry up, not down. Jack hears the Westbrooks discussing the situation and backs down from asking permission to marry Lilly.

Six years later, Lilly and Jack meet again. The old spark is there but Lilly is not sure why Jack left and doesn't really trust him. She is about to be engaged to Harlan who comes from a wealthy family of good standing. But Lilly has a secret of her own that coul
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Strawberryblonde
This was a light and good story. I needed a break from the other very detailed books that I have been reading so this was a nice switch.
J.
What an annoying and arrogant hero! He spends his time moaning about how the heroine doesn't love him because he's not rich enough even though she repeatedly shows through words and actions that she doesn't care for wealth. Then he moans that she is trying to move on with her life without him though he won't even give her a hint that he is interested in seriously courting her. The novel takes place more than 100 years ago so of course, being a proper lady she won't go after him. Ugh, I hate wast ...more
Emily
Not bad, worth the price (free.)
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
About this book:

“In age of elegance and excess, Lilly Westbrook longs for a love both true and eternal.
Newport, Rhode Island, 1899, is a place of shimmering waves, sleek yachts, and ladies of leisure. Of opulent mansions that serve as summer cottages for the rich and famous. Home of railroad magnates and banking tycoons--dashing young men and the women who aspire to marry them.
But it's not the place for lady novelists. Especially not those who pen disreputable dime novels. This poses a problem
...more
Renee
Love on a Dime is a debut novel for author Cara Lynn James. While not the best debut I've read this year, it's definitely one of the better ones, and I look forward to reading her work in the future. The premise of the novel was original and I immediatley wanted to read it as soon as I saw the beautiful cover. I especially liked that although it was set during the Gilded Age it was not set in New York City or Boston like most novels featuring the upper class of the time.

For some reason however I
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Lori
Jul 18, 2010 Lori added it
Recommended to Lori by: Compliments of FIRST Wild Card Tours -- for review
I was so excited to read this book when I first saw the premise -- finally, something a little different! It was interesting to read about a "famous" author, who kept her identity a secret, but there were some slow parts as well. Overall, I would still recommend you give it a try. :)

Lilly Westbrook has always loved to write, whether it was poems, short stories, or her surprisingly popular dime novels. Her competition has upped the ante by holding public signing for her books, and Lilly's publish
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Bookworm1858
Love on a Dime by Cara Lynn James
Thomas Nelson, 2010
310 pages
Inspirational; Historical; Romance
3.5/5 stars

Source: Received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review

Summary: Lilly and Jack were in love or so she thought until he left her with no indication of returning. Now it's 1899 and six years later and she is secretly a successful author of dime novels at the publishing company the newly wealthy Jack hopes to acquire. She's also on the verge of being engaged an
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Susan Hollaway
Jul 06, 2010 Susan Hollaway rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
In Newport, Rhode Island, in 1899, proper young ladies in wealthy society were ladies of leisure. They did not work, and they most certainly did not write dime novels. Lilly Westbrook has more worries than deciding which tea or ball to attend. The young man who is about to propose to her has opened up doors to the social elite increasing her family’s social status; and although Lilly doesn’t particularly care about mingling with society, her family does. If anyone finds out she writes dime novel ...more
Shana
This is a total enamoring light Christian romance. The protagonist Lilly is written as a very likable and relatable character, who feels called by God to write stories which have moral twists. In the era where this story is set (the late 19th century) it is looked upon as improper for a young woman of her higher social class to work an especially distasteful to write dime store novels. Since she feels called by God to write Lilly decides to start writing anonymously. After a turn of events a rut ...more
Victor Gentile
Cara Lynn James in her new book, "Love On A Dime" Book One in her Ladies Of Summerhill series published by Thomas Nelson takes us to 1899 Newport, Rhode Island.

