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Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: "Of Grace and Chocolate" by Krista Lynne Jensen

I have to start with the great way that my **signed** copy of "Of Grace and Chocolate" came into my hands. After reading a fun interview with Krista on Sara M. Eden's blog, I thought, I need to read Krista's book. She sounds so amazing! And just a few weeks later I received an invitation on Facebook to come to Krista's signing in Cody, Wy (which happens to be mere miles from where I grew up!) and wanted so badly to go. I even texted my best friend, Brook, who lives in Cody and told her to say "hi" to Krista for me. Lo and behold a few days later a package arrived on my doorstep. My husband held it tauntingly at me and said, "What did you order this time?" Which is a totally valid question when you're married to someone with a book addiction. Except this time I hadn't ordered anything. I took the package with a quizzical glance until I saw the return address. As I ripped it open, I said, "OH! I hope it's signed!" My husband, now confused, said, "You hope what is signed?"
Yes, readers, it was a copy of "Of Grace and Chocolage," which my amazing best friend had gotten and mailed to me since I couldn't go to the signing myself. I sat right down to read and emerged an hour or so later, already a good chunk into the book, when my family demanded to be fed.

The Point of the Plot: *****
Jillian Parrish has total control of her life. Until Scott Gentry interferes. And her little sister shows up on her doorstep with a baby. Everything spins out of control. But Scott is no ordinary suitor and this is no ordinary romance.

Basically Believable: *****
I've lamented over and over about the cliche plot-lines of romance novels. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl start to fall in love. Big misunderstanding that takes far too many pages to resolve than it should. Boy and girl spend happily every after. There seems to be, at least in the romances I've been reading of late, a new trend. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl DO fall in love (or admit their attraction or something of that nature). Boy and girl face obstacles together, which deepen their feelings. Boy and girl live happily ever after. In case you were wondering, the latter is preferable to me. It is also the basic outline of Jill and Scott's story. There are misunderstandings between them (which thankfully take just the right amount of time to wrap up) and there are also incredibly romantic and wonderful moments. Well done!

Charismatic Characters: *****
I'll be the first to admit that prickly, uptight, career-path women are not my favorite romance novel characters. So Jill Parrish is not a character I'd immediately fall in love with, except I did. Jill is very well done and exceptionally likable. And Scott is right up there on my list of favorite heroes. He doesn't give up easily on Jill and it seems when things are really stacked against him, he just fights harder. 

Yay or Yuck, The Final Word: *****
Yay. Definitely yay. This novel tells the story of a hard journey with difficult twists, and does in a serious yet witty way that is really enjoyable. It was difficult to put down, and in my busy life, it's unusual for me to finish books in a day or two, and yet with this one, I did. 

Buy "Of Grace and Chocolage" here. And come back tomorrow for a fun interview with the author, Krista Lynne Jensen.

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About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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