My Review: Love Me Tender -- Janice Hanna

Love Me Tender
(When I Fall in Love)
by Janice Hanna

General Fiction / Romance / Christian

Summerside Press
ISBN:  9781609360177

Back Cover:

Debbie Carmichael determines to salvage her family's restaurant, Sweet Sal's Soda Shoppe, from financial ruin when her father's health fails. Help is in sight when teen heartthrob Bobby Conrad agrees to perform at a fund-raiser concert. But just two weeks before the highly publicized event, plans fall through and Bobby can't come. Enter Johnny Hartman, a young, unknown singer.

Debbie soon realizes the twists and turns leading up to the concert have been divinely orchestrated. But is it the dreamy Bobby Conrad who ultimately steals her heart...or the tender Johnny Hartman?

What I thought:

Love Me Tender was different than any romance I've read to date.  It was my very first experience reading a book in this particular era -- and I found it to be quite interesting.  I would love to read more about the Carmichael family, at some point, if Janice decides to make this the start of a new series.

The year is 1957.  The Ed Sullivan Show and American Bandstand are all the rage.  New talent is showing up left and right.  Johnny Hartman comes to Los Angeles, California to follow his dream of becoming a famous singer.  He feels that God is leading him to witness to others through his amazing singing ability.  After his very first audition, Johnny meets Jim Jangles, who quickly becomes his agent.  Johnny moves in with Jim, his wife Theresa, and their son, Toby -- they become his away-from-home family.  Toby adds a comedic aspect to the story, as he is always trying to talk his Dad into letting him audition for small parts in commercials, singing auditions, plays, etc.  He's a real pistol!

Debbie Carmichael lives in Laguna Beach, California, with her family.  She helps run their family restaurant, Sweet Sal's Soda Shoppe.  Debbie comes up with a great idea to help her family out of their financial dilemma, brought on by her father's ailing health.  They should invite Bobby Conrad to perform a benefit concert at the Soda Shoppe, and take donations instead of selling tickets. Debbie, her sister, Becky Ann, and their friends work very hard to get the news of the upcoming concert out to the public by posting flyers all over town.  The women in Laguna Beach go gaa-gaa over Bobby, and are beyond excited that he will be singing for them!

When Debbie and Johnny meet for the first time, sparks seem to fly between them.  Johnny falls for Debbie almost immediately, but she's still hung up on her teenage crush, Bobby Conrad.  The more time they spend together, Debbie starts to see Johnny in a different light -- maybe she should listen to her heart this time.

Due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict, Bobby Conrad isn't gonna be able to perform the concert!  Debbie, Becky Ann, and their friends are just devastated -- what are they gonna do? -- and on such short notice.  Thankfully, Debbie comes up with an iffy plan, and prays really hard that the folks of Laguna Beach will be happy with Bobby's replacement, Johnny Hartman.

To find out more about Janice Hanna Thompson, stop by her website, or blog to find out what she's been up to.

Click HERE to read an interview with the stars of Love Me Tender!!

*A sincere "thank you" to Janice for providing me with a copy of her book for review!*


Ruth said...

This book is on my TBR pile - I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for the review!

Angie said...

I don't think I've ever read a book during this time period. Looks pretty good....guess I'll add it to my wish list. ;) thanks for your great review!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Nice review ;) I have this one waiting for me. I just love the cover.