BOOK REVIEW: The Scent of Rain, by Kristin Billerbeck

Date(s) read: July 29 – 31, 2012
Genre: Christian Fiction

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SYNOPSIS
When deprived of her most prized sense, Daphne discovers a life she never expected, right under her nose.

Daphne Sweeten has left Paris – and a career she loves – in order to marry a man she loves even more. But when he stands her up on their wedding day, Daphne’s left reeling. Trained as a professional “nose” or perfume creator, Daphne soon realizes that her sense of smell has somehow disappeared too.

In the days following she moves to Dayton, Ohio, to take on a job creating fragrances for household products. Without her sense of smell, she must rely on her chemistry skills, and hope her handsome new boss, Jesse Lightner, doesn’t notice before she can figure out how to get it back.

Despite her desire to return to Paris, she can’t deny the way Jesse makes her feel. But when Daphne approaches former contacts, she learns her missing ex-fiance has somehow snagged her old job.

As Daphne and Jesse work on a signature scent for their new line, she feels God at work in her life as never before. And the promise of what is possible is as fresh as the scent of rain.

My Thoughts

Thank you to Thomas Nelson and Booksneeze for providing me a copy of this book for review!

I’ve only read one other book that really deals with scent, The Book of Lost Fragrances, and I loved the way that the scents were described — so much so that I could almost smell them through the book. When I saw The Scent of Rain on Booksneeze I was interested because it was written by Kristin Billerbeck who had contributