πŸŽ‚ 🍰 🧁 πŸ’ "How Sweet It Is" (2020) πŸ’ 🧁 🍰 πŸŽ‚ - Book Review/Tour #HSIIPrism

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

How Sweet It Is

(Lagacy of Faith, #3)

By Robin Lee Hatcher
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 304 Pages
July 14th 2020 by Thomas Nelson

He lost his brother. She lost her dream. Together, they might find what they're really looking for.

Holly Stanford is doing the best she can with the restaurant she inherited from her late uncle. But after her fiancΓ© abandons her and the business, Holly regrets having given up her dream of becoming a pastry chef. Now a few bad financial decisions might cost her everything, including her hope for the future.

Jed Henning has done well with his new company despite his prodigal brother's behavior. When Jed's father, the controlling member of the board of directors, temporarily suspends operations until his sons work out their differences, Jed resentfully chases his brother, Chris, to Boise. There Jed rents a basement apartment from Holly and hopes to convince Chris to get his act together before their company collapses.

Unaware that Holly is the one person who can help him get through to Chris, Jed starts the tough work of reconciliation armed with little more than a few family photographs, a stack of old letters, and a Bible that belonged to his great-grandfather, Andrew Henning. And as romance blossoms between Holly and Jed, the story of Jed's great-grandfather highlights the power of God across the generations and the legacy of a family's courageous faith.

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About the Author


Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 80 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Her numerous awards include the RITA Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader's Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader's Choice Award. Robin is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. Robin makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.


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One winner will receive a print copy of Cross My Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher
US only
Ends July 29, 2020

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My Review

Thank you in advance to the publisher, Thomas Nelson/TNZ Fiction, for providing an advanced review copy through Prism Book Tours. A positive review was not required or requested and all words are my own.

This is the first book I’ve read by author Robin Lee Hatcher. And, it is a wonderful, sweet, darling, inspirational, and beautifully written story for the most part. The short chapters make it an extremely quick read. I had read over 100 pages the first day. And, the only reason I put it down was to make notes for the review and head to bed for the evening.

The only hiccup, this being an ARC, was at the end of chapter 21, with a scene transition and what seemed to be missing words or an entire missing scene. That was a bit hard to understand where it was going or came from. I’m sure in the finished text it is different though.

I loved the premise of this – Jed losing his brother and Holly losing her dream, together they try to find what they’re looking for.

This is the third book of the “A Legacy of Faith” series. Told in third person; the POV changes from present day with Holly and Jed, to 1969 with great-grandpa Andrew’s story. The 1969 parts are always at the end of the chapter and in different font (at least in this ARC). From what I understand, the Andrew story line starts in the previous two novels and continues/ ends here. Having not read the other two novels, it seemed the “flashback” was a bit unrelated to this particular story. I did enjoy reading about the past as my mom graduated in 1969.

This is definitely a clean read which is devoid of intimate references as well as offensive language.

I understood Jed’s father and his position in wanting to get Jed to reconcile with his brother Chris or lose their business. However, I felt it was wrong to ask Jed and was relieved when his father finally softened. Jed’s father seemed to place the blame on Jed, and using the business as “collateral” was not something I thought was appropriate. Though the “why” of the Jed/Chris discord never does come out, or it is so subtle I missed it.

Jed is finding it hard to fix something that he didn’t know why it was broken or how it broke. And, that I think is common in a lot of relationships – trying to fix what broke but not knowing the how or why of it. That was something I could definitely relate to, and I am sure others can relate to it as well.

It is in going through family photos and great-grandpa’s bible that Jed begins to understand the family and tries to rely on faith to led him to try to reconcile with Chris in a different way. Through great-grandpa Andrew, Jed learns there is a purpose for suffering as well as trying to find the joy in life. However, it is leading him closer to Holly.

Holly has her own issues – a struggling restaurant she inherited, her baking dreams that are passing by, a failed engagement, and the cooking classes for the women in the shelter.

Jed and Holly seemed a bit mis-matched, but watching them navigate the relationship was sweet. And, while I understood Holly’s hesitation, it did seem to undermine the “happily ever after” theme.

The cover depicts a happy couple, baking in a kitchen. And, this honestly didn’t happen in the story. So, I feel a bit let down by the cover. The title is taken from an oldies song “How Sweet it Is”, and to me the story didn’t seem to quite measure up with their story line seemingly ending abruptly.

The reveal about Willow’s son, AJ, was quite a shock and I wasn’t sure how to take that bit of information. It was an interesting plot twist and I was in the “saw that, but didn’t see it” mindset. It made sense, and yet it was still shocking.

It is through Holly that Jed learns to practice grace when reaching out to Chris.

To me, the end came up a bit short – there was a clichΓ© ending with two of the characters (Chris and Willow), and I would’ve liked more of a story with them – how did they meet, what happened, what was Chris’ deal with his issues. Were he and Willow really in love? I honestly felt that the ending was rushed, albeit it was an adorable ending. I am glad to see that Holly was going to give love another chance, especially with Jed.

I would’ve liked to have known how some of the shelter women faired. Perhaps they will get their own stories in a different series down the road.  

There were quite a few historical and well known references from 1969 in this novel. The references of the events are mentioned in a December 31, 1969 “entry” – Chappaquiddick, Sharon Tate’s murder, Hurricane Camille, and the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.

These did make me think about the balance in this story of faith and redemption with the evil atrocities committed, but it did seem a bit sad (if not depressing) for the tone of the novel. I really did enjoy reading the book over all. However, there were a lot of questions I had along with wanting a bit more in it.

Distributed through Thomas Nelson, a Christian/Faith themed publisher; this has biblical references, the characters attend church, there are messages of second chances, grace, and redemption. The messages are a huge part of the story. They are perhaps the best part of the book. The flashback and the current day story do accomplish one caveat – how much we have changed from our grandparents and even our parents.

The biggest message I loved from this book was in practicing grace when dealing with family and friends when it comes to conflicts and reconciliation.  

Readers of the previous books in the series as well as fans of the author will more than likely enjoy this story.


RATING:

⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Goodreads

⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Bookbub

⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Personal Rating (see rating explanation in this blog: https://readingexcursions.blogspot.com/2020/01/rating-system-2020-changes.html)

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