Lock, Stock, And Over A Barrel

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Title: Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel
Series: Dear Daphne
Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher: B&H Books
Published: June 1, 2013
Pages: 316

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Daphne Ballinger, armed with high hopes, lands her dream job at The New York Times. However, it’s not long before writing about weddings becomes a painful reminder of her failed relationship. It also doesn’t take long before her perception if the big city begins to lose its luster and her opinion of it begins to sour. Because of that she slowly starts to realize that her life needs a change of pace from her usual predictable life. She just doesn’t know how to change anything.

Her life is changed when her beloved Aunt Dee passes away and leaves a sizable estate to Daphne. She now has a change of pace, but it might not last long wit the strings attached to the estate. Coming home was easy, fulfilling the conditions of the estate, getting married within a year of signing the paperwork, isn’t quite as easy, especially since she has to really fall in love within a year.

With the year deadline looming over her, Daphne only hopes for a year in the house before she has to leave, but with so many bachelors in town it seems only a matter of time before she falls in love with one of them. But Daphne is focusing on her transition and her change of lifestyle then falling in love, along with all the secrets her aunt was hiding and whether she should tell them. But maybe God and her deceased Aunt Dee might have different plans for her life and her time in her small town.

Can Daphne fall in love before the allotted time or will she only get a year in her favorite childhood home? What will daphne do if she fails to me the deadline? What secrets will Daphne discover about her aunt and are there any more to be found? Who will Daphne fall in love with if anyone? Will Daphne find that she enjoys life in her small hometown better than life in the big city or will she miss the lights and luster of New York?
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I’m a huge fan of Melody Carlson’s and because of her popularity it’s a struggle to get any of her books, so I was thrilled to get the chance to review this one. I’m used to reading her young adult novels, so I believe this is my first adult novel by her and I must say that it was a new experience and one that I wouldn’t mind experiencing again.

This novel wasn’t quite what I expected. I didn’t expect it to be a series and I definitely didn’t expect it to end at the point or on the note that it did. I did enjoy this novel, but because my expectations were a bit more exciting and romantic I think I’m a bit disappointed with what I got. However, knowing this is a series eases my disappointment just a bit because I know she has to fall in love at some point.

There really isn’t much romance in this book it’s more of flirting and establishing who Daphne’s options are and there are quite a few. There are at least six different guys that are bachelors and are a possibility. I know I’m rooting for Mick, but maybe that’s just because I’m a sucker for an Australian accent. But I have a feeling that I know who the author will pick for Daphne and he’s my second choice. I’m really interested to see how the author navigates half of a dozen men and how she will pick one without disappointing too many people.

The story line of this book isn’t fast paced and isn’t one that’ll keep you up at night but it is one that’s worth reading and I think it holds a lesson all of us single people ought to learn, that we need to look for God for fulfillment instead of the perfect guy or girl. That was my favorite part of the novel because it was an epiphany for Daphne and allowed her to get her priorities straight. It progressed the story nicely and allowed a great finish.

I love this author and though this book was a bit of a disappointment for me and the title sounds better suited to a western, I don’t plan on stopping being this author’s fan and I do plan on reading the next books in this series because I want to know who Daphne ends up with. Though I don’t fully recommend this book I recommend the author’s other books.

Overall, a bit of a disappointment but still a good novel and the start to a good series. I think this book is perfect for those who want more of a serial romance series and not a quick romance read. This book is best left to the adults and possibly older teens. I give this a three out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

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