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At Bluebonnet Lake: A Novel
     

At Bluebonnet Lake: A Novel

4.2 24
by Amanda Cabot
 

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Marketing maven Kate Sherwood's world is fast-paced, challenging, and always changing. The last thing she wants to do is slow down to a crawl at Rainbow's End, a dilapidated resort in the Texas Hill Country. But she cannot deny her ailing grandmother's request to visit the place where she and her deceased husband spent one glorious week (albeit fifty years ago).

Overview

Marketing maven Kate Sherwood's world is fast-paced, challenging, and always changing. The last thing she wants to do is slow down to a crawl at Rainbow's End, a dilapidated resort in the Texas Hill Country. But she cannot deny her ailing grandmother's request to visit the place where she and her deceased husband spent one glorious week (albeit fifty years ago). There Kate meets Greg Vange, the resort's handyman. But there's more to Greg than meets the eye—billions more, in fact, as he recently sold his successful software company and is at the resort in search of what's next for his life.

Kate isn't looking for romance, but she can't deny the sparks of attraction that fly every time she and Greg are together. She even starts to see potential in the rundown resort. Could there be a future there? Or will Kate's long-sought promotion take her back to the big city?

Amanda Cabot invites readers to step away from the pressures of the daily grind. They might be surprised by what they find at Rainbow's End.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 08/25/2014
Cabot (With Autumn’s Return) finds the perfect balance between passion and integrity in the first book of her Texas Crossroads series. Kate Sherwood, a harried Manhattan marketing wunderkind, is roped into taking her widowed grandmother on the trip of a lifetime back to Rainbow’s End, a resort in Texas hill country. The weathered and struggling resort holds just enough magic to present Kate with Greg Vange, a mysterious handyman who captures her attention as well as her heart as they both find themselves at crossroads in their lives. Multiple character voices blend harmoniously into a joyous song of love. Uplifting and inspiring, the story speaks to the way nostalgia wisely finds a place in the modern world. Drawing readers into the lives of her characters, Cabot engages and entertains in equal measure. (Oct.)
Library Journal
11/15/2014
Kate Sherwood's grandmother Sally has convinced Kate to vacation with her at Rainbow's End in the Texas Hill Country. The resort has seen better days, but Sally has fond memories of a visit many years earlier with her late husband, and she would like her granddaughter to see that there is more to life than a career. As Sally and local widower Roy begin dating, she hopes that Kate and another guest, Greg, will also form a relationship. Having left a successful job, Greg, however, is unsure of what his future holds, Kate's boss expects her to work while on vacation, and Sally will need to leave her home in Buffalo, NY, to spend more time with Roy. Can each of them allow God to lead them and their dreams for the future? VERDICT Well-drawn and likable characters pervade this enjoyable, contemporary romance. Readers will probably guess the ending, but getting there is half the fun. This promising series opener by Cabot (Summer of Promise) will appeal to fans of Lori Copeland and Lauraine Snelling.—Margaret Bentley, Shiawassee Dist. Lib., Owosso, MI

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780800734343
Publisher:
Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/21/2014
Series:
Texas Crossroads Series , #1
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
1,380,701
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

At Bluebonnet Lake

A Novel


By Amanda Cabot

Revell

Copyright © 2014 Amanda Cabot
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3434-3


CHAPTER 1

It had to be an April Fools' joke. Any second, Sally would laugh and tell Kate to turn the car around, that they weren't really going to spend a month in a place that—if the front gate was any indication—was in desperate need of an extreme makeover.

The drive from San Antonio's international airport had been easy, the traffic no challenge for a woman accustomed to dealing with the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike, and once they'd left the city itself, the scenery had proven to be even more beautiful than Sally had promised. The rolling tree-covered hills, the lush meadows, even the oversized prickly pear cactus all added to the pastoral beauty. No doubt about it: the Texas Hill Country was beautiful. All except for this particular spot. This was literally the end of the road.

After they'd left the tiny town of Dupree, they'd climbed a hill before descending into one of the prettiest valleys Kate had seen. Then the road had ended abruptly, leaving her with the choice of a U-turn or passing through this gate. Kate had seen similar gates on TV, and they'd always led to the estate of some millionaire. Not this time. She might be in Texas, but this wasn't Southfork. Far from it. This was definitely a joke, and now it was time to admit she'd been fooled.

Kate turned to look at her passenger. As she'd expected, Sally was smiling. Unfortunately, it wasn't a "fooled you this time, didn't I?" smile. To the contrary, Kate's grandmother radiated happiness. Genuine happiness.

Kate's stomach did somersaults at the realization that this was no joke. This was the place Sally expected them to spend the next month.

"Oh, Kate, it's just the way I remember. The beautiful iron gate with the rainbow on top, the trees—even the prickly pears are the way I remember them."

Kate tried not to sigh. The finish on what Sally called the beautiful iron gate was peeling; the rainbow's colors had faded; the ark that replaced the fabled pot of gold at one end was so bent it was almost unrecognizable. Though she knew that Sally's eyesight was no longer perfect, Kate was certain that the entrance to Rainbow's End hadn't looked like this when her grandmother visited it half a century ago. Sally was seeing what she wanted to see.

"The trees are beautiful," Kate admitted as she steered her rental car through the gate and onto the resort's private drive. Live oaks and cypresses shaded the badly rutted road and seemed to promise that even the hottest days of July and August would be bearable. Perhaps only the entrance needed work. Perhaps the resort itself would be better.

