Book Marks: A New Monthly Book Review Column

Hi friends! I’m excited to introduce you to my new friend, Carrie Kurtz! We met when my romantic comedy, Little Miss Lovesick, was free for five days in May. Carrie downloaded it, liked it, and reviewed it on her blog. Not only did she say wonderful things about the book – which of course made me like her immediately! – but I just loved the way she reviews books. I read several book reviews on her blog and then asked her if she’d like to be a regular guest here. And she said yes! Yay!

Juliette and the Monday ManDatesLet’s get to know Carrie a little better, and then get on to her first book review here, Juliette and the Monday ManDates. Carrie, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself.

CK: My name is Carrie Kurtz and I’m 35 years old. I grew up in Ohio where I married my high school sweetheart and had two children. A few years ago I received a degree in Psychology while we were also in the process of moving. We now live in Tennessee and I’m definitely enjoying the weather much better!

KB: Haha! I understand about the weather. I’m originally from Michigan! (And I married my college sweetheart. 😉 ) So how did you become a book reviewer?

CK: I have been a book lover since I was a very little girl. I remember when I was probably just five years old and my father went to an auction and brought home several boxes of books. It was like opening a treasure box to me! Since I love to read, my husband bought a book/journal called Books I’ve Read for me several years ago. So, I started writing about all of the books I’ve read and I actually have had to purchase several more journals since I keep filling them all up. After a while, I just figured I would go ahead and start a blog and write reviews too!

KB: Awesome! I tried keeping a book journal when I lived in Sydney, but I had more time for reading then than I do now, and I kept finding myself several books behind in my journal so I quit. Like you, I find it easier to say whatever I want to say on my blog. 🙂  Welcome, Carrie! Let’s get on with your first book review!

Juliette and the Monday ManDates (Gustafson Girls #1) by Becky Doughty

Summary from Goodreads:
Juliette Gustafson is heart-broken after waiting nearly ten years for a proposal from her boyfriend that never came. Determining she isn’t “getting over Mike” quickly enough, her three younger sisters come up with The Monday ManDates; an intervention plan requiring Juliette to endure what turns out to be a series of remarkably disastrous blind dates. Between TheraPaul, Frisky Frank, TAZ the rock star, and the stoic Tim Larsen, the Monday ManDates are doomed from the start. Then there’s Victor Jarrett, the police officer with an affinity for pulling Juliette over when she’s at her very worst. But no one is more surprised than Juliette when she meets the one man who can right the wrongs in her past and change her future, if she will only let herself fall in love with him.

My thoughts on the book:
When I first found this book, it was labeled as women’s fiction or chick lit but I think I would label it more as Christian fiction, which is fine with me!  I enjoyed it and will recommend it to others, including my daughter.  It was a nice read; entertaining, funny, yet serious at times, leaving you with a message of love and forgiveness.  While reading this book there were times when I laughed, times when I got a little teary eyed, and times when I just had to sit and soak up the words.  There were sections of the book that were written so beautifully, like poetry, that touched my heart. The author used some metaphors that I had never heard before but they made so much sense to me and really spoke into different parts of my life.  I found myself even more thankful for my family and my relationship with God.

Juliette and the Monday ManDates is the first in a new four-book series (Gustafson Girls) by Becky Doughty.  This is also the only book by Becky Doughty that I have read so far.  I am curious about what the next books will be about so I will be looking for them.  I am pretty sure that the next book became available May 1st of this year.

All in all, I’m glad that I found this book.  It had a good mix of humor, seriousness, family love and frustrations, friendship, and clean romance.  There were a few things in the storyline that I would have liked to know more about.  For example, character backgrounds and different situations that were left open making me want to know what happens.  But hopefully they will all be told in the other books in this series.

Some of my favorite Juliette and the Monday ManDates quotes
“I need a dog,” she said. “One that will love me unconditionally. And eat my cold left- overs.”

“Let the words of our mouths be necessary, kind, and true. Let the secrets we share be kept safe amongst us few. Let the decisions that we make be brave, noble, and wise Oogie- boogie- doggy- loogie Wiggly- jiggly- fries! G- FOURce unite!”

“God wanted her to call Him Husband? The words were like a balm to her soul.”

“In a sunset’s glory, in the awakening of dawn, when I see Your handiwork displayed across the sky. I am amazed, I am in awe. I am in wonder of who You are, that You would love one such as I.”

“But his thoughts defied his words, and his heart kept whispering her name.”

“Her chest was so tight it almost hurt to breathe, but it was a wonderful pain, and she sighed, reveling in her suffering.”

“Every time I see her she’s either crying uncontrollably, laughing like a lunatic, or hissing like an alley cat!”

“But tonight, instead of more turmoil, the sight of her was like a cool drink of water to his thirsty heart.”

“Her cheek rested against his chest and she listened to the pounding of his heart, the sound of his love for her.”

“Forgiveness. It was like pulling slivers of steel from under the skin.”

Carrie Kurtz

I hope you enjoyed Carrie’s first book review here! She’ll be back the second Tuesday of each month. To read more of her book reviews, visit her blog at http://carrieksbookreviews.blogspot.com.

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