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download (11)Reviewed by Amanda Schafer

Elly Jordan stops in St. Louis for a break from driving and some much-needed caffeine when she meets Kim, who guides Elly through the process of healing from a broken heart. Elly stays in St. Louis, opens a flower shop and begins to make a name for herself in the competitive industry of flowers and weddings. When the guy next door finds her plus-sized-curves attractive, Elly feels like she’s finally getting over her cheating ex-husband. And when she is hired to do the most important (and expensive!) wedding of her career, she has to admit that things are really looking up for her! That is, until she finds out this could be the hardest wedding she’s ever had to plan. Will she be able to do it? Can she and her staff, who seem to be falling apart at the seams, actually pull this off and come out ahead?

I found Elly In Bloom to be difficult to really get “into”. The story didn’t get going until about the 20th chapter, and I was ready to put it down before that. However, when the “big wedding” is revealed it really opens up a new dimension to Elly and her true character. I was terribly put off that every character had a name and had depth except for Snarky Teenager. When I first read that name I felt sure I had an Advance Reader Copy of the book and it would be fixed before publication; I was wrong. Aside from the character not having a real name she certainly didn’t act like teenager, but more like someone in their mid-20’s. I was pleased with the end of the book, however. Elly’s resolution with the groom was like vindication and played out exactly right.

Elly In Bloom is part chick-lit and part Christian fiction, but really doesn’t lean solidly either way. It was fun, but also perplexing. On one page the characters were drinking and cursing (albeit mildly) and on the next they prayed to God for help. However, if you like Christian fiction books that are about real people and aren’t “preachy” in nature, then you’ll love Elly In Bloom. Initially I was frustrated that it didn’t have more Christian fiction aspects to it, but the more I read the more I realized that the characters were very much like every day people who struggle with very real problems all in the midst of trying to live a good life.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband, two sons, and one daughter. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book to read!

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Spark Point Studio. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.