It was not. Kate parked as close as she could to what appeared to be the entrance and tried not to frown. Any resemblance to the Tyrolean cottage in the brochure was purely coincidental. The paint was faded; one of the shutters hung askew; and the flowers in the window box were cheap plastic, as faded as the paint. Whoever had designed the resort's brochure had both a vivid imagination and more than a passing acquaintance with Photoshop. Kate's colleagues would have laughed at this example of faux-tography. She wasn't laughing.

"Are you sure this is the right place?" Kate knew she was grasping at straws. There couldn't be another place called Rainbow's End so close to this one.

"Of course it is." Sally's voice was uncharacteristically sharp as she ran a hand through her tightly curled silver hair in an equally uncharacteristic gesture. Kate felt more than a momentary stab of guilt. Her grandmother had asked very little of her over the years. It was unkind of Kate to even hint that she was less than thrilled to be here, especially given Sally's health. That was, after all, the reason Kate was taking an extended vacation, so that her grandmother could have the trip she'd dreamed of for so long.

"There's the door to the office." Sally pointed to a sign that appeared to be relatively new. "Let's see which cabin they've given us."

Waiting until Sally had swung her legs out of the car and stood, albeit a bit shakily, Kate extended her arm and let Sally grasp it. Though Sally hated any show of dependence, the path was uneven, making the few yards treacherous for a woman with poor knees that were already tired from the long trip.

Kate opened the door and ushered her grandmother inside the small but seemingly well-appointed office. A computer and printer shared space with a phone on a long credenza that housed six file drawers. There was even a vase of fresh flowers on the tall counter separating guests from the working area. There was, however, no sign of staff.

Kate smiled at Sally as she rang the old-fashioned bell on the counter. Her grandmother had had a similar bell at home and had never once complained during the weeks when it was Kate's favorite toy.

Within seconds of the bell's ringing, a tall, athletic woman whom Kate guessed to be in her midforties entered the office. Dressed in khaki slacks and a navy polo shirt with the Rainbow's End logo, she was undoubtedly an employee, and the way she assessed Kate and Sally made Kate suspect she was one of the owners.

"You must be our new guests," the auburn-haired woman said with a smile. "I'm Angela Sinclair."

Kate nodded as she recognized the name. According to the brochure, Angela and Tim Sinclair were the proprietors of Rainbow's End. "I'm Kate Sherwood, and this is my grandmother, Sally Fuller." Though colleagues found it a bit strange, Kate hadn't called her Grandma since Grandpa Larry's death when Sally had announced that Kate was old enough to drop the title.

"Ah yes." The woman's smile broadened as she looked at Sally. Who wouldn't smile at a petite, silver-haired woman whose plump cheeks made her look like Mrs. Claus? "You mentioned that you were a guest here in the past." Angela Sinclair gestured toward the row of file cabinets. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Fuller, but I couldn't find the records."

Sally's laugh filled the room. "That's probably because it was such a long time ago. Dinosaurs were still roaming the earth then."

"I doubt that." Angela chuckled as she pulled a key from the rack over the credenza. "My husband and I have owned Rainbow's End for five years, but we have records going back another decade."

"Not far enough." Sally leaned forward and cupped her hand around one side of her mouth, as if she were about to impart a state secret. "I was here fifty years ago."

Her eyes widening in surprise, Angela nodded. "We get some repeat business, but you're the first from that far back. Welcome to Rainbow's End," she said, apparently realizing that she hadn't formally greeted them. "Tim and I are glad you've decided to return." Angela pulled out a map and circled a square. "I've put you in number 12."

For the first time since they'd entered the office, Sally's smile faded, making Kate wonder what was bothering her. She didn't have to wait long for the answer.

"The cabins have numbers?" Sally reached for the old-fashioned iron key and slid it into the front pocket of her purse. "When Larry and I were here, they were named for people from the Bible. We stayed in Joshua, right on Bluebonnet Lake."

Angela lowered her eyes, clearly uncomfortable with some aspect of the conversation. "I see. Tim and I made a few changes, and that was one of them. When we saw that the signs needed to be repainted, we decided it would be easier to replace them with new metal numbers."

Cheaper too. Judging from what Kate had seen so far, Rainbow's End was not exactly flourishing. She studied the map for a second. "I'm sure number 12 will be lovely. It looks easy enough to find."

With a quick nod, Angela handed Kate a second sheet of paper. "All the information is here. You know we're on the modified American plan. Supper's at 6:00. Breakfast is a buffet from 7:00 to 8:30. On Sunday we serve a midday meal instead of supper."

Her face once more beaming, Sally touched Kate's arm. "It's just the way I remembered. Oh, Kate, I'm so glad we came."

And so was Kate, if it made her grandmother this happy. But as she drove the short distance to the cabin, Kate's doubts resurfaced. "Are you sure this will be all right?" she asked as she pulled into the parking space on the east side of the building and checked the odometer. "It's a tenth of a mile to the dining room."

Sally gripped her purse with both hands. "I'm not an invalid, Kate. It's true Dr. Morrison said my heart isn't as strong as it used to be, but I can certainly walk to meals."

Sally's cheeks flushed, and Kate wondered if it was from the realization that this story was significantly different from the one she'd told when she was trying to convince Kate they should come here. At that time, Sally had claimed that the doctor believed her heart was so weak that she might be unable to travel in another year.

Wondering if she'd been manipulated, Kate raised an eyebrow.

"Dr. Morrison told me moderate exercise is good," her grandmother said, sounding a bit defensive. "Besides, this cabin looks as delightful as Joshua, and it's bigger. I think I remember hearing that all the cabins along the lakefront had only one bedroom." Sally tipped her head in the opposite direction, her change of subject telling Kate she had no intention of continuing the discussion of her health today.

Kate had to admit that their cabin appeared to be in better shape than the office, perhaps because it was constructed of fieldstone. Although she had seen only a few of the cabins, it seemed that each was unique, which gave Rainbow's End a surprisingly charming hodgepodge look. Rough-hewn wood, painted cinder blocks, stucco, and even what appeared to be genuine logs might have seemed haphazard, as if the original owners had no idea what they wanted for their resort, but somehow the cabins blended together, perhaps because they all had the same gray metal roofs.

Number 12 was larger than most of its neighbors, and like them, it boasted a front porch that seemed to beg for rocking chairs. Kate could picture herself and Sally sitting there, watching for the birds that Sally claimed were one of the area's attractions. According to Sally, if they were lucky, they'd see everything from kingfishers to goldfinches to painted buntings. But first they needed chairs. Kate would ask for them as soon as she got Sally settled in the cabin.

"Let me take a quick look," she said to her grandmother, holding out her hand for the key. "There's no point in your getting out if we have to change cabins."

Sally pursed her lips. "I told you I'm not an invalid."

"Of course you're not, but you are the stubborn woman who refused a ride through the terminals. You can deny it all you want, but I know you're tired."

Her grandmother nodded. "All right. I'll let you be the boss this time." That was a first.

As images of the resort's dilapidated entrance sign flashed before her, Kate decided to examine all sides of the cabin's exterior before venturing indoors. The front and the east side looked fine. She rounded the corner to the rear and stopped abruptly, startled by the sight of a man on a ladder, doing something to the window screen.

There was nothing remarkable about him. Kate suspected that most of the men in this part of the country wore jeans and chambray shirts, and while many sported cowboy hats, a baseball cap like this man's wouldn't alert the fashion police. Even his height—at least six feet—and the dark brown hair that appeared in need of a good cut weren't uncommon here. As she and Sally had made their way through the airport, Kate had spotted plenty of tall, dark-haired men who obviously saw no reason to spend a hundred dollars at a fancy salon.

"Is something wrong?" she asked after clearing her throat. The last thing she needed was to have the man tumble off the ladder and blame her. While Texans might admonish each other to "drive friendly," she doubted they were any less litigious than her New Jersey neighbors who'd been quick to sue their landlord when they tripped on a loose piece of carpet.

The man turned and shrugged, and in that instant, Kate revised her assessment. There was something remarkable about this man. It wasn't his green eyes, nor was it the square chin that kept him from being movie-star handsome. It was his attitude. Though his shrug was nonchalant, there was something about the tilt of his head and the way he regarded her that told Kate this man was used to being in charge.

What a ridiculous thought. That kind of guy wouldn't be working as a handyman at a rundown resort. Or would he? With the last recession, that was possible.

"Nothing's wrong," he said in a voice that bore no trace of a Texas drawl, "as long as you like flying insects and maybe a bat or two in your room." He pointed to a sizeable hole in the screen. "It'll only take a few minutes to patch this."

Though Kate knew that tourists flocked to Austin to see the bats that hung around—literally—on one of the bridges, she had no desire to see one up close and personal. "Thanks. We'd prefer bat-free accommodations." As she started to ask what else might be wrong here, she shook her head. That was one question best left unanswered.

She completed the circuit of the cabin, finding nothing to alarm her until she reached the front and saw Sally struggling to remove one of her suitcases from the trunk.

"Sally, I—"

"Let me help you, ma'am." The handyman must have decided that a woman who shuddered at the thought of bats needed assistance, for he had abandoned his ladder and was now approaching Sally, moving with an easy gait. Just as easily, he extracted the large wheeled bag from the trunk.

"Thank you, young man. I appreciate your help. I hate to admit it, but these bones aren't as young as they used to be." From Sally, that was a huge admission.

"My name's Greg, and I'm glad to help you, ma'am." His courtesy earned him a smile from Sally and Kate's admiration. The men she'd dated had not always been so polite to her grandmother.

When Greg reached the top of the stairs, he waited for Kate to unlock the door, then pushed it open. "Where would you like me to put the bags?"

Kate took a quick look around the cabin, feeling herself relax when she saw that it was spotlessly clean and seemingly free of bats and other winged creatures. Comprised of a small living area with a sofa and two chairs, a shelf filled with books and a few board games, two bedrooms, and a bath, the cabin was far from luxurious but would be adequate for their stay.

"Right here is fine," she said, pointing to an open area near the front door. "I'll let my grandmother choose her room." Though the bedrooms were of equal size and virtually identical with nondescript furnishings, Sally might have a preference.

"My, this is nice." To Kate's dismay, though there were only three steps leading to the porch, Sally was slightly out of breath. As images of heart attacks whirled through her brain, Kate forced herself to inhale deeply. There could be a less ominous cause. Sally wasn't used to flying. Perhaps that was the reason for her apparent fatigue.

Kate's grandmother flashed Greg a smile that bore no hint of alarm. "Thank you, young man."

"Greg," he reminded her before he turned to Kate. As Sally began to explore the cabin, he asked, "Would you like me to bring in your bags too?"

His voice was low and well modulated. If Kate had had to guess, she would have said it was the product of an expensive education. That increased her belief that Greg had lost his job and was filling in here until he found another position. The question was, what had he done before? He didn't look like a lawyer or a financial planner—at least not the ones she'd met—but he moved with more assurance than most junior level managers.

