Review: The Happy Hour Choir by Sally Kilpatrick

  

Some books are just magical, making me feel like I’m in another world, even though the plot and characters are pretty realistic. Some authors have a way of spinning a story into ethereality. The Crossroads Cafe by Deborah Smith, The Reluctant Prophet by Nancy Rue, and First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen all took me by surprise, embracing me into their twilight. And now The Happy Hour Choir joins the list. 

Beulah is a poor southern young woman, living with a friend, working in a bar, rolling her eyes at religion, and avoiding the church rectory across the street. Until a new, good looking, patient, strong, God-loving pastor comes to town. Beulah certainly notices Luke, and even though she avoids talking about God with him, she appreciates his steadfastness and stability.  

Luke doesn’t try to convert Beulah, but he does guide her in the areas of self-respect and leading others. 

And that’s where the happy hour choir comes in. Beulah uses her connections from the bar to put together a new choir for Luke’s church. And it just happens to meet after Luke’s bible study… Also held at the bar. 

Beulah and Luke wend their way through storms and calm, meeting up and lending support along the way. I loved to see their hearts changing and them shepherding the people around in amazing ways. 

Maybe the magic is in the southern-ness of the story, maybe it’s conviction of faith, or maybe it’s just Luke’s strong silent alpha maleness, but whatever it is left me feeling warm and wanting more. 

-calliope

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Review: It Must Be Your Love by Bella Andre

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I’ve never really been into rock stars, but Bella Andre made me a fan in about two chapters. Ford is the rock star of every woman’s dreams. He’s so perfect that you can only believe he’s a character in a book, but he’s written so well he seems pretty darn real.

Mia Sullivan is a successful realtor with a pretty fulfilling social life. Except that she can’t stop thinking about that time she met Ford at a concert… and fell in love.

While I think Andre wrote a fantastic alpha hero and a believable, strong yet feminine woman, I think the strength of this book goes beyond the amazing romance. As in every “Sullivans” book Andre writes, I appreciate the descriptions of family bonds, protective brothers, accepting parents, loyal cousins, and the laughter and trust that really good families foster.

It’s kind of wonderful to get lost for a few hours in hot and heavy liaisons, a wedding, a romance, and family full of love.

-calliope

buy IT MUST BE YOUR LOVE