Friday, February 12, 2016

Ane Mulligan's Chapel Springs Survival ~ Reviewed

  • Chapel Springs Survival
  • Ane Mulligan
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (December 3, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1941103588


A mail-order bride, a town overrun with tourists, and illegal art ~ How on earth will Claire and Chapel Springs survive? 

With the success of her Operation Marriage Revival, life is good for Claire Bennett. That is until the mayor's brother blabs a secret: Claire's nineteen-year-old son, Wes, has married a Brazilian mail order bride — one who is eight years older than him. When Claire tries to welcome her new daughter-in-law, she's ridiculed, rebuffed, and rejected. Loving this girl is like hugging a prickly cactus. Will Claire and her family survive her son's marriage? 

Lydia Smith is happily living alone and running her spa then the widow on the hill becomes a blushing bride. Along with her new marriage, she has a dream to expand her business by adding guest rooms. Things are going according to plan. That is, until her groom's adult son moves in on everything. Will her dream survive her stepson? 

From the first sighting of a country music star in Claire's gallery, The Painted Loon, to the visit of a Hollywood diva, Chapel Springs is inundated with stargazers, causing lifelong residents to flee the area. When her best friends, Patsy and Nathan, put their house on the market, Claire is forced to do something or lose the closest thing to a sister she's got. With her son's future at stake and the town looking to her to solve their problems, it's Claire who needs a guardian angel. 


Ane Mulligan’s Chapel Springs Survival starts with a crisis as all good novels do. Claire Bennett is involved, should you need a refresher course, here are some highlights from mishaps in Claire’s life in Chapel Springs Revival...setting a kitchen on fire, surviving a son’s wedding, whipping the entire town back into shape, beaning an art critic, and falling into an open grave in her wedding attire...It’s a miracle there’s a book two at all. But delightfully there is. And Claire has plenty to trip over, stumble into or onto and angst over in ol Chapel Springs. Fortunately, her husband Joel and she are united like never before, and boy are they going to need that unity. The town’s tourism is hopping, maybe a little too much. But just a few tweaks might fix all of the little issues. But those little issues seem to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Claire still can’t cook, nor can she keep her mouth shut without biting her tongue. But with her big ol heart and determination she’s kinda the go-to girl in town. Unless, that person is her brand new surprise daughter-in-law. For some reason Claire's newest family member seems to be out to get her. 

Claire’s escapades, near misses, oops moments and big wins are definitely worth the read. Mulligan's humorous storytelling is so charming, the small town destination of Chapel Springs sounds like a dream vacation, and the characters are big as life.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

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