Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Shop On the Corner by Lin Stepp

Posted March 14, 2024 by meezcarrie in Book Review, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Lin Stepp, romance / 24 Comments


Shop on the Corner book review

Shop on the Corner by Lin SteppSHOP ON THE CORNER by Lin Stepp
SERIES:
Mountain Home (standalone)

GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Mountain Hill Press
RELEASE DATE: March 16, 2024
PAGES: 278

Sometimes life’s unexpected hardships force you to consider drastic changes you’d never have dreamed of but lead in time to some sweet and unexpected joys.

Laura O’Dell’s life lately has been full of nothing but problems. Her father has died, she’s lost her home, and now the family business she owns and loves is being taken by imminent domain to make way for a widened road. On top of it all, her sister and boyfriend came for a visit at Christmas and have stayed on and on, freeloading on her good nature. Maybe as Lillian advises, it’s time to seek a big life change as far away from Amory, Mississippi as possible.

When Mitchell Quinlan dropped by a new business in Waynesville, NC, to welcome the owner and put in a word for employment for some friends, he was unprepared for the jolt of unexpected feelings that hit him in meeting Laura O’Dell. As a sensible businessman, he’d thought that sort of attraction a figment or books or movies. Yet, as he gets to know Laura, he learns she is holding a lot of secrets and not open to share them with him.

 

Other Books In This Series

     


The mountains are my happy place, as readers of this blog well know by now, and the Smoky Mountains are especially so (though I’ve fallen in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains in north Georgia too). Other than Dolly Parton, there is perhaps no better ambassador of the Smokies than author Lin Stepp, and her love for the area is clear in Shop on the Corner. While this is set on the North Carolina side rather than the Tennessee side (with which I’m most familiar), reading this novel nonetheless felt a little like coming home. And after enjoying the Waynesville setting so well in Shop on the Corner, I’m definitely going to put that on my travel to-do list now.

Laura is a likable heroine, warm and genuine, and readers will find her story compelling as it relates to relocating her shop and her struggles with her troubled sister. I really loved the employees (who were also her dear friends) at her upholstery shop in Mississippi and I identified with the advice one gave her as she was contemplating what to do with the shop – “You know, God sometimes speaks to us with a restlessness when we need to think about a move.” I’ve found that to be true in my own life, not just with a physical move but any sort of moving from one season of work or ministry to another, and it’s my first sign that I need to start paying attention to where He may be leading me. The faith thread in this book is sweet & insightful like that all the way through, and I enjoyed how it influenced Laura’s character development.

Mitchell is equally warm and charming, as our story’s hero, and I loved the instant zing of ‘my life is never going to be the same’ that he experiences when he first meets Laura. Having a hero fall head over heels – hard – for the heroine is always fun, and the chemistry between these two sparks from the beginning of their acquaintance to the story’s end. I especially appreciated how Mitchell shows up for Laura without fail, lending her his strength when she needs it, and reminding her often that she doesn’t have to soldier through life on her own anymore. (I will say, though, that I tired of the ‘lecherous looks’ he frequented in Laura’s direction. While I knew the author meant it as part of a loving relationship, I still would have preferred that to be described as a ‘heated look’ or a ‘passionate look’ because those convey more depth of feeling, not just lust, and they don’t carry the derogatory connotations that ‘lecherous’ does.)

Bottom Line: Shop on the Corner by Lin Stepp is a sweet love story with engaging characters and a picturesque setting. The author has perfectly captured the mountain town vibes and interpersonal dynamics of the Smokies, and readers will care very much about Laura and her journey. I enjoyed watching her blossom and thrive in Waynesville, including her romance with Mitchell, and I held my breath a time or two when the past threatens that newfound peace. It’s a dialogue-heavy story, so it tends to tell more than it shows and not all of the conversation serves to move the pace forward. All in all, though, this is a charming story that invites you to come sit on the front porch for a spell, feel the mountain breezes, smell the pine trees & azaleas, and fall in love with the characters.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / enjoyed it!

KissingBook Level: 3+ / will forget to breathe on occasion

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Lin Stepp

Dr. Lin Stepp is a New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Amazon best-selling international author. A native Tennessean, businesswoman, and former faculty member at Tusculum College, Lin has over twenty published novels set around the Smoky Mountains near her home and the South Carolina coast. She and her husband J.L. also write regional guidebooks and have three published guides to Smokies hiking trails and TN and SC state parks. Lin enjoys hiking and exploring out of doors, speaking for events, and sharing about her work and interests through her monthly blog and newsletter, both on her website at linstepp.com


Shop on the Corner giveaway

Lin Stepp is offering a print copy of Shop on the Corner plus a matching bookmark to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Shop on the Corner by Lin Stepp?

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24 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Shop On the Corner by Lin Stepp

  1. Lexi Henegar

    I love small town or mountain settings. It sounds like a sweet romance. I think I would enjoy it!

  2. The Smoky Mountains are lovely! This is a new author for me, and I love it that she has written hiking guides for the Smokies along with using the mountains as the setting for her book. My husband and I have hiked the Laurel Falls and the Alum Cave trails in the Smoky Mountain National Park. I wish I’d known about Dr. Stepp’s books, I would have looked for them in the gift shops there.

  3. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for your review on SHOP ON THE CORNER by Lin Stepp.

    Sounds like a book I would very much enjoy reading. Lovely cover too.

  4. Nancy

    I would like to read Shop on the Corner by Lin Stepp because the characters sound interesting.

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