Realizing that she'd been staring and hadn't answered his question, Kate shook her head. "The screen is more important." She reached into her purse and pulled out her wallet, intending to tip him.

Greg shook his head, then brushed back the errant lock that had tumbled over his forehead when he'd removed his hat. "No need for that. As I told your grandmother, I'm glad to help."

Though she doubted working at Rainbow's End paid more than minimum wage, Kate wouldn't insult Greg. She simply smiled and thanked him for his efforts. As soon as he'd left, she turned to her grandmother. Sally had given the bedrooms a cursory glance, chosen the one that faced the front of the cabin, then settled into one of the overstuffed chairs that flanked the large window.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from At Bluebonnet Lake by Amanda Cabot. Copyright © 2014 Amanda Cabot. Excerpted by permission of Revell.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers Best. She lives in Wyoming. Learn more at www.amandacabot.com.

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At Bluebonnet Lake: A Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
tmurrell2 More than 1 year ago
Kate has focused on her marketing career her entire adult life. Her goal is partnership in the small firm where she works. But when her grandmother, her only remaining relative, asks her to come and spend a month at a small resort in Texas, she can't say no. Her grandmother fondly remembers spending time there with her late husband and wants to visit it one more time before she dies. She uses her health as an incentive to get Kate to take the month off work. Kate finds a resort in various stages of decay, a handyman that isn't really an employee, and a peace she didn't know she was looking for. If you love sweet romances, no suspense, and subtle Christian influences, than this is the perfect book for you. The author created a story that will make you smile, doesn't keep you guessing about the end, and subtly brings in points of faith and God. I enjoyed the story and will be looking forward to the next book in the series. I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.
lsnlj More than 1 year ago
This is the first in the Texas Crossroads series, what a great place to start. Advertising executive Kate Sherwood has promised her grandmother, Sally, that she will take her to Rainbow’s End resort in the Texas Hill Country. She is not prepared for the run down resort. It is not exactly what Sally described nor what it is advertised as. Yet, she has promised her grandmother a month here at this resort so she will make the best of it. When she sees Greg Vange she mistakes him for the handyman. She quickly learns her mistake and that is when the sparks fly. Not only is Kate in for a surprise but so is Sally. Kate must make decisions about her future that she is not sure she is ready to make. What is it that will truly make her happy? Greg Vange is not sure why God has led him to Rainbow’s End but he knows he is here for a reason. When Kate Sherwood steps into his life he is not sure where it will lead, if anywhere. Greg has some issues he needs to figure out for himself and find exactly where God is leading. The slow paced town is not what either Greg or Kate are used to yet it has a homey feel. I love the lessons learned by both Greg and Kate and I also enjoyed Sally and her chance at love. This is almost like two romance novels in one. I was given a copy of this book from neutrally for my honest opinion.
MitziAB More than 1 year ago
5 stars ***** out of five Contemporary Fiction The first novel in Amanda Cabot's Texas Crossroads is so warm and inviting to the reader to come in and enjoy. The setting itself got my imagination soaring! What's not to love about a remote resort near a pristine lake? Does it matter that the closest town is becoming more of a ghost town than thriving metropolis?Kate has more than enough flaws to make her unlikeable, but her love and devotion to her grandmother definitely make up for it! And by the end of the novel she has made a transformation that is true to life. I love the resort, and am thrilled how it becomes a character. Well written, characters that grow in maturity, a setting that draws you. Vivid imagery brings life to this story and I visualized the resort both as it had been and how it was and could be. A series that I will be looking forward to continuing. Thank you to Tim at Graf-Martin Communications and Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group for the opportunity to read this novel. I was given this book free in exchange for writing an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own
Pitkinchick More than 1 year ago
Amanda Cabot never fails to entertain and "At Bluebonnet Lake" is no exception.  When Kate takes her grandmother to a backwoods resort, the last thing she is looking for is romance.  But then she meets Greg and sparks begin to fly.  I have read other Amanda Cabot books and have enjoyed her historical fiction immensely.  This is the first contemporary fiction that I have read by her and I really enjoyed it.  I look forward to the other books in the series.  This book had sparks, intrigue, and romance.  Everything a good romance novel should have.  I thank Revell for giving this book to me for an honest review.  It was a terrific read!
mackenzie_carol More than 1 year ago
At Bluebonnet Lake is the first book in Amanda Cabot’s Texas Crossroads series, but isn’t the first book I have ever read by her. I have read a couple of her novels in the past, so I knew a little going in, but not enough to be sure if I would enjoy this book or not. However, I was pleased to find this an enjoyable little novel that I quickly made my way through, one full of love, overcoming pain, and finding one’s purpose. The storyline was cute and sweet, the characters fun and lovable, which helped to make this even more of an interesting book. Unfortunately, I will have to add that, while I did enjoy this story, there were a few things about it—particularly the ending—that were a little lacking, and though I hate to say it maybe even a little cheesy, and left me wanting something more. Kate and Greg, though they may not realize it through most of the book, are so alike in many different ways, namely, the way that they are both searching for something to give their life a purpose. At least, that’s my opinion. Though Kate is happy with her life, or so she thinks, she really does feel deep down inside that she’s missing something, that if she can just reach such-and-such goal, everything will be perfect. Greg on the other hand, left his life behind and came to Rainbow’s End because he needed a place to get away, to figure out what to do with the rest of his days because he knew he couldn’t keep doing the same old thing anymore. That is really where they are able to help each other; though they don’t know it, both are really striving towards the same thing. Since I really enjoyed this novel and found it sweet, albeit a bit predictable, I gladly give it four out of five bookshelves. Kate and Greg’s story was a cute one full of all the things that make for an interesting novel, and I definitely liked the parallel of the story of Kate’s grandmother and Greg’s much older friend, as it added another cute little romance to the mix. The best part was that it was one of two people receiving a blessing not many other people experience, the chance to find true love a second time. All in all, I would definitely recommend this book, I just would throw out the warning that it may be a little on the cheesy side at times, and who knows, sometimes that’s just what someone might be looking for. (This review is from my blog, spreadinghisgrace.blogspot.com)
SamWyoming More than 1 year ago
Delightful Kate is a rising star in a fast-paced advertising agency in NYC. Though she risks losing a well-earned promotion, Kate doesn’t think twice when her ailing grandmother asks her to take a month-long vacation with her to the Texas Hill Country, to the Christian resort named Rainbow’s End, which her grandparents visited fifty long years ago. Kate figures that if anything comes up at work, there’s always her laptop and cell phone to keep in touch. Sadly, the resort is rundown and barely surviving. But in Grandma Sally’s eyes, it still harbors cherished memories. She believes it is the best place to force Kate to slow down and enjoy life more. She’s secretly pleased the resort is in a cell phone dead spot and that the one internet connection is agonizingly slow and only briefly available each day. Also at the resort is Greg, a young retired software billionaire, who prefers having everyone assume he is a simple handyman. Greg believes God has sent him to Rainbow’s End for a special purpose, but darn if he can figure out what it is. Even when he comes to believe Kate might be part of that purpose, there’s still something missing. When both he and Kate are tempted to leave Rainbow’s End and return to their fast-paced careers, their faith is tested. This book is wholesome, heartwarming, and full of great values. It’s sure to delight those wishing for a good inspirational read. I was pleasantly surprised to discover it has not one but two sweet romances. The characters, including the townspeople, are interesting and endearing. I loved how Kate can’t resist using her marketing skills to help the failing economy of the local town. I look forward to the next book in the series and a return to Rainbow’s End.
GingerS219 More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful story about finding yourself lost after taking a wrong turn and then making the hard decision to go where the Lord leads, no matter if it seems impossible or not. Once again Amanda Cabot has fulfilled my expectations by writing (and writing well) a romance that touches the heart and fills the soul with warmth. Her characters are real--with real emotions and real problems--and her story line keeps you wondering what's going to happen to these people you have grown to love and care for. I received this book from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
This was a simple, leisurely, and pleasurable read. The characters are well-developed and have enough individuality and quirks to be interesting. The plot is predictable and I found myself skimming through some of the paragraphs but the small moments between Kate and Greg towards the middle through the end of the book are what I most enjoyed. The subplot with Kate's grandma and a local senior gentleman as well as a cast of likeable townspeople rounded things out well. The author's note at the end of the book promises at least two more books in the Texas Crossroads series. (Thank you to Revell Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
How I hated this book to end, but I rejoiced when I read the author’s notes at the end, and there are to be two more books. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder is more than true when Sally and her Granddaughter Kate arrive at Rainbow’s End Lodge. Sally had spent a loving time there years ago with her husband Larry, and had finally convinced Kate to take some time off and enjoy this place with her. Of course you can picture what it looks like after several years of neglect, and of course new owners, who have removed the Christian aspect of the place. The saving grace of the place appears to be the cook Carmen, and several of the other visitors, and local people. What a gift Kate appears to have to help people, but can she help herself. Her main goal in life, above everything is to become a partner in her firm. Will she succeed? Or will she lose everything she has always wanted, or are their trade ups. One thing neither woman has any inkling of, or a desire for is a bit of romance, but lo and behold, there appears to be some on the horizon, not for one of them, but both. When we travel into the countryside in Texas, in April, the place is filled with the beauty of the blue bonnets, oh how I would love to see this, and I felt like I was on the ground lying in them. Amanda Cabot’s way with words put me right in the meadows, along with the Indian Paintbrush, oh how I loved it. There is another major character in Greg, his problem; he is extremely bright, and very wealthy. To most of the woman who have crossed his path they are interested in his being their meal ticket. Will he find peace and happiness? He does have a strong faith in God, as do most of the people at the lodge, but will they make the right decisions, and turn to Him for help, or forge their own way? I highly recommend this great read, and cannot wait for the next book in this series.
Shay14 More than 1 year ago
Amanda Cabot is an amazing author. She created a vivid picture of Rainbow's End and Texas' famed Hill Country. I felt as if I stepped through the pages of the book right into Rainbow's End Resort and ate some of Carmen's delicious Chocolate Pound Cake! From the descriptions to the characters, I was immersed in the story and didn't want to put the book down. From the first page, I felt a connection with Kate and Greg. It was immediately apparent that the two were at a "crossroads" in their lives (whether they realized it or not) and I was glad I joined their journey through the pages of this story. Kate is a beautiful young lady (inside and out) whose priorities got mixed up along the way. Greg is handsome, charming, and at a point in his life where he doesn't know what to do. Their romance was swift and sweet. It didn't feel rushed or forced. Each character is on a transitional journey in their lives. Kate doesn't realize her life is heading in the wrong direction until she comes to Rainbow's End and is forced to take a look at her life and the decisions and choices she's made. Greg has to overcome some painful memories from his past, so he can move on to the future God has prepared for him.  Overall, I loved this story, and from the excerpt Amanda provides for In Firefly Valley, book 2 of the Texas Crossroads Series, this is going to be another amazing series! *I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Revell Reads blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*
