My first introduction into the Christian “chick lit” genre was Kristin Billerbeck’s Ashley Stockingdale series. I laughed so hard. I was challenged deeper in my faith. I was so thankful for both the shallow cheesiness and the depth in her writing. Billerbeck’s contribution to Christian chick lit is something I am forever thankful for in that she paved the way for authors like Jenny B. Jones and Krista McGee. Unfortunately, her latest novel, The Scent of Rain, was not her best work.
Daphne is a professional nose. She sniffs and creates perfumes at a fancy job in Paris until deciding to leave her job and follow her fiance, Mark, to a job in Dayton, Ohio. Unfortunately, Mark has different plans and is a no show to their wedding. She ends up moving to Dayton anyway and meets her new boss, Jesse, hiding the fact that she has lost her sense of smell.
I struggled with this book. It had all the makings for a great Kristin Billerbeck chick lit novel but I never felt connected to the characters; even the secondary relationships between coworkers, friends, and family seemed stilted. I was surprised by my reaction since I have (besides Perfectly Dateless) loved all of Billerbeck’s other novels. I wish I could characterize my struggle with The Scent of Rain but I can’t really identify my problem with it. The last 40 pages or so were a whirlwind and I was shocked when I reached the last page.
It’s a light read with less of a focus on the deeper issues that I had always enjoyed in Billerbeck’s novels. While all of the above seems negative, the book wasn’t bad; it simply wasn’t a novel that I connected with or would reread. Thank you, Thomas Nelson, for the review copy. My opinions are my own.