Title: Hart of Noel
Author: Chautona Havig
Series: Bookstrings, book 2
Major Themes: Missouri, Bookstores, Christmas, Romance
Synopsis: When Noel’s only bookstore seems doomed to failure because of a lack of understanding, can Milton’s business-rescuing work do any good at all?
Several times recently, when looking for a short, quick read, I’ve landed on Chautona Havig’s newest novellas. After reading Spines & Leaves, I picked up Hart of Noel, the sequel. There isn’t anything quite like reading about a place an author loves . . . in this case, if I remember right, Havig has deep roots in Noel as a real-life town, so seeing her love of the place coming through the story was very sweet.
Joshua Hart’s nemesis is back at it—or still at it, depending on how you look at things. Somehow, Honey Potts, the owner of the bakery across the street, can’t seem to see that her hulking SUV is blocking almost any chance of people seeing his little bookstore. Honey, on the other hand, can’t accept that it’s a big deal. After all, that’s her parking space. It would be too hard to change—not to mention the fact that her sign painting on the vehicle would be incorrect if she did. Milton Coleridge shows up and begins wondering if he can perhaps help yet another floundering bookstore get back on its feet, but it looks as though this Christmas season’s sales—and with it, any chance of keeping the town’s one bookstore afloat—may be lost before it ever gets started.
It’s hard to know how to describe a book like Hart of Noel beyond the general “it was fun, it was a quick read” that often can be ascribed to books like this. But, as always, Havig managed to put something a little extra into the story—something that made me stop and think, even as I was eager to reach the end. How would I react when faced with what Joshua and Honey were dealing with? Where do patience and tolerance come in, and how can we show Christlike love even when that’s the last thing we really want to be doing right now? I enjoyed this book, and I’m looking forward to reading about whatever bookstore Milton finds to rescue next—I’m sure that will be a good story, too.
I was given a review copy of this book, and this is my honest opinion of it.
WARNING: “Swears” is used in ch. 4. Near the end of the book, there are a couple of kisses (not described), several hugs, and some hand-holding.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults