Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bittersweet Surrender by Diann Hunt

Carly Westlake's life certainly wasn't what she had thought it would be. She had lost a breast to cancer. She had lost her husband too, to a younger woman with a perfect chest. She had also lost her closest friend, Ivy – died in an automobile crash.
Carly is making a go of it as the owner of a spa, recently specializing in chocolate treatments. Ivy had been her partner, but now Carly was on her own. She is a woman struggling with her own image, having been shunned by the man she loved.
She begins an email relationship with an old flame from high school But when he returns to their home town, something is off.
Carly's life gets more complex when her stepmother moves in. Then she alienates her brother, a gambling addict. But her friend, Scott, is always there for their morning run. He;s always there to listen to her.
Bit by bit we learn the secrets in Ivy's life. Slowly we see the attraction build between Carly and Scott. But Scott has his secrets too.

At first I thought this was a typical chick lit novel. The chocolate spa and Carly's crush on her old high school flame seemed so frivolous. But as the novel unfolded, there are serious issues that are addressed. As secrets come to light, many of the characters must face their own weaknesses and seek forgiveness. And Carly must learn to find her worth from God and not how she appears to other people.
All in all, this is a pretty serious novel after the light beginning. There is a reading group guide at the back so this would make a good choice for reading groups who enjoy light Christian romance.

Diann Hunt is the author of several novels. She has lived in Indiana forever, been happily married forever, lovers her family, chocolate, her friends, and her dog. Visit her at www.GirlsWriteOut.com where she blogs with her novel friends.

I received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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