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Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted May 19, 2011

    Book Review of Paradox, by JoAnn Carter

    Lilly Holland is doing fine running her own business, a flower shop and enjoys bringing the beauty of flowers to peoples' lives. An unexpected phone call throws a monkey wrench into her plans and she goes back home to her family's lodge in the small town of Paradox. Her character is engaging and draws the reader into her story and you can't wait to find out what happens with the family crisis and ensuing romance with Ric Walker, the lodge's groundskeeper. I must confess that I don't usually read novellas but as soon as I got immersed into Paradox, JoAnn Carter got me hooked on the sweet romantic story between Lilly and Ric. It was a fast read, but that did not detract from the detailed telling of this tale of healing and hope in God. Ms. Carter creates interesting characters that have depth and are very real-you believe every word she writes and you live the story with the characters. For such a short book, this novella seemed like a full-fledged novel. When reading shorter works of fiction it's more difficult to combine detailed story-telling and character development within the confines of the limited word length. However, Ms. Carter has succeeded with flying colors. I read through this story quickly, but came away from it, feeling as if I read a full-length novel, fully satisfied with this wonderful tale. I highly recommend Paradox. You won't be disappointed with this one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2011


    JoAnn Carter does it again. Paradox is a wonderful short story. Mixing family values with faith, Lily finds love where she least expects or has time for it. Ric can't afford to fall for the boss's daughter, not when so much is going on both in her personal and professional life. With 3D characters and breath-taking scenery, this is one not to be missed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2011

    A sweet and uplifting story that will put a smile on your face!

    Lilly is like so many of us, imperfect in our own eyes. She hdes behind a barrier of insecurity, sure she isn't good enough for her family or anyone else.

    Ric sees Lilly differently. She is beautiful, clever, and achieves great things in adversity. He encourages her to rely on God and realize He loves her as she is.

    But can Ric show her how much she means to him and everyone else, or will she run and hide yet again?

    Ms. Carter tells a wonderful story of hope and redemption, describing not only Lilly's growing love for Ric, but also her journey to accept herself.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2011

    A Sweet Story - I recommend it!

    Lilly is like a lot of us - she's a believer in Christ but is carrying wounds from her past and still needs to let His healing love at them. God brings her back to that place of wounding when her sister is arrested and put in jail while her parents are traveling overseas, leaving Lilly to keep the family business (a Vermont Ski Lodge) going. Her encouragement in the healing process comes in the form of Ric Walker, the Lodge's handyman. Ric is handsome, kind and - most importantly - a fellow believer.

    As life hands Lilly challenge after increasing challenge, she is driven to God in prayer and steps out in faith. She finds reconciliation with her family, greater confidence in her business and a lasting love with Ric.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Sweet Story!

    Lilly's dilemma is one we can all identify with: Forgiveness... an issue which is - in and of itself - a paradox. Forgiveness...asking for it, receiving it, and believing once-and-for-all that you truly are forgiven. Forgiveness...especially of oneself...keeps us all bound to our past at some point in our life. Forgiveness....head knowledge not heart-knowing...leads to us try to make up for our mistakes or to try and earn someone (especially God's) approval. Ms. Carter did a fine job of showing Lilly, through the circumstances of her life and the answers to her prayers, that it is God's love and grace, not something we DO, which grants us His and others' unmerited forgiveness. These lessons are woven in a sweet story of love, romance and happy-ever-after.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    Good book

    I liked the plot of this book. I thought it was something different than other books I have read. Good book!

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  • Posted July 5, 2011

    Cute Read

    Lilly just got blindsided with something she's not sure she can handle. In comes Ric, a man who works for her parents. They renew a friendship as he helps her deal with a family crisis. Then growing feelings for Ric tug at her heart, and he feels the same way, but with all that's going on, how can they be anything but friends?

    Lilly puts aside her own business, a horticulture shop, to travel and run her family's ski lodge. She's not up for it. However, she heads to Paradox, a tourist town, to do her duty. When her employee at the flower shop has to leave town suddenly, what can Lilly do?

    On top of all this, she feels distant from her family. Trouble just keeps piling on, and the tension grows in this delightful story. What does Lilly do? She prays, asking for help. It turns out that as a teenager, Lilly was lost; then she found God, giving her an internal strength to guide her through the hard times. She's an admirable character who takes the high road whenever faced with challenges. Ric is her match. He's a great guy, well suited to her, but will she drop the walls around her heart and let him in? Her values and faith interfere with her efforts to remain distant from him. She needs to let go of the past, and Ric could help her, if she'll allow him to. Will Lilly's parents accept her as she tries to mend the rift between them?

    The theme of self-forgiveness is touched upon as Lilly thinks of mistakes she made in the past, and this affects her actions and relationships in the present. Old-fashioned values and the lesson to lean on others in hard times add depth to this short story. Sometimes, leaving things up to God can lead to interesting surprises. For those who enjoy sweet romance and inspirational stories, this one would be a lovely one to read.

    Originally posted at the Long and Short of It Romance Reviews

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Paradox is a great read!

    Paradox is a novella that pulls you in on the first page and delivers a great message with a satisfying ending. Though only a short story, JoAnn does an amazing job painting the backdrop of the ski lodge and the beautiful flowers as her hero and heroine face daunting obstacles to their happily ever after. Forgiveness and faith, God's faithfulness to heal, and the power of hope all combine to make this a wonderful read. My fourteen year old daughter found it riveting as well. She couldn't put it down.

    JoAnn creates layered characters with believable issues that reader can relate to. So much depth is packed into this great novella. I highly recommend it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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