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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Gingerbread House by Nell Carson

The Gingerbread House by Nell Carson
Publisher: Avalon Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (185 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

After a tumultuous past, Greta Kendall has focused mainly on her bridal shop, located on the first floor of her beloved Queen Anne Victorian near Aspen. For two years she's fought to save her house from Stephanie Harwood of Harwood Development, who is intent on razing her home to build a new mall. But now Greta's running out of time. The town council is about to approve the final plans for the mall.

When Gray Daniels walks into her shop, Greta is immediately attracted to his rugged good looks and midnight blue eyes, until she learns he's Stephanie Harwood's fianc?. She's furious to find they've tricked her into a publicity stunt aimed at garnering support for the mall. So now her little war has a new front: Gray Daniels. If only she could also fight her growing attraction to him.

A knock on the door brings a return of old danger, and Greta must now put aside her anguish over the house to discover if she's at last capable of looking the past in the eye and overcoming it—and if she's finally free to love again.

This is Greta Kendall’s last chance to save her home. She’s been fighting for two years against a woman – Stephanie Harwood – who will do anything it takes to evict Greta and bulldoze her beautiful house. With time running out and her mother running her ragged, Greta’s at her wit’s end to save her home and her business before it’s too late. Which will be the victor – her Queen Anne Victorian or the new shopping mall? Only time will tell.

I love a good, complex character. Greta Kendall has so much going on, both out in the open and under the surface that you can’t help but want to get to know her better. The relationship she has with her aging mother only makes her even more likable. The twists and turns in both her life and her emotional state create an intensely emotional story that will really draw out your own feelings. She’s representative of so many women in the real world, the ones that look like they have it all together, but are actually falling apart when no one’s looking.

Gray Daniels is every woman’s dream man in the flesh - intelligent, handsome and successful. It’s just too bad he’s sleeping with the enemy – Stephanie Harwood. But from the very beginning, you realize that Gray is everything he seems, even if it all seems too good to be true. He’s considerate, understanding and an all-around good guy. The fact that he gets what she’s going through only sweetens the deal, as far as I’m concerned. Gray is definitely the perfect guy to help Greta work through the trauma of her past and get her to love again. I hated the fact that he kept being forced to take the blame for the things his fiancĂ©e was doing to Greta, although you can’t blame Greta for feeling the way she does.

The Gingerbread House is a sweet, intense story about finding real love against the odds. Greta and Gray make a beautiful, fun couple who not only understand each other, but enjoy each other as well. The author’s easy style helps the story flow, carrying you along with it as it develops. A wonderfully emotional journey that has a very happy and a bit surprising end.