April 9, 2013

Review: The House that Love Built by Beth Wiseman

The House that Love Built

About the Book:

Brooke has only loved one man, her late husband. Owen’s rebuilding after a painful divorce. Can a mysterious house bring them together for a second chance at love?

In the charming town of Smithville, Texas, Brooke Holloway is raising two young children on her own, supporting them by running the family hardware store. The last thing on her mind is falling in love. But she’s intrigued when a stranger moves to town and buys the old Hadley mansion. She’s always heard that house holds a secret—maybe even a treasure—and she can’t wait to see inside. When she meets the new owner and they spend time together, she can’t deny the attraction. Could God be giving her another chance at happiness? Or is she betraying her late husband’s memory by even thinking that way?

Owen Saunders bought the Hadley place to spite his cheating ex-wife. She’d always wanted to restore an old house in Smithville. Now he’s going to do it without her. But if anything needs restoration, it is Owen’s heart. Then he meets Brooke and her kids and finds himself tempted by love. Can he bring himself to trust a woman again?

Throw an eccentric uncle into the mix, along with the town’s teenage troublemaker, and even a finicky cat—and one thing becomes clear: God is bringing them all together for a reason.

My Thoughts:

I've read other books by Ms. Wiseman and really enjoyed them. So I was looking forward to this one. Unfortunately it ended up disappointing me. Therefore I'll start with the good stuff! The romance parts were sweet. Brooke and Owen have good chemistry and are definitely attracted to one another. I enjoyed their interactions in the latter half of the story. Also Brooke's children are so funny! There's a moment near the beginning in which her son attempts something sneaky, and his efforts get found out. Made me laugh out loud! And when the family all gets together, there are lots of cute and fun moments. Especially near the end! I absolutely loved the last third of the book when everything comes together and some of the loose ends finally start making sense. So it's not a horrible story at all! Ms. Wiseman is an excellent author. But this time I think maybe she was trying to do too many things, trying to add too many people. Because the first two chapters have four different points of view and we don't stay with one person longer than a page or two. As you get further into the story, this is spread out a little better. But all of them jammed together at the beginning made it difficult to really connect with any of the characters. Quite honestly, I never did feel any sort of connection. I spent the rest of my time reading about these people, but I couldn't seem to ever truly muster up any genuine sadness or happiness for them. It felt like I was kept at a distance, only looking down on these characters from above, not getting into their minds and feeling their emotions. Thus the first half of the book was slow for me to get into. (The latter half picked up a little better and then it swooshed into a wonderful ending!) Along with the differing points of view, the writing didn't flow as well either. It felt slightly choppy and characters would say one thing and then do something completely different the next minute. I found myself skimming pages and rushing through chapters simply so I could get on with the story and find out what happens. In fact, it took me a few days to finish this because I couldn't get excited about picking it up again.

So overall, this was sweet but still just an okay read for me. It has not, by any means, made me disappointed in Ms. Wiseman however. I definitely still plan on reading more of her stories! And you may read this and absolutely love it. I know I've read several reviews from other readers who did. I'll also add that I think the idea behind the story is a great one. This old house brings a lot of people together, people who would never have found each other otherwise. It also brought me the chance to read the book, which I am not sad about at all! :)

A Passage For You:
"Right then he felt a sharp pain against the back of his neck. A hand. And a strong force yanked him to his feet. Like the little sissy baby that he was, he barely kept from crying as he tried to struggle free.
He was caught. And the guy was strong. He quickly had Hunter's arms behind his back with nothing but the firm grip of one hand. With the other hand, he held Hunter's arm.
"I think the cops are looking for you."
Hunter didn't say anything or struggle. The Parsonses' porch light came on. Crazy Mr. Parsons came out with a shotgun, and Hunter thought he was lucky this strong guy had found him first. Mr. Parsons most likely would have just started shooting."

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Booksneeze in return for my honest review.

Toodle-loo kangaroos!

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