Love on Assignment tells us the early 1900s love story between Charlotte Hale, a woman with a dream of becoming a journalist in a man's world, and Dan...moreLove on Assignment tells us the early 1900s love story between Charlotte Hale, a woman with a dream of becoming a journalist in a man's world, and Daniel Wilmont, a Bible professor and religious columnist for the Newport Gazette. Daniel's social reform columns have invoked fury among industrialists.
Charlotte is employed by the Rhode Island Reporter (the direct competitor to the Newport Gazette) as a secretary with dreams of becoming a reporter. When her boss comes to her with a choice assignment - to investigate Professor Wilmont - Charlotte feels that this is her big break. With mounting bills to pay due to her being the prime caretaker of her aging aunt and wheelchair-bound sister, she agrees to the clandestine mission, although niggling doubts creep into the edges of her mind. She goes undercover as the governess for Daniel's two children, Tim and Ruthie.
Daniel is immediately taken by his new governess. With his own secrets, years in the past, but not forgotten, Daniel is finally trying to put the past behind him and move forward with his life.
Charlotte secretly investigates Daniel and uncovers some information about him that makes her rethink everything. In the process she comes to understand the role that God plays in her life.
As these two unlikely characters forge a fragile relationship, built on lies, what will happen when everything comes crashing down around them?
This is a very nice, sweet story. I enjoyed the characters and the tension surrounding the plot kept me turning the pages, anxious to see what would happen next. However, the middle of the book just dragged on and on. Truly, at least 50 pages of it could have been cut out. There was scene after scene of Charlotte saying "I must tell you what I've been hiding!" and Daniel saying "Eh, don't worry about it. It's all good." Okay, so I used my own language there, but you get my drift. It drove me nuts after a while. I just wanted them to get it over with already! Then, the ending wrapped up way too quickly! I wished it was drawn out a bit more. I don't read a lot of romance, but when I do the money scenes are when the hero and heroine finally figure it all out and come together in the end. I just felt like all of the preceeding 300+ page build-up was a bit of a let-down.
What I loved about this book is Charlotte discovering her faith in God. I thought some of the scenes where she was reading the Bible and praying were very sweet. She seemed a bit hesitant, not sure what she should be doing, but hoping it would all work out. Isn't that how we all kind of feel at first? It was inspiring and these scenes were some of my favorites in the novel.
To sum up, this is a nice, tender Christian historical romance that I had a few issues with, but would recommend.
**spoiler alert** When I turned the last page of Love on a Dime by Cara Lynn James, I was a bit sad. I really enjoyed the characters in this novel and...more**spoiler alert** When I turned the last page of Love on a Dime by Cara Lynn James, I was a bit sad. I really enjoyed the characters in this novel and I wanted their stories to continue! Lilly Westbrook is a girl after my own heart. God has called her to be a writer. She has penned many dime novels under the pseudonym Fannie Cole as to not draw attention to herself. See, these novels are considered scandalous (even though the people who are claiming they are trashy have not read them – times have not changed much, have they?!). But, anyway… In order to protect her identity and her family’s good name, Lilly hides her writing from everyone close to her.
First and foremost, this is a sweet romance. So, of course, the relationship between Lilly and her beau, Jackson Grail, is what drives the story. The novel opens years in the past with Jackson and Lilly excited to announce their engagement to Lilly’s parents. Jackson, being the insecure boy that he is, overhears a conversation between Lilly’s parents as he is about to walk into the room to ask for their permission to marry their daughter. Of course, this completely changes his mind about the whole thing. So, does he confront them? Well, there wouldn’t really be a story if he did that! Nope, he cuts and runs. Jerk. Maybe I’m too hard on Jackson. He comes from meager stock and feels that he could never provide Lilly with what she deserves. I get it. But, come on! Man up! Lilly is, of course, crushed. But, she picks up and pieces and moves on.
