The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek

I was supposed to post this on Friday, but circumstances being what they were (exhausted labor and delivery nurse/slash author couldn’t get her act together), but here’s my review now. And better late than never, right?

welcome_committeeThis is the fourth RITA nominated book I’ve read in my category and I have to say, I freakin’ love the Novel With Strong Romantic Elements. I’m so sad this is the last year for this category 🙁 I’ve loved reading all these books. Each one is so completely different (except of course, there is a romance in it) and that’s what makes this category so unique. Ah, well, on to my review.

The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek by Jane Myers Perrine.

This book centers around the small town of Butternut Creek, Texas and the Christian Church who welcomes it’s newest pastor, Adam Jordan. This is Adam’s first church and he has to learn to deal with the many small town characters who inhabit his new world, including Miss Birdie, one of the church’s “pillars” who thinks she knows exactly what Adam should do (and when he should do it!).

When Miss Birdie’s matchmaking attempts fail with Bachelor Adam, she and the church’s “widows” set their sights on newly returned war Vet Sam and his beautiful, but love scarred physical therapist, Willow.

What I loved about this book:

1. It’s set in Texas! It’s no secret I love books set in Texas. I lived there for 10 years (Plano and Austin) and two of my three kids were born in the Lone Star state. As a matter of fact, my oldest is currently living in Austin. If I didn’t live in Florida, I might consider moving back. The fictional Butternut Creek is set near Austin and I KNOW this town. As in, I’ve been to lots of small towns like this before and it reads so charming and real.

2. Wonderful characters! Okay, I admit to being torn between wanting to hug/kiss or strangle/kill Miss Birdie. She’s Pastor Adam’s biggest fan/foe in the book. She’s that know it all who thinks it’s her way or the highway and you can’t help but sit up and take notice whenever she appears on the page. I loved  loved loved the relationship between her Adam 🙂

3. Heartwarming and sentimental, it was a joy to read this. Just plain fun and heart tugging. Especially after all the disasters that have happened lately, it’s great to pick up a book that celebrates the beauty of life and love and just makes you forget about your everyday worries.

4. Wonderful romance between Sam and Willow. I really loved Sam (the romantic hero in the book). He’s a war vet who’s just returned from the middle East, damaged both physically and emotionally. The love story is totally believable, with the kind of slow build up that makes you keep turning the pages and rooting for this couple.

5. Pastor Adam! I loved this character. He goes from green young pastor to wise young man in the span of the book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading his journey.

Bonus: This is the beginning of a series! And I’m fan 🙂

Here’s a snippet from the book. In this scene, Sam goes to PT for the first time in Butternut Creek.

“Excuse me, Mr. Peterson.” Trixie stepped in front of him, grinning and fluttering her eyelashes at him. 

He hated women’s reactions to him now. His looks had been inherited from the general and generations of military men going back centuries. He had nothing to do with his appearance, plus he didn’t really want anyone noticing him for any reason. Right now, he didn’t feel too good about himself and was hardly a great choice for anything, not even a date. He had more problems than he could handle himself, let alone burden anyone else with.

Unfortunately, the longer he allowed his hair to grow, the scruffier his whiskers, and the deeper his frown, the more women fell at his feet. Most them didn’t mind the fact he was missing a limb and lost his balance more times than he could count, but he did.  Most of the females wanted to rescue him, to take care of him, to fall in love. He didn’t want to be taken care of or rescued. Didn’t need to be fixed and refused to fall in love.

He didn’t want romance. He didn’t want a relationship. Right now, he didn’t even want to pick up a woman, not with the stump at the end of his leg guaranteed to scare her off. With that and the pain any kind of movement caused, celibacy seemed pretty much his only choice these days.