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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Book Review - "Love on a Dime" by Cara Lynn James

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?

My Review
This is a charming and elegant novel with an air of romance and intrigue on the brink of secrets about to be revealed. Lily Westbrook turned to writing dime novels when Jackson Grail broke her heart six years ago, so it's understandable why she wouldn't want to turn to him for help when she's being blackmailed--even if he is her new publisher and the one person who could help. While the rest of her family seems to be playing Christian to the tune of Society's standards, Lily is really living out her biblical beliefs with the one exception of deceiving her family of her writing. This one spiritual flaw helped her character be more believable and real. 

As a young man, Jackson Grail knew her parents wouldn't approve of him as a poor boy, so he left Lily to go to college, build a business, and make himself worthy of her. Six years later he returns to find her practically engaged to a wealthy college chum he never much liked. His goal is to win her back and build his business, but Lily fears that she can't trust him after what happened. In her eyes, he puts money and success above people and love. 

The characters' actions, background, and goals are believable. The conflict is appropriate and faith plays an integral part of the storyline. This is the kind of story where the plot builds and builds to one climatic point toward the end. There isn't much mystery as the reader knows where everyone stands on the issues, but there is the anticipation of how it will all play out. As a reader I was satisfied with the ending and would definitely recommend this book.

Learn more about the author, Cara Lynn James

Buy the book on Amazon.