Book Review: When Plans Go Awry by Denise M. Colby

Posted June 5, 2024 by meezcarrie in Book Review, Christian, Denise M Colby, historical, romance / 4 Comments

When Plans Go Awry book review

When Plans Go Awry by Denise M. ColbyWHEN PLANS GO AWRY by Denise M. Colby
Best-Laid Plans #1

GENRE: Historical/Western Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Scrivenings Press
RELEASE DATE: June 4, 2024
PAGES: 376

Olivia Carmichael escapes her past to become the next schoolmarm in the small ranching community of Washton, California. Her plan? Live a quiet spinster life alone, never to depend on anyone again.

Luke Taylor selected a mail-order bride to help raise his two younger sisters and protect his broken heart. His plans don’t include being responsible for the beautiful new schoolmarm, who threatens his resolve between his need to stay away and his need to ensure her safety.

Along the way, Olivia’s carefully laid-out plans are challenged at every turn, and Luke’s mail-order bride is not what he expected.

With the help of the entire town and its wily rooster, can Luke and Olivia learn to trust again?

Y’all know I have a fowl phobia, right? Well, Denise M. Colby has officially done the impossible – made me fall in love with a rooster! haha! Bert (the rooster in question) may only be a supporting character in When Plans Go Awry but he totally steals the show. This quirky town mascot takes our heroine Olivia under his… well… wing (lol) in the most fun and endearing of ways. I absolutely adored Bert and his laugh-out-loud antics and silly personality. Colby demonstrates wonderful comedic instinct in writing Bert and a natural ability to ‘show’ him to us in our mind’s eye without over-telling it.

Olivia and Luke are also easy characters to love, and right from their ‘meet-cute’ the chemistry between them was tangible. Both are in equal turns comical and serious, and both struggle to trust God in the wake of unimaginable losses. And even while authentically wrestling with those complex layers and delivering some very profound reminders of God’s care for us despite our feelings to the contrary, the tone of the book remains lighthearted and sweet – a perfect choice when you want a read with depth but not heaviness. Olivia and Luke’s inconvenient draw to one another – since a marriage for love is not in either of their plans (see book’s title for a hint as to how that works out for them) – made for some wonderfully delicious and electric moments where they lock gazes or accidentally brush hands. Once again, the author does a great job of showing us their growing feelings without over-telling us, making for a very natural flow to both the story and their relationship progression.

Bottom Line: When Plans Go Awry by Denise M. Colby is a winsome debut novel that hooked me from the beginning and kept both my attention & my heart engaged until the end. As the town of Washton embraces Olivia like family, readers will be drawn to wonderful supporting characters like the Martins and the Woodwards, Pastor Will, Uncle Jimmy, Olivia’s students, and of course Bert the rooster. Luke and Olivia’s budding romance involves the perfect blend of breathless anticipation and sweet friendship, and the author’s witty writing voice makes it even more entertaining to follow. Fans of Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, and Mary Connealy will feel right at home in When Plans Go Awry!

(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I read via Kindle Unlimited. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / will forget to breathe on occasion

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Denise M Colby

Denise M. Colby loves history and finds herself contemplating how it was to live in the 1800’s. She only sits still when reading a book or watching movies with her family. When not working, she’s with her husband at the Disneyland getting her steps in. Every year Denise chooses a word to focus on. She loves to share her learnings about that word throughout the year. This year, her word is grow. Connect with Denise at her website.

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What about you? What makes you want to read When Plans Go Awry by Denise M. Colby?

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4 responses to “Book Review: When Plans Go Awry by Denise M. Colby

  1. Regina

    What a wonderful review! I really like reading books by debut authors, and Bert sounds like a hoot! 🙂

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