I first became familiar with Melody Carlson’s books about the same time I began to review Christian fiction. Since that time I have read and enjoyed quite a number of her novels. I am constantly amazed at the sheer number of books she manages to turn out, the variety of themes, and the excellent quality of her writing as well as the strong messages she imparts through her stories. I was expecting a good read when I opened “Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel” and I was not disappointed.
Protagonist Daphne Ballinger has spent more years than she planned in a stagnant job writing about weddings for the New York Times and living in a cramped apartment with two other women. Unfortunately her dreams for her future had died right along with a romance disappointment and she has gradually lost her ambition and love of the city. When she returns to her hometown for the funeral of her Aunt Dee, she soon learns that her aunt has left the entire estate to Daphne…but with some very specific terms. Daphne quickly reconnects with old friends, makes some new ones, and realizes that she can be happier in Appleton than back in the city she thought she loved. If only she can meet the requirements of Aunt Dee’s will.
“Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel” is a fun to read book but like all of Melody’s books, it comes with a strong message. It seemed as if everyone around Daphne was trying to set her up with a potential husband but Daphne had little hope for marriage after so many years alone. When suddenly she was surrounded by single, men who might even be interested in her, she found herself obsessed with determining which one she might marry…even to the point of nearly agreeing to marry someone for the sake of marriage. It was only after she came to the realization that she needed to turn everything over to God and let him direct her life whether she ever married that Daphne was able to find real freedom.
Loved this book. My only complaint is that although it ended at a good place, I was left hanging about Daphne’s future. I will just have to wait for the next installment of this series to find out what happens. I just hope the next book will be released soon!
Provided for review by Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Shelton Interactive