The Gingerbread House
An Avalon Romance
Hardcover: 192 pages
In this sweet romance, Greta Kendall has come back to her roots and established a bridal shop in the first floor of a lovely Queen Anne Victorian near Aspen. The house has been in her family for years, and her mother, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's, lives with Greta above the shop.
Conflict comes in the name of Stephanie Harwood, who is acquiring property to build a shopping mall and plans to raze the beautiful old house. Greta has tried to get the house listed as historically significant, which would protect it, but efforts so far have failed, and it looks like Stephanie is going to win.
The love interest in the story is Gray Daniels, who comes to the bridal shop to have his grandmother's wedding dress restored for his bride-to-be. Turns out that fiance is Stephanie, and Gray is connected to the efforts to acquire the home and business that Greta loves so dearly.
There is enough suspense in the story to keep a reader fully engaged. Will Greta lose her home and her business and the man she is starting to care for? How long will she be able to care for her mother at home? And who is the stranger who is trying to help her save the house?
On the way to answering these questions the author does a fine job for the most part. The book is well written in terms of establishing characters and places. The dialogue is also very smooth and natural, and the reader gets a real sense of who these people are in how they speak.
In some places, however, the characters did or said something that stretched believability for me as I read. For instance, there is a nice connection between Greta and Gray with parents who suffer from dementia, but Gray opening up so completely and emotionally to Greta about that right after they met, seemed odd to me. Still, there is much to like in this little book that could be read on one lazy Sunday afternoon.
Please come back on Wednesday when Nell will be my guest with a post about historical preservation. She learned some interesting things while researching the subject for her novel.