Sprinkle23 More than 1 year ago
Rainbow's End, a once beautiful resort in the Texas Hill Country, sits in decay, physically and financially. Kate Sherwood, whose marketing career is on the upswing, reluctantly agrees to her ailing grandmother's request to visit Rainbow's End together for one month. While Kate's grandmother, Sally, relives the memories of her previous visit fifty years ago, Kate sees only a month without internet and cell phone service, a potential death trap for her career. When Greg Vange, whom Kate assumes is the resort's handyman, helps her get an internet connection and tells her where to find service, Kate is ready to get back on track. Or is she?  As she brainstorms the marketing concept for her newest client, Greg is distractingly handsome, fun and rich. Greg has the money to restore the resort. Kate has the talent to create marketing appeal. It seems like a great match to bring life to Rainbow's End, except that Rainbow's End and Greg Vange don't fit into Kate's life plans.  Will love find a way to bring them together?  Read more in At Bluebonnet Lake by Amanda Cabot. At Bluebonnet Lake is the first novel in Amanda Cabot's Texas Crossroads series.  The premise, billionaire meets marketing maven, delivered a gentle story of friendship that transformed to love. The novel was laced with humor and touched on redemptive themes such as letting go of bitterness and surrendering to God's will for one's life. However, the plot meandered and was repetitive... as in the same settings/scenes occurred repeatedly. Unfortunately, I lost interest and even though the ending was sweet, I probably won't read it again.  At Bluebonnet Lake has some good points and readers who love the small town setting might like it more than I did. However, I was a bit disappointed and I recommend renting the novel from the library prior to buying.   Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
JCMorrows More than 1 year ago
The reviews on this book run the gamut from love to hate to ehh... Several comments were made about formatting in one review I read – and while it was later revealed to have been a digital ARC (which would explain the typos and funky formatting), I can understand how it would make the book difficult to read. Part of what writers are told over and over and over again is that we must get our spelling, grammar and wording right so that our readers are not pulled out of the story world! I was fortunate enough to have a paperback copy of the book (not an ARC) so I did not have these problems – thankfully! And I believe many other reviewers who didn't love the book had a problem because they had read Amanda Cabot's historical fiction. That can be a difficult transition but perhaps it was only easier for me because I have never read Amanda Cabot's historical fiction.  I LOVE the idea of the book! A Christian resort. And hey, isn't part of the fun of a getaway... to get away! No cell service certainly sounds like just the thing! Of course for a spunky gal who is married to her job – I can understand being bugged by a serious lack of cell service! Amanda certainly has the characters pegged! And as far as I can tell, she didn't have any difficulty transitioning from Historical fiction to contemporary! I've also noticed several people having issues with “Grandma” taking such a central role in the story but I have to say I find it refreshing! Too many people overlook our fantastic matriarchs (and patriarchs)! psst... another series I just LOVE features a spunky Grandma and Grandpa – and they are my favorite part of each book! I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Amanda Cabot in her new book, “At Bluebonnet Lake” Book One in the Texas Crossroads series published by Revell takes us into the life of Kate Sherwood. From the Back Cover:   Her life is set to warp speed. His is slowing to a crawl. But love has its own timing. Marketing maven Kate Sherwood’s world is fast-paced, challenging, and always changing. The last thing she wants to do is grind to a halt at Rainbow’s End, a dilapidated resort in the Texas Hill Country. Still, she cannot deny her ailing grandmother’s request to visit the place where she and her deceased husband spent one glorious week fifty years ago. There, Kate meets Greg, who appears to be the resort’s unassuming handyman. But there’s more to Greg than meets the eye–billions more, in fact. Kate isn’t looking for romance, but she can’t deny the sparks of attraction that fly every time she and Greg are together. Could there be a future there? Or will Kate’s long-sought promotion take her back to the big city? Amanda Cabot invites you to step into a place away from the pressures of the day. You might be surprised by what you find at Rainbow’s End. There are all kinds of things you can find at Rainbow’s End but in this case what you will find is a resort of the same name that has not been properly maintained. Fifty years ago Sally spent a week there with her now deceased husband and she wants to visit and drags Kate, her granddaughter with her. Since Kate is a Marketing person and the Inn needs serious attention Kate takes on the project of restoration. It looks like Greg is the handyman and Kate uses him to help her in her new venture. However not all is as it seems and both Kate and Greg are hiding things. Until they can work out all their issues with God helping them neither of them are moving forward. And then, of course, there is the romance.  This book will keep turning pages while leaving chores unattended and it is so worth it.  Ms. Cabot is an excellent writer and makes all her characters believable and you care deeply for them as she deftly unfolds the plot before us.  I am so glad that this is just the beginning of her new series and that there will be more stories soon. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
KathleenFriesen More than 1 year ago
