Friday, June 27, 2014

Review: Elly in Love by Colleen Oakes

I swear that sometimes when you think you've finally handled everything that life can throw at you, life decides to prove you wrong. I guess that change and conflict and chaos (sometimes controlled and sometimes not) never stop happening and you have to learn to handle them with grace and good humor. Elly Jordan, in Colleen Oakes' novel, Elly in Love, the second in a planned trilogy, is figuring this out.

Elly's flower shop, Posies, is a success. She's blissful in her relationship with Keith, the deli owner down the street. Things are finally going pretty well for her after a really tough year. But life isn't through throwing her for a loop. First, the half brother she never knew about before shows up on her doorstep. Then she's offered the chance to submit a proposal to design the flowers for the huge reality show BlissBride, a celebrity wedding show that could send her business into the stratosphere. Next she agrees to the suggestion that she open a second, trendier store. And then, despite being in love with Keith, she finds that she can't keep overlooking the fact that he's hiding something from her, very possibly lying to her like her ex-husband did. All of this at once is almost enough to overwhelm her because, of course, very little goes as smoothly as hoped.

This is a sweet novel and full of heart. Elly is the kind of character you root for; she comes off as deserving of all the happiness and success she finds. She is described, quite a few times, as curvy and while others describe her positively, she has a very negative self-image that was rather sad coming from a successful and talented woman. Keith's character is a dream, supportive and understanding, and although Elly's past explains why she needs him to be completely transparent with her, she makes assumptions that don't jibe with his character at all, almost leading to heartache. Naming all the characters in the novel except one, who is called Snarky Teenager throughout, was distracting and unnecessary.  Her behavior and dialogue showed her character completely enough without leaving her nameless. The descriptions of the flowers in the shop and Elly's designs are simply gorgeous. As Elly tackles the latest challenges in her life, she learns a lot about people, the importance of family, and love. The novel is delightful, fun, and mostly light with moments of crisis that are deftly and speedily handled. This would be a charming and quick beach read.

For more information about Colleen Oakes and the book, check out her website, her Facebook page, follow her on Twitter, or connect with her on GoodReads. Take a look at the amazon reviews for others' thoughts and opinions on the book.

Thanks to Janay from Book Sparks PR and the publisher for sending me a copy of the book for review.

1 comment:

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