Unmistakably Yours


HISTORICAL:  Years after losing her fiancé in a tragic accident, Miss Jane Vancoller has built herself a nice – if somewhat uneventful – life for herself in the small town of Mountain Home, Colorado. Her life changes when her desire to expand her Tea Room interferes with her handsome, widower neighbor’s plans to grow his general store. 

Store owner Hank Murphy has lived through too many lean months to trust that his small store has adequate stock for a Colorado winter. Expanding his storage space could save lives – if only his quarrelsome spinster neighbor would relinquish her claim to the space. When the ambitious owner of the building announces a contest to decide whether Jane or Hank can expand, both play to win… but will they wind up losing their hearts instead?

Ms. Holt’s novel reads like an old Frank Capra movie starring Gary Cooper and in the best way possible. Americana themes like self-reliance and the importance of family, love, and neighbors abound, while loveable, colorful characters and a secondary heart-wringing subplot bring the story to life. The novel is less about the contest and more about people overcoming their past hurts to learn to love again. If the narrative slows a bit here and there and some of the issues resolve a touch too easily, these do not detract from the otherwise fine story-telling and lush prose. The author’s attention to historical detail is another plus. Readers looking to lose themselves in a gentle love story peopled by realistic characters will be well-pleased by this offering.

Janice Martin