Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Litfuse Blog Tour: Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love

From the Publisher
Ethan and Sophie long to share a future together. But the secrets they’re not sharing could tear them apart.
Sophie Caldwell has returned to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, after years away. Despite the heartaches of her childhood, Sophie is determined to make a home, and a name, for herself in the growing town. A gifted writer, she plans to resurrect the local newspaper that so enchanted her as a girl.  Ethan Heyward’s idyllic childhood was shattered by a tragedy he has spent years trying to forget. An accomplished businessman and architect, he has built a majestic resort in the mountains above Hickory Ridge, drawing wealthy tourists from all over the country. When Sophie interviews Ethan for the paper, he is impressed with her intelligence and astounded by her beauty. She’s equally intrigued; but fears he will reject her if he learns about her shadowed past. Just as she summons the courage to tell him, Ethan’s own past unexpectedly and violently catches up with him, threatening not only his life but their budding romance. 

 They say that you can’t judge a book by its cover; but, readers, the moment I saw this delicious winter-scape, I wanted to step inside its world.

Unfortunately, for a book that begins with a lot of action: including an orphan finding a home, newspaper interviews between a hard-won hero and an exotic beauty and a riot in the streets, the pace following the first few chapters drops and one is left with a lot of ponderous scenes riddled with forced dialogue and a very slow-booming romance which must eke its way out of initial attraction.

I previously read Beyond All Measure and have found that it doesn’t take long to get into this book and into the stride of the characters, regardless of whether you are initiated to the world of Hickory Ridge.

The sparks immediately fly on Ethan Heyward’s behalf; but they take a little longer to blossom on Sophie’s, only because she has been hurt and neglected in the past. Her safe-guarding of her heart pairs well with her strong and independent spirit as a woman ahead of her time. She is also a woman with a rather exotic and interesting heritage, which immediately put me in mind of a heroine (also named Sophie) from Through Rushing Water by Catherine Richmond. Sophie is a real go-getter, willing to work against the odds to turn the Gazette into a worthy news source. Immediately, with her spunk, cleverness and spirited aplomb, I was put in mind of Olivia King in Road to Avonlea* whose early work the chronicle led her to excavate some of the darker and deeper secrets of a squeaky clean town. 

I expected a lot more from the story; but am settled by the fact that it features my type of spirited woman, an obligatory ball scene to throw its two protagonists into the whirl of a waltz, and a finely-wrapped up ending ---perfectly tied with the singing of a few carols and a reminder of the title's inspirational source.

While the novel ends with Christmas, it is not shrouded in the festive spirit as the title suggests; nonetheless, the action is packaged with a lovely red bow. This book greatly put me in mind of some of the more recent politically-charged historicals of similar time period solidifying my belief that readers who enjoy Elizabeth Camden, Tamara Alexander and Ann Gabhart will find a home in this novel.

*I will do anything to toss in a Road to Avonlea reference. 

My thanks to Litfuse Publicity for receiving this book care of Thomas Nelson.

Please visit the Litfuse landing page for other reviews of this title 


Rissi said...

Liked the "packaging" better than the novel in this case. :)

Dorothy Love said...


Wanted to stop by to thank you for taking the time to review EVERY PERFECT GIFT. I'm sorry it was not to your liking, and hope that future books will please you more.