Tag Archive | Deb Kastner

Phoebe’s Groom… a book review

I have to say… Phoebe’s Groom (the title) feels a bit like a spoiler, does it not? Well, it is from the Love Inspired series so… yah… not so much a spoiler as a rather expected progression. Anyway, Phoebe’s Groom by Deb Kastner brings us back to the small town Serendipity. Specifically a part of her series – Email Order Brides, though there was not much of emailing in this book. (my previous review based on this town HERE)

My first, not complaint, but moment of questioning comes from the beginning of each chapter where the main character, pastry chef Phoebe Yates posts a status update (I assume to something like Facebook). Usually there is a corresponding post from her temporary boss in Serendipity and owner of the local cafe, “Auntie” Jo. My question is… do the other main characters (broken hearted widower Chance Hawkins and teenage daughter Lucy) not have accounts as well? Some of her posts are rather obviously about them and if they WERE on the internet too would lead them to quicker conclusions… just a niggle in the back of my brain. 

Now I did find the family interesting. (and yes there is a play on Sadie Hawkins dance and their last name in the book!), having lost wife/mother in a car accident Chance and Lucy are definitely broken spirited individuals. Chance is so traumatized he can’t face getting into a vehicle and Lucy is acting out as she tries to find her way into becoming a teenager. 

Phoebe is at a crossroads, her previous relationship ending because she simply did not feel she was truly in love, a job awaiting her at a rather elite restaurant in New York. But what Phoebe truly wants is to follow her faith and find a love that is sustaining. 

Phoebe and Chance spend a lot of time figuring out where their heads are, where their hearts are and in Chance’s case returning to God and faith. 

This story is actually rather plausible, a death due to a drunk driver leaving a family fractured, a woman on the search for herself takes a temporary position in a small town before her next long term job opens up, the moment of emergency is even something that could happen. (I won’t share and spoil the book) Love and faith and forgiveness, all wrapped up with a wonderful woman whose positive outlook on life is just what Serendipity needs. Do check out this wonderful lighthearted romance. 513nIpz9jHL._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_

Yuletide Baby… a book review

Well, I think I am finally on the downswing of my fluffy reading binge. Or just not grabbing books from the library (still randomly) that completely tickle my fancy. Yuletide Baby by Deb Kastner bypassed Thanksgiving right into Christmas. 

I have a couple loves with this one – the name of the town – Serendipity, Texas; the name of the abandoned baby in the church – Noelle. Who wouldn’t want to live in a town named Serendipity and if you know anything about my baby name choices (Emanuel, Echo, Trinity), well Noelle fits right in on that one. 

Now for what I had trouble with – this is another foster parent book. As mentioned previously a baby is abandoned in a church in the Christmas creche. There is a history of abuse with the female main character Heather and both she and the male lead Shawn (part time pastor full  time rancher) hold onto guilt for situations they could not control. 

There really is not much of a focus on the people in town around the two main characters, possibly because they are really both two wrapped up in their own emotional turmoil. You get a lot of back history in this story on both sides and most of it is tragic. This has caused a strengthening of faith with one and almost a fear of the church and God with the other. 

The ending has a rather dramatic climax that includes Heather’s foster children (and myself a tiny bit confused as to where Noelle was during all of this). The ending is lovely and wraps everything up with a Christmas bow. This is a seasonal contemporary Christian romance with a bit of a gritty under belly. In reading the author’s note to the reader I realized there are multiple books set in the town of Serendipity so the potential is there for more faith journeys in small town Texas. I think I simply prefer my light reading a little less angst filled. hqdefault