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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Susan’s Fourth of July Fireworks by Kara Lynn Russell



Susan’s Fourth of July Fireworks by Kara Lynn Russell
Publisher: White Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational, Holiday
Length: Short Story (54 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Orange Blossom

Pansy and Misty matched a lot of couples in Orchard Hill but not everyone needs their help. Cal Wensloff has moved back home to Orchard Hill and Susan Schmidt discovers that the crush she had on him in high school is alive and well. The amazing part is that Cal seems to be interested in her, too. But when her father forbids her to see him, and a rival sets her sights on Cal, Susan has to make some hard choices. The 4th of July is coming up and she's agreed to play Snow White in the annual parade. Will Cal be her Prince Charming, or will Susan end up alone again? One way or the other, there'll be fireworks in Orchard Hill this 4th of July.

Ms. Russell's Orchard Hill series has delighted readers and reviewers alike for the last couple years. I was pleased to see she’d written another story to add to the collection.

Susan is a character already introduced in a previous Orchard Hill story. Now in her own story we get to see and understand her much better. Susan runs her own real estate company. She also has an overbearing father who wants to tell her how to run her life from the business to her love life. She's too old for this. She wonders when she’ll get to start living her own life. On top of it all, the guy she was crushing on in high school has come back to town and it seems like he might be interested in her…maybe.

Susan comes across as a woman still searching for her place in this world. In many ways because her father continues to pressure her in the ways that he believes she should live her life that she’s never had the chance to be herself and discover what she wants. When she gets back in touch with Cal she sees that she might have a future of her own making.

As I read through this latest Orchard Hill story, the one thought going through my head was that the only thing missing were the matchmakers Misty and Pansy who usually grace the prologue and epilogue and compete in making a match. Never fear, Misty and Pansy do make an appearance but they aren’t actually involved in Susan and Cal’s match. It’s just up to the Lord this time. We do however get to see Cora Applebaum—the notorious gossip columnist—in action. If you don't know who that is, visit Ms. Russell's blog.

I found the story sweetly romantic. I only wish it had been longer. Having been a fan of the Orchard Hill series, it was great to see a misunderstood character from one of the earlier books get her own story. You get to root for her independence (thus the 4th of July theme) and like her very much.

It's a short sweet story well worth the time of reading. If you’ve never read an inspirational this would be a good one to start on. It's fun with good characters and not an ounce of preachiness in sight. Just two people of faith falling in love and all that that entails.

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