The story picks up years later and we learn that a man of her same social stature, Harlan Santerre, has begun to court her and there is talk of an imminent marriage proposal. It becomes very obvious, very quickly, that these two aren’t a good match. Of course, things get a bit complicated when Jackson returns to the picture, having made his fortune. Things also get a bit hairy when he decides to purchase a publishing company called Jones & Jarman. Do you see where this is going? If you haven’t guessed already, this is Fannie Cole’s publishing company! How will Lilly be able to keep her secret writing life when Jackson is her new boss?
Overall, I enjoyed the story. I did have a couple of small quibbles with it. One is Jackson’s character. I wish he could not have made his fortune and then come back for Lilly. It really made it seem like money was driving his love for Lilly instead of his heart. I was hoping he would have failed and then come crawling back to her, begging for her forgiveness. His character did grow throughout the story and I did end up understanding him in the end, but the whole money thing just rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe that is just how things were back in the late 1800s, but why couldn’t he have trusted in Lilly’s love? Why did he have to run away? It just really frustrated me!
Another small issue I had is that the story was wrapped up very oddly, in my opinion. It just didn’t quite connect with how the rest of the story was laid out. Lilly was consumed throughout the entire novel with revealing herself as Fannie Cole. Then, suddenly, her brother makes a stand in his life and she makes a seemingly quick decision that she is okay with outing herself as the infamous authoress? Sorry, that doesn’t jibe with me. There seemed to be no thought that went into the decision other than, “My brother made this huge decision, so I can, too!” Lilly presented herself as this strong, independent woman throughout the entire novel, so this snap decision just didn’t connect with me.
This is a very nice, sweet Christian historical romance that I really enjoyed overall. Other than a few minor annoyances, I would recommend this novel.(less)
As the novel opens, 21-year-old Allison Glenn is being released from prison and into a halfway house in her hometown of Lin...moreMy Thoughts (from my blog):
As the novel opens, 21-year-old Allison Glenn is being released from prison and into a halfway house in her hometown of Linden Falls, Iowa. Having served five years for a heinous crime, she is ready to start her life over again. But, secrets from the past have a way of hanging on...and never letting go.
Brynn Glenn is Allison's 20-year-old sister; a young woman tormented by the secrets of the night of Allison's crime. She tried to start over by moving in with her grandmother in another town and going to college, but she is consumed by what happened that horrible night five years earlier...
Charm Tullia is a 20-year-old nursing student who is taking care of her ailing stepfather and dealing with her aloof mother, who only seems to care about herself and what she can get from Charm.
Claire Kelby is a wife, mother, and the owner of Bookends, a local bookstore in Linden Falls. She has struggled with infertility, but her and her husband are finally settled into life with their new family.
Allison. Brynn. Charm. Claire. Four women with one thing in common - a five year old boy named Joshua.
The book is told from the perspective of each of these women. The beginning of each chapter indicates who is narrating that particular section. I was a bit concerned that I would get confused by four different characters telling the story, but that wasn't the case at all. Each character is so unique and well-developed, with their own storylines expertly weaved throughout the story, that it was very easy to distinguish between them. The author is able to make each character come alive on the page, which is not easy to do, especially with four narrators!
At first it seems that it is just a novel about Allison and Brynn coming to terms with Allison's crime five years prior, but it is so much more than that. It is confusing at first, trying to figure out how Charm and Claire fit into the story, but as the book moves along, and more information is revealed, the reader begins to see how each of these women fits into the larger picture. All four women play an integral role in the plot, which is centered around a little five year old boy named Joshua. So, what links an ex-con, her sister, a nursing student, and a bookstore owner to this innocent child? Sorry, I can't tell you! :D You will have to read it and find out for yourself!
The plot of the book is utterly mesmerizing. I couldn't put it down. The author has a way of revealing just enough information at the right times to keep the reader entranced in the story, wondering what will happen next. As the pieces started to fall into place, I found myself gasping out loud, shocked at each morsel that the author revealed.
This novel is stunningly executed and masterfully told - it should definitely go on your "must-read" list for 2011! It gets a well-deserved CRAZY AMAZING rating from this crazy reviewer!(less)