Sunday, May 5, 2013

Review: The Gingerbread House by Nell Carson

Title: The Gingerbread House
Author: Nell Carson
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Source: The author

Goodreads rating: 3.95 out of 5.00
Goodreads | The Book DepositoryAmazon

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 fiancĂ©. 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.

Review by Nara and Chantelle

Sweet, cute and short would be the three words I'd use to describe The Gingerbread House.

The story revolves around Greta Kendall's fight to save her "Gingerbread house" from being demolished by the ambitious Stephanie Harwood as a development spot. In doing so, she catches the attention of Stephanie's handsome fiancĂ©e, Gray Daniels...

This was a very pleasant and quick contemporary romance, and quite different to my usual YA read since the characters are aged in their thirties. Fortunately that didn't pose a problem, I found it easy to relate to Greta and Gray (both got POVs), and was cheering them on or getting scared on their behalf like a good little reader. From the blurb, Nell Carson promises a sweet romance, and she delivered. I was really intrigued by the blurb and happy to find that I wasn't disappointed. The plot is well paced, and full of action to keep the reader interested, it also touched on topics that I was very surprised at due to the depth and sensitivities of them. However, I think the story was a bit too short to do it full justice. At many points in the story, I felt like characters lacked development or scenes lacked exploration, things just moved a little too quickly for me. The story was so intriguing that I found myself mourning for what I felt were missing chapters.  It also meant that I often found myself nit-picking at little plot holes or flows in conversation that I couldn't quite follow or that made the romance seem unfeasible because developments just happened so quickly, but it also reminded me to stop being so cynical and just sit back and enjoy the cutesy romance. It's been awhile since I've come across a truly girly, clean, wholesome romance so although it took a little adjusting, I'm very glad that I read it.

Overall: 7/10
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 3/5

It was time.
Are you kidding me?! What kinda crappy opening line is that?! I mean, seriously, "it was time" is just so cliched...thankfully, as you would probably have gotten from Chantelle's review, the quality of The Gingerbread House significantly improved once that first line was passed. One thing I have to say about it is that it was VERY cliched. However, because I went into the novel expecting the cliches (just look at that first line...), I found that they actually weren't overly annoying.

The Gingerbread House is very much one of those romance novels that somewhat older readers enjoy. Although I am a young adult, I confess that I have partaken in some of those novels e.g. Nora Roberts' Bridal Quartet (which were actually kinda similar to this novel now that I think about it) and I suppose I similarly enjoyed The Gingerbread House as a very light, fun read. It was quite short, so there wasn't much character development, but I found that there was enough that the characters had some depth to them.

Some comments about the characters:
Gray- Oh man, this guy was so ridiculously sappy. He practically cried on every second page! GROW A PAIR, MATE! Seriously though, I'm just exaggerating, he wasn't THAT bad. He was somewhat well developed and an interesting character- and it was nice seeing certain scenes from his point of view.
Greta- She was probably the most well developed as a character (as she should be, seeing as though she's the main character). Initially, she seemed rather superficial, but as you read on, more facets of her character are revealed- ending up with quite a complex character.

I must say, there were some events in the novel that I found downright strange, like the ending (which clearly I can't tell you about because of spoilers) but I'll just say that it was a bit unrealistic. It was fun and happy and heartwarming and great.....just unrealistic. And I suppose as it was a romance novel, you have to take these sappy endings with a grain of salt, because of course, as readers, we all want to see the happily ever after.

Overall: 7/10
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5


  1. This sounds like a good book to pick up when I want some good ol' chick lit. :P I have to admit that sometimes I have to step over finding a romance ending unrealistic to get those fluffy feelings. Thanks, ladies!

    1. It's definitely a classic chick lit. A nice quick read as well :)