At Bluebonnet Lake is a sweet story in an intriguing setting. Bluebonnet Lake, as portrayed by author Amanda Cabot, is my kind of place. Quiet, unassuming, and filled with the beauty only God can create. Kate Sherwood doesn’t see that, though. She sees a deteriorating resort in a dying town, and she wants nothing to do with it. She’s only there for her grandmother’s sake, and she’d not sure either of them should stay. But there is one pull, in the form of perceived handyman Greg Vange. All the characters in this book are multi-layered, and that’s what makes this story work. I enjoyed getting to know Kate, Greg, Grandma Sally and Roy, as well as some of the townspeople. The only negative in my reading of this book was that the ending was telegraphed from the first chapter. However, the characters and the problems they faced kept me enjoyably involved. Therefore, I give At Bluebonnet Lake four and a half stars. Revell gave me a copy of At Bluebonnet Lake in return for my honest review.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I could not put down this romance.  That is unusual for me.  I like most of my books to have a touch of mystery in them.  You couldn't help but like the characters and the countryside they were in.  It made you want to go to Bluebonnet lake even though I really like my tv and electronics.  Though I doubt I would last more than a few days but that would be enough.  I received this book from Revell reads for a fair and honest opinion.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Amanda Cabot’s latest offering, At Bluebonnet Lake, is a refreshing tale of slowing down, letting go of the fear of change, and grabbing on to all that life has to offer. We have two very busy people who have come to the failing resort, Rainbow’s End. Kate Sherwoow is there to spend more quality time with her grandmother, who in turn is trying to convince her granddaughter there is more to life than her career. Greg Vange, who has decided to leave his very busy world, is searching for his next step in life. These two run into each other at a crossroads in their lives. Not only do we get to watch their love story unfold, but we get to witness the love story of another couple in a very different season of their lives. I do not know if Rainbow’s End exists, but if it does, I would love to visit and I so want a pair of those cowboy boots. I have always enjoyed Amanda Cabot’s historical fiction, and I have very much enjoyed this contemporary tale of hers as well. There is a beautiful theme of letting go of our dreams and the demands we place on ourselves and embracing the great adventure that can be our lives. I look forward to the next visitors to Rainbow’s End and their stories. Thank you to the publisher Revell for my review copy. The opinions, however, are my own.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
At Bluebonnet Lake is, simply put, a sweet romance. If you are looking for a book with lots of twists and turns, a villain set upon destruction, or tension that will keep you up at night, then this is not the book for you! If, however, you want to relax with a nice story and a gentle romance that builds throughout the book, pick up a copy and enjoy! There were a few parts that felt a bit slow to me. In a way, that actually added to the flavor of the setting, which is a small, Texas town. I felt very relaxed while reading this story. The pace of life in this small town and at the Rainbow’s End resort is laid back. The main characters, Kate and Greg, are believable and their attraction builds in a very realistic way. I think this is going to be an enjoyable series. I look forward to seeing what future books hold. (3.5 stars) I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
sherrijinga More than 1 year ago
“The last thing Kate Sherwood needs is a man, so why is she so drawn to the handsome handyman at the Rainbow’s End resort?” This is the tagline for the book and is a perfect clue about what’s going to happen At Bluebonnet Lake. Kate visits Rainbow’s End resort with her grandmother for a month-long getaway, although she doesn’t want to be gone from her job in advertising for that long. She’s aiming for a promotion and being gone that long can ruin her chances of getting it. Little does she know that what she thinks she wants the most may not really be what she needs in her life. It takes a tragedy to wake Kate up to the life God has for her, and during this time, she deals with spiritual warfare not unlike what many of us may deal with when we’re running from God.  Greg, Kate’s love interest, has a lot of baggage he’s dealing with too and sometimes you wonder if they’ll ever get it all worked out and finally get together. This book is a sweet love story, written by Amanda Cabot, that contains more than one romance in it. The characters are written well and the setting is described in such a way that you can easily visualize it. There are no surprises in this story, but that’s okay. These are characters that you can’t help but root for! I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
LovenGod More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, it was a sweet story, that kept you reading until the end.  Amanda Cabot has a very descriptive writing style and it was so easy for me to see Rainbow's End through her eyes. My favorite character was Sally, I am always a sucker for the grandmothers.  While this book was about living life at a slower pace, the story wasn't slow. A great book, that you will want to read and share with others. 4.5 stars from this reviewer. This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review. 
BookReviewerNicole More than 1 year ago
     *Book Description* Kate Sherwood is used to her fact paced advertising job. That's why it's so much of a culture shock when her ailing grandmother and her arrive at the dilapidated old resort from her grandmother's past fifty years ago. Kate expected  it to be bad...just not nearly this bad. But when she spies a handsome handyman fixing their cabin window she realizes there just might be a silver lining... Greg Vance doesn't know what to make of the beautiful blonde that just showed up at Rainbows End...or the fun banter between them. Greg came to Rainbows End to try and make sense of his life but now he's just more confused! Spending time with Kate is nothing but dangerous for him...so why does he do it? When Kate begins to see Rainbows End's, and Greg's, potential is God directing her to her pot of gold? Or will the promotion she's always thoughts she's wanted steer her away from the country life that's beginning to grow on her?                                                                                                    *What I liked* First off, I feel the need to mention how incredibly adorable this cover is. Seriously, Amanda, it's great. Second, I LOVE the angle you used with the friendly banter Greg and Kate had with each other. A lot of authors make their characters start out hating each other which is good too but I have to say I love that you chose a different path with their friendship/teasing. I also must say, I loved the grandmother's conniving. It's something I'd picture my grandma doing so I can relate. Her friendship with another character in the book that will remain nameless was so sweet too. :)                                                                  *What I didn't like* I can't say that there is too much I didn't like. One thing that bothered me was the fact that Kate originally treated Greg differently thinking he was "just a handyman" instead of a border. However, that is a part of life everyday so that "flaw" just stands to make the book more relevant.                                                                    *My Rating*            I give At Bluebonnet Lake... 4 1/2 stars! *Why my rating is what it is*   My rating is 4 1/2 stars because it isn't my ALL TIME favorite which is where I usually reserve 5 stars for fiction books. However, I loved the characters, their stories, and the sweet friendships involved which definitely merits "At Bluebonnet Lake" 4 1/2 stars.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
