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First, I need to thank Susan Friedland of Saddle Seeks Horse again for recommending me to Sallianne Hines’ books. This is my second one in the last half a year and I can’t wait to the next one. Thank you Sallianne for liking my last review so much she sent me a review copy of this one to read. So thoughtful!
If you’re looking for a spring break read, a beach read, a log cabin vacation read, a post valentines day happy in love read…or just for fun, I highly suggest you check out Sallianne’s Love & Stones.
While this story is Jane Austen inspired, it’s not a further development of an Austen character like her other book was. This book is about a woman of middle age, twice divorced in a prairie town of Quinn (which I think is in South Dakota?). I’m not into westerns, so there have been very few books I’ve read in my life placed in a setting like this one, and I found it delightful to see something else. And for certain, the settings are a huge part of what makes the story so special to me.
However, the most interesting thing about this book is the protagonist Cathryn. I have never in my life read a book about a “normal” past her prime woman…much less a grandmother…and in a very small town with all that brings (at least as far as I can recall…perhaps I have…but I can’t remember a single one). I know plenty of these women. Their stories aren’t usually told (at least in the books I read). Don’t get me wrong, I love the plot line, side character development and nods to Austen, but what really caught me as I started the book is that I had never read a book from the point of view of a woman like her before. It was a bit of a shock to me to realize that. Because of that and the immediate notice of it, it took me a little bit to get into the book. I was more concerned about my lack of well rounded-ness and being embarrassed about that than reading the book at first. Wow. Thanks for that wake-up call Sallianne. And kudos to you for writing about a “woman of a certain age,” with such a refreshing story.
The nods to Austen are obvious and regular (and many times much more than nods). However, if you’ve never read a Jane Austen book in your life, it won’t matter. You’ll miss some references and a few nuisances and plot hints…but the book is still very enjoyable. You won’t be able to put it down. Promise.
I’m not going to give anything away on the story line (because I hate reviews that do that), but there’s plenty of drama, friendship, contemplation, horses, cowboys, a mystery, and of course…love. Any story that starts out at a funeral is going to be interesting!
I highly suggest you go pick up a copy of Love & Stones for yourself, curl up with a cup of herbal tea in your jammies (or jeans) and enjoy! I absolutely loved it. If you’re lucky enough to have a getaway or vacation planned, it’s a perfect vacation book!