Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Review: Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Crazy Little Thing Called Love
By Beth K. Vogt
Destination Weddings, #1
Howard Books, 2015


Wedding bells and storm clouds collide in the first engaging novel in a brand-new series about destination weddings, the power of love, and the possible mishaps and missteps that happen on a couple’s journey down the aisle to “I do.”

Paramedic Vanessa Hollister has put her adolescence behind her, including the unwanted label of being the new kid in town over and over again, thanks to her father’s military career. She’s overcome what her mother called “the biggest mistake of her life” and is planning an elegant destination wedding in Destin, Florida with her new fiancĂ©. But will the reappearance of her first husband from her what-were-you-thinking teenage elopement disrupt her dream of an idyllic beach wedding?

As a professional storm chaser, Logan Hollister is used to taking risks. However, a reckless decision during the last tornado season has him questioning the future of his team, the Stormmeisters. Coming face to face with his ex-wife eight years after their divorce compels him to confront his greatest regret: losing Vanessa. Does their past give him the right to interfere with her future?

A fast-moving, powerful hurricane throws Vanessa and Logan together as they evacuate to a storm shelter along with other residents of the Florida Gulf Coast. Forced to spend time together, the pair battles unexpected renewed feelings for each other.

Vanessa and Logan are faced with a choice: Should they accept, once and for all, their teenage marital mistake? Or is God offering them a second chance at happily ever after?

My thoughts

Crazy Little Thing Called Love is the first book I've read by Beth K. Vogt and I enjoyed this story about relationships very much. If you look at the cover and figure this to be a fluffy romance, you would be wrong because there is surprising character depth and emotion. So many facets of this story appealed to me - a destination wedding in Destin, Florida...storm chasing...Hurricane Cressida...the rekindling of love...second chances. The Florida Panhandle setting is beautifully conveyed, and that's something I really enjoyed because this area has always been my family's favorite vacation spot. Beth is a strong writer and the conversational flow quickly captured and held my attention.

Logan and Vanessa are well-drawn characters, realistically flawed.  Born into a military family where frequent moves were the norm, Vanessa coped by erecting invisible walls to keep people at a distance and from caring too much.  Great at hello and goodbye, but everything in between, not so much. Having lost his grandmother as the result of a tornado, Logan became fascinated by the mystery of weather and pursued his dream by becoming a storm chaser. Past and present are woven together beautifully, with great detail being given to their romance ten years earlier.

Henderson Park Inn, Destin
I didn't always find Logan and Vanessa likable or easy to connect with, yet as the story progressed, I gained an appreciation for why they acted as they did. Their relationship in high school and college was essential to the story, but I wish there had been room for more development of the rekindling of their feelings, for that part didn't seem real to me. Also, Logan seemed to shoulder most of the responsibility for their breakup, with Vanessa reluctant to admit her contribution.

Yet, in spite of those few negatives, Crazy Little Thing Called Love is an entertaining story with strong spiritual messages that I appreciated - forgiveness, grace, second chances, commitment, and the importance of God in the marriage. I was touched by Vanessa's spiritual struggles - "Her prayers were stilted. Sometimes she felt as if she were only talking out loud to herself" - and how she turned to journaling as a way to draw closer to God.

There were several great secondary characters, two of my favorites being Mindy, Vanessa's friend from high school, and Max, one of Logan teammates. I really can't imagine someone wanting to chase tornadoes for a living, but loved Max's reason for choosing to join Logan's team:  "If I'm going to do something as outlandish as hunt down tornadoes, I'm gonna do it with somebody who knows he's not in charge of the universe. Someone who knows there's a God who is in control of our world and our lives."

Something else I especially enjoyed was Beth's use of quotations at the beginning of each chapter. Here are a couple of my favorites:

"It's a shallow life that doesn't give a person
a few scars." - Garrison Keillor

"Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God
whose ways you may not understand at the time." 
- Oswald Chambers

Overall, I enjoyed Crazy Little Thing Called Love and definitely look forward to the next book in this series. Without giving anything away, let me just say that there is an extremely moving scene at the conclusion. Recommended.


Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A 2015 RITA® Finalist and a 2014 Carol Award finalist, Beth is a contemporary romance novelist with Howard Books. Her 2014 novel, "Somebody Like You," was one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. In 2015 she introduced her destination wedding series with both an e-novella, "Can’t Buy Me Love," (May) and a novel, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (June).

Find Beth online at www.bethvogt.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Carole, I liked this one as well. I have read most of Vogt's novels and all are great -- not a bit of fluff in any of them. The scene at the end had my eyes misting, but the scene from their homecoming date really was special. A great message to share with the teens in our lives. Thanks again for an excellent review.