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Bittersweet by Cathy Marie Hake


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The Advocate

by Cathy Marie Hake

Reviewed by April Gardner

"...charming, unpredictable, and hard to put down."

Laney McCain has dreamed of claiming Galen O’Sullivan’s love since she was a scrawny girl. Up to now, Galen has seen her as no more than a pesky, little sister to his best buddy Josh McCain. But the awaited day has arrived. Laney is now a woman and Galen at last sees her as such.

Enter Ishmael and Ivy Grubb, twins and squatters on O’Sullivan land. Galen feels pity for them and allows them to stay on, working for their keep. The twins have had a rough life, and when Ivy sees the opportunity to make it better, she jumps at it. Unfortunately, improving Ivy’s life means destroying Galen and Laney’s dreams.

Bittersweet is one of those rare books that throws in a crazy, unforeseen twist. The story line and characters intrigued me from the get-go, but about half way through, all the dilemmas presented at the beginning were solved. At that point, I recall thinking, This book had better get interesting fast, or it’s going to lose me.

My wish was granted when, shortly after, the plot took a hair-pin curve. I was hanging on for dear life, but enjoying every minute of it.

The twins, Ishmael and Ivy are a hoot to get to know, and despite Ivy’s schemes, she’s an endearing character. The book is worth reading if only to enjoy these two with their naïve country speech and antics. They would fit in perfectly on the set of “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

Laney was somewhat too good to be true. How she found it in herself to handle treachery with such grace is unrealistic, even for a firm Christian.

Because the characters were a bit on the saintly side, I didn’t glean much from it, spiritually speaking. But that aside, the book was charming, unpredictable, and hard to put down.

If you’re looking for something light and fun, you’ll enjoy Bittersweet.

April GardnerApril W Gardner writes adult and middle grade historical fiction. Her first novel, Wounded Spirits, releases with Vintage Romance Publishing in November of this year. She is a member of ACFW and reviews for Title Trakk, At Home With Christian Fiction, and FIRST Wild Card Blog Tours. A military spouse, April has performed the art of homemaking all over the world. Currently, she lives in Georgia with her darling Hubby. A homeschool mom, she fills her mornings talking fractions and phonics with her two sweet kiddos. In her free time, April enjoys reading, gardening, and DIY. In no particular order, she dreams of owning a horse, visiting all the national parks, and speaking Italian. Visit April's Website or her blog, A Writer's Journey. You can also get to know April on Facebook and Twitter.