“Carol and the Belles” by Chautona Havig

Chautona’s newest Christmas novel is releasing today!

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Their childhood letters formed the friendship of a lifetime.

As part of an international school pen pal program, Carol and Michal began writing monthly letters twenty-five ago. So, when Carol’s artisan guild decides to send an emissary to the United States to investigate a new gift store and potentially negotiate contracts for importing Romanian handcrafts to several major American cities, Carol applies. Finally, the chance to meet Michal after all these years!

But Carol’s arrival in Rockland is fraught with surprises, misunderstandings, and a string of both awkward and delightful dates. Michal and the “belles” do everything possible to make the visit memorable and special, but when Carol decides to apply for a work visa, things get really interesting.

As a self-professed “world’s most non-spontaneous person,” Michal discovers that following your heart and the Lord’s leading just might also lead you into unexpected places and spontaneous decisions.”

Wow, this was one of the most unique books by Chautona Havig that I have read. And she’s pretty good at not writing cliched story-lines! She kept me guessing almost the whole time, and I seriously wondered how it was going to end. I’m still trying to fully formulate my thoughts on it, because I honestly wasn’t sure how I even wanted it to end. Without giving anything away, suffice it say, she created two likable male characters, and I almost ended up rooting for the wrong guy.

I thought she did a great job of developing her characters, and you could see where they all had strengths and weaknesses, yet they desired to identify what they were, and work through them. Crystal was definitely one of my favorite secondary characters, but really all of them (okay, maybe minus one) found a special place in my heart.

I will say for one reason and another, this was not my favorite of her books that I’ve read, but I think it was mainly for personal reasons. I personally found the ending to be a little rushed. I kept expecting a certain event to happen sooner than it did, but then when it finally happened, the following of events seemed to “snowball” (pun only slightly intended ;-).

Overall, a good story with some elements that made me thankful for the blessings God has given me.

Also….

*Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Thanks so much for this opportunity, Mrs. Havig!

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