Lilly Westbrook has a secret identity: she writes dime novels under the nom de plume (pen name) of Fannie Cole. This may not shock us now, women write about anything now without society hindrances but in 1899 this was a definite no-no for a young lady of upper class society. So she cannot share her identity with her friends or family and
...more
Helena
Love on a Dime, the debut novel by Cara Lynn James is a wonderful discovery in the rich crop of inspirationals now populating the genre.
Filled with as much conflict, tension and romance as any novel, the only thing absent are the love scenes. But with the right amount of tension, and imagination filling in for those scenes, these stories are as enjoyable to read as novels spilling full details. What sets inspirationals apart is their underlying theme of faith conveying a message about a higher
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Tamara
LOVE ON A DIME has an interesting premise in that, Lilly Westbrook, is an author of dime novels writing under a nom de plume. Knowing that a young woman of society should not be reading dime novels, let alone writing them, Lilly keeps her profession a secret so as not to bring shame on her family. But, when a columnist threatens to expose her, she is unsure what to do. And, when Jackson Grail, a beau from her past reappears as the owner of the publishing house she is signed with, she is beside h ...more
Carly
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I must just really like debut novels for some reason. Love on a Dime is Cara Lynn James’ debut novel and it is fantastic. I enjoyed this book right from the start. I think the main reason I liked it right away was because I can relate with Lilly. She loves her books and she loves her solitude, although I am not a writer, but we still had a lot in common. Lilly was a delightful character whose heart was in the right place.

I also loved the setting. Newpor
...more
Clockstein Lockstein

Love on a Dime by Cara Lynn James is the first book in the Ladies of Summerhill series about a summer home in Newport, Rhode Island during the Gilded Age. Lilly Westbrook secretly writes dime novels for fear of her family's disapproval, using the proceeds to help support a school for poor women, and is certain that it is her ministry for the Lord. Jackson Grail has spent most of his life trying to be a successful business man, to have the kind of money that would allow him mingle with the elite
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Bluerose's  Heart
Sometimes I really want to read a simple, sweet story, and Love on a Dime is just that. The love portrayed isn’t overly passionate. It is very subdued, but still sweet.
It was an inspiring story. Lillian and Jackson both look to God to help with their problems, and the Christian Settlement House makes you question if you really need everything you have. It makes you want to help the needy. It’s great to read a book that inspires you in more than one way! I will admit I would have liked to have se
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WifeMomKnitter
From the Goodreads' synopsis:

"Turn of the century novelist Lilly Westbrook learns that being faithful to her calling means more than just putting pen to paper.

It's the summer of 1899 in Newport, Rhode Island, and Lilly Westbrook is struggling to conceal her career from family and friends because of the stigma attached to dime novels. Lilly feels good about her secret-after all, she's enlightening working class girls with her books and honoring God by using her talents to His glory.

But her secr
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Amy
Though the plot of Love on a Dime sounded promising, I didn't feel like it lived up to my expectations. It is one of those books I finished out of pure stuborness, because I really didn't care a fiddle for any of the characters and the ending was predictable. (view spoiler)
Two, okay three, things bugged me about this book. The first is how Harlan, Lilly's beau, is pe
...more
Jennifer Taylor
This is a charming and elegant novel with an air of romance and intrigue on the brink of secrets about to be revealed. Lily Westbrook turned to writing dime novels when Jackson Grail broke her heart six years ago, so it's understandable why she wouldn't want to turn to him for help when she's being blackmailed--even if he is her new publisher and the one person who could help. While the rest of her family seems to be playing Christian to the tune of Society's standards, Lily is really living out ...more
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Christian Fiction...: ❀Abbi and Megan❀ Love on a Dime by Cara Lynn James 19 7 May 14, 2013 11:23AM  
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Award-winning writer Cara Slaughter, who writes under the name Cara Lynn James, is a current Golden Heart® finalist in the Inspirational category. Finaling and placing in contests is not new to her, however. She has finaled in twelve contests and won five with three different stories and is a member of the active group of contest-oriented bloggers known as The Seekers.

Cara writes both contemporary
...more
More about Cara Lynn James...
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“Only a short time ago hed envied these brightly plumed birds[ladies in pastel dresses]. They possessed everything money could buy and most had the leisure to enjoy it. Yet their needs were greater than his own. They required a flock of admirers, dozens of servants, expensive clothes, and showy carriages to incite envy among their friends and foes.” 2 likes
“No one, especially the nouveau riche, turned down the interest of a Knickerbocker, a group of old money New Yorkers with cache, if not cash.” 2 likes
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