My Review: Love on a Dime by Cara Lynn James

(Ladies of Summer Hill, #1)
by Cara Lynn James

Christian Fiction /
Historical / Romance

Thomas Nelson
Copyright 2010


In age of elegance and excess, Lilly Westbrook longs for a love both true and eternal.

Newport, Rhode Island, 1899, is a place of shimmering waves, sleek yachts, and ladies of leisure. Of opulent mansions that serve as summer cottages for the rich and famous. Home of railroad magnates and banking tycoons--dashing young men and the women who aspire to marry them.

But it's not the place for lady novelists. Especially not those who pen disreputable dime novels. This poses a problem for Lilly Westbrook, because that's exactly what she does.
No one in Lilly's social set knows she pens fiction under the nom de plume Fannie Cole. Not her family or the wealthy young man about to propose to her. And especially not Jackson Grail, the long-lost beau who just bought her publishing company...and who stirs her heart more than she cares to admit.

But Lilly must put aside her feelings and follow the path that will maintain her family's social stature and provide the financial security that everyone is depending on.

Now Lilly faces a double dilemma. Can she continue to protect her secret identity? And will she have the courage to choose the man who will risk it all just to win her heart?

What I thought:

I was so excited to read this book when I first saw the premise -- finally, something a little different!  It was interesting to read about a "famous" author, who kept her identity a secret, but there were some slow parts as well.  Overall, I would still recommend you give it a try.  :)

Lilly Westbrook has always loved to write, whether it was poems, short stories, or her surprisingly popular dime novels.  Her competition has upped the ante by holding public signing for her books, and Lilly's publisher would like her to do the same.  However, Lilly is terrified by the likelihood of her family being shunned or even ostracized were anyone to find out that she is the famous Fanny Cole.  The only person who knows her deep, dark secret is her very best friend in the world, Miranda Reid.  Lilly wishes she could share her secret with her family, but she can't seem to get past her fear.

Jackson Grail was Lilly's first, and only, true love back in her teens.  He and her brother George were the best of friends, and she slowly fell in love with him over the years.  Though they discussed the idea of marriage, Jack didn't feel that he was good enough in the eyes of Lilly's parents, and his decision to leave for college just about broke Lilly's heart in two.

Years later, Jack and Lilly are together again, but only in the sense that he's come to visit George and is staying at Summerhill as his guest.  Jack has finally come to realize that he still has feelings for Lilly, but she is now being courted by Harlan Santerre, a powerful railroad man, who I thought to be a pompous jerk throughout most of the book.  I gotta tell you though -- his mother is even worse.  Whew, that woman is horrible!

What I got from this book is that even though things in our life may sometimes seem to have gotten completely out of control -- and others may be hurt by the end result -- the only thing we can do is turn it all over to God, and trust Him to work everything out as He sees fit.  This is something I struggle with on a daily basis, but I'm trying to trust God as Lilly did.

If you haven't had the opportunity to read Cara Lynn James' debut novel, be sure to pick up a copy the next time your out shopping for something new and interesting to read.  You can also visit her at her website to find out more about her and her book.

***I would like to say a special "thank you" to FIRST Wild Card Tours for providing me with a copy to review.***


collettakay said...

I agree with your review. I also reviewed this book on my blog and thought it was a little bit slow in places.

I did enjoy the story line though.

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Seems the consensus was it is a bit slow but still worth reading! I really want to read the next one! :-)

Great review as always hon!

XOXO~ Renee

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

Hey Colletta! Love your pedi! ;) Thanks for dropping by.

Hey Renee - great to hear from you. I haven't read the synopsis for the second one, but it's on my wish list.


bigguysmama said...

Ok, I love the cover. I haven't read any of Cara's books, but I'd give this one a go!


Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

I like the cover, too, Mimi. The only thing is Lilly looks really young, instead of in her 20s. :)

Christy--Southern Sassy Girl said...

I, too, thought it dragged a little, but overall, it was a great book and a different setting in history that I'd like to read more of. Great review, Lori! :o)