Sunday, July 1, 2018

Review - Blossom Street Brides by Debbie Macomber

Blossom Street Brides by Debbie Macomber
Narrated by Cassandra Campbell
Series: Blossom Street #10
Publisher: Ballantine Books / Random House Audio
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Date Read: June 3, 2018
Length: 432 pages / 10 hours 59 minutes
Source: NetGalley / Library via Overdrive
★★★☆☆
#1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber has won the hearts of millions of readers with her moving and inspiring stories. Now wedding bells are ringing in the tight-knit community that gathers around A Good Yarn, a store in a pretty Seattle neighborhood. Knitters come to the store to buy yarn and patterns but somehow they leave richer in friendship and love.

Lauren Elliott has waited years for her long-term boyfriend, Todd, to propose, yet he seems more focused on his career than their relationship. When Lauren learns that her younger sister is pregnant before she herself even has an engagement ring, she feels overjoyed yet disheartened. Knowing she can’t put her future on hold, Lauren prepares to make a bold choice—one that leads her to a man she never dreamed she’d meet.

Newly married to her second husband, Max, Bethanne Scranton is blissfully in love. But with Max’s job in California and Bethanne’s in Seattle, their long-distance marriage is becoming difficult to maintain. To complicate matters, Bethanne’s cunning ex will do anything to win her back.

Lydia Goetz, too, is wonderfully happy with her husband, Brad, though lately she worries about the future of A Good Yarn. As she considers how to bring in business, she discovers that someone has beaten her to the punch. Baskets of yarn are mysteriously popping up all over town, with instructions to knit a scarf for charity and bring it into Lydia’s store. Never before has her shop received so much attention, but who hatched this brilliant plan?

As three women’s lives intersect in unexpected ways, Lydia, Lauren, and Bethanne realize that love heals every heart, and the best surprises still lay ahead.
My Review

This was just okay for me.  I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either.  This isn't normally the kind of book that I would pick up but I added it to my so be read list several years ago largely because of my mother.  When this book was being released, my mother was undergoing chemotherapy during her third battle with breast cancer.  I took her to all of her doctor appointments and chemo treatments so we spent a lot of time together and she loves Debbie Macomber's writing.  I added this book to my review pile due to my mother's recommendation but I accept full responsibility for letting it linger there for years.  I did like the book and am glad that I finally picked it up.

This is one of those books that tells several somewhat connected stories.  I don't always care for this method of storytelling because I often like one of the plot threads more than the others and the book's momentum seems to slow down with the focus is switched.  I had those issues with this book and think that I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if one of the stories would have been the primary focus of the book. 

Lydia, Lauren, and Bethanne all share a love of knitting and know each other through their hobby.  Lydia runs the local yarn store and is dealing with some issues in personal life with her adopted daughter and her mother's health.  She is also trying to solve the mystery of the knitting baskets showing up all over town tied to her store.  Lauren is ready for a long term relationship and decides to move on from her boyfriend and then quickly meets Rooster and finds that he may be the man she needs in her life.  Bethanne and her husband live in different states due to work obligations but are deeply in love.  Bethanne's daughter and ex-husband are adding an extra set of challenges but they are determines to make things work.

I liked all three of the stories but the book as a whole just felt too sweet.  It really shouldn't have been a surprise that the book read like a Hallmark movie since several of her books actually are Hallmark movies.  As I worked my way through this book, some of the characters just seemed unrealistically nice and conversations didn't always feel authentic because everyone was just a little too perfect.  There were a few characters that were causing problems and being difficult but the overly sweet tone of the book never seemed to subside.

I have listened to Cassandra Campbell's narration in the past and have always enjoyed her work.  She had a pretty large cast of characters to deal with in this book and I thought she did a great job of it.  There were times that I thought that the narration was a little too saccharine but I really think that this was due to the dialogue more than anything else.   I wouldn't hesitate to listen to Cassandra Campbell again in the future.

I would recommend this book to readers that like a sweet and clean story.  I did want to see everything work out for the characters and liked the book overall.  I don't think that there is anything ground breaking in this book but it was a nice story. 

I received a digital review copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from the library via Overdrive.
About the Author

Debbie Macomber, the author of Starry Night, Rose Harbor in Bloom, The Inn at Rose Harbor, Starting Now, Angels at the Table, A Turn in the Road, 1105 Yakima Street, Hannah’s List, and Twenty Wishes, is a leading voice in women’s fiction. Nine of her novels have hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, with three debuting at #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly lists. In 2009 and 2010, Mrs. Miracle and Call Me Mrs. Miracle were Hallmark Channel’s top-watched movies for the year. In 2013, Hallmark Channel produced the original series Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove. She has more than 170 million copies of her books in print worldwide.

Author Link:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

14 comments:

  1. Debbie Macomber - what a blast from the past! I am sorry you didn't like this one as much as you'd hoped. Flawed characters are much more prominent in books these days, and much more realistic! It sounds like maybe the author isn't evolving with the times.

    Great review.

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    Replies
    1. I think that Macomber has an audience but I would have preferred a more realistic group of characters.

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  2. sometimes a book like that is nice from time to time but it's too bad that it was just ok

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    1. It was an okay read and I am glad that I read it.

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  3. It's been years since I've read a book by this author but I remember liking the books that I did read.

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    1. I think I read and enjoyed her work in the past. This wasn't bad but it didn't wow me either.

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  4. Ohhh wedding Maccomber book! Cool. She is always good

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    Replies
    1. I did expect more weddings from the title and cover but just one small one.

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  5. I've never read anything by this author and had no idea some of her books were Hallmark movies! My mom loves to shop at Hallmark stores, but I haven't been in one in years.

    I feel like her writing might not be a good fit for me, because people that come across as too perfect tend to annoy me. It doesn't feel realistic and that's an important part of any book. Does this feel authentic? I don't know... I do want to read one of her books one day, so I'll keep looking around and see if there's anything that really sticks out.

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. I just found everything to be a little too perfect for my tastes.

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  6. Aww, that's cool there's a story connected to this book for you. Too bad you didn't enjoy it more.

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    1. My mom did enjoy this one a lot more than me so I am pretty sure we don't have the same tastes in books.

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  7. I've read a book or two from this series and definitely agree with everything you say. It's a nice break but never wows me and it definitely reads like a Hallmark movie. I've wondered if her other series (the one with the addresses in the titles - there's a TV series but can't remember the name) maybe has a little more punch and thought it might be fun to try.

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    Replies
    1. I haven't seen any of her movies but it just felt overly sweet to me.

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