Rainbow’s End is a charming destination. Amanda really brought the place to life. I could picture the atmosphere, the characters and town. She did a great job of building a bit of mystery around Greg. I wanted to know why he didn’t still have his job, what happened in his past that he was running from. Kate is a likeable character and I wanted so much for her to open her eyes and not miss God’s plan for her life. However, this wasn’t a book that I couldn’t put down. I too easily could put it down and I wasn’t overly eager to pick it back up. For me I think it lacked intensity but overall it was a good story with a great setting and characters. I couldn’t wait to see how Amanda would work things out for Rainbow’s End and how Greg and Kate would play a part in that. You’ll just have to read the book to see how she does that. Amanda Cabot fans will be pleasantly surprised by her writing in this new genre. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and embrace life... At Bluebonnet Lake   Texas Crossroads 1    By Amanda Cabot    Rainbow's End is the last place Kate Sherwood wants to be, but her grandmother's declining health convinces her to take an extended vacation.  But 50 years have passed since Sally last saw Rainbow's End and in Kate's eyes ever passing year is obvious with the shape the resort is in.  But Kate is willing to do anything to make her grandmother happy, and Sally does seem happy. But can Kate afford to take a vacation with a partnership riding on her every decision and choice.  But with Rainbow's End's lack of technological amenities Kate just may have to cut her workload, but it won't be easy. But there is Greg to help her get her mind off work.  He is an enigma and Kate is determined to figure out this "handyman" who takes on various tasks around the resort and yet is more than just hired help.  And first up figuring out why Greg doesn't want her to know his full name. But Kate and Greg just might be what the other needs to help them determine where their lives are heading.  Love isn't something either of them is looking for, but who knows what you'll discover at the Rainbow's End? At Bluebonnet Lake is a delightful escape from the pressures of everyday life.  Rediscover the joys of family and a slower pace of living.  Often we are so set on achieving our perceived life goal we lose sight of what is truly important - living the life we have and enjoying those who share it with us. Take a deep breath and slow down - enjoy the world around you and find your own Rainbow's End!  I was provided a copy of this book by Revell in exchange for my honest review.
parmilespages More than 1 year ago
Marketing maven Kate Sherwood is working hard to make partnership in her firm.  When her beloved grandmother requests they visit the place she and her late husband spent one glorious week, fifty years ago, Kate agrees out of love for her grandmother.  Although a month of vacation was not in Kate’s plans, she anticipates working from the resort and keeping up with projects at the office.  After she arrives, she discovers that Bluebonnet Lake is not at all what she was expecting.  Kate is not expecting the slower pace, the lack digital connection or the new friendships she makes, especially with Greg Vange.  Although this story is predictable, it is an enjoyable read.  The characters are likable with a variety of backgrounds and struggles.  However, I would have preferred more character development, which would have added some depth to the narrative.  It is definitely a romance novel and it is this theme that the story in centered on, with no subplot of mystery or a historical significance.  However, I would not consider that a negative, especially if that is type of book you are in the mood to read.  The author was good at describing people, feelings and events but there were times the transitions between scenes were a bit awkward; or the timeline shifted too drastically without a smooth closure to the proceeding scene.  This book is the first in a new series and I definitely noticed some potential for subsequent books.   The author laid a good foundation about the background and future potential for Rainbow’s End Resort as well as potential characters for the next installment.    I would recommend this novel to anyone desiring a simple and light romance.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review.
inspiremichelle More than 1 year ago
At Bluebonnet Lake, Book 1 in Texas Crossroads Series by Amanda Cabot Revell Christian Fiction, Contemporary, Romance ISBN 9780800734343 Advertising executive and workaholic Kate Sherwood has taken a month off at her grandmother’s request. They return to Rainbow’s End at Bluebonnet Lake. The place Sally Fuller and her beloved husband had spent one magnificent vacation. Rainbow’s End is nothing like the glamorous place her grandmother remembers, it’s falling down and in disrepair. There they meet Greg Vange and Roy Gordon, sparks fly and love is in the air for both grandmother and granddaughter. Quote “ Kate looked around her room, them walked into the living room and performed the same inspection. No phones, not even a phone jack. She hadn’t been surprised by the absence of a television. The brochure had claimed that was one of Rainbow’s End’s advantages, a way of helping guests enjoy the natural beauty of the Hill Country without unnecessary distractions. Kate could live without a TV. But cell service was a totally different story. She needed, she absolutely needed, to be able to connect.” At Bluebonnet Lake is a fresh story of transformation and change. It is as laid back as it’s Texas Hill Country it is set in. The story is well written with admirable characters. The author Amanda Cabot did a great job of giving life and faith to the characters. I recommend this novel to anyone seeking a laid back love story, it that calls for you to sit back , relax and enjoy a cool glass of sweet tea while reading. I give At Bluebonnet Lake 4 stars. I want to thank the author Amanda Cabot and publisher Revell for bringing good clean Christian books like this one to Christian readers like me. I was provided with this book in exchange for my honest review.
gromine49 More than 1 year ago
Kate is an overworked ad exec who brings her ailing grandmother to the place that her grandmother and grandfather honeymooned at. Greg is a man with money who has escaped to a place with fond memories and who Kate thinks is an employee to help do repairs at a place that is falling down. What you get out of this story is that you must be willing to slow down and enjoy life and not worry about the day to day problems. I have never read this author, but after reading this story, I cannot wait to read her next book.