The Gingerbread House
by Nell Carson
Published April 6, 2012 by Avalon Books
*Print Copy obtained directly from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Synopsis via Goodreads:
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 fiancé. 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.
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When I first accepted this novel for review, I wasn't really sure what to expect. The synopsis is intriguing but the cover reveals nothing. This novel was a very clean, heartfelt read. You become attached to the characters in chapter 1. The prologue is a mystery to you until you're further into the novel and realize the significance of the home.
I adored each main character. Even Stephenie - she has her reasons for doing what she does even though I believe she had to have lost herself along the way. Gray was a good male lead and Greta was precious. She was strong, yet didn't see her strength. And Adele - love her. Adele is beginning to suffer from Alzheimer's and it breaks my heart when she's there one minute and gone the next.
The story moves along at a good pace - very easy to read and flows well. Honestly, this novel could've been the basis for a much longer, more thorough novel. I enjoyed the characters and although the situation was upsetting, I would've loved to continue reading!
I would definitely recommend this read to anyone looking for a clean romance about the importance of family and family heirlooms. If those things are important to you, you will definitely connect to the characters and enjoy their journey.
Now, the drama that comes about with Greta's ex-husband was unexpected. That really threw me for a loop (a good one) and I was gripping the pages while waiting for him to do his worst. Although it didn't get as bad as I expected, it made for an interesting plot twist and climactic point in the novel.
The ending, although very unexpected and so insanely sweet, was definitely fairy tale material. I can't imagine the surprise ending (prior to the epilogue) working out as positive in real life as it did in the novel. However, that's the point of reading right? We all want that surprise that you would rarely see in real life. :) I LOVED the ending and thought it was perfect for Greta, Gray, and Adele.
My only negative would have to be the cover. It's sweet and I understand now that it's a part of the house... but it doesn't really portray the actual novel enough for me. Had I seen it on the shelf, I would've passed it right by - which would've been regretful.
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Cover Rating: 2 Stars
Characters: 5 Stars
Plot: 5 Stars
Climax: 4.5 Stars
Ending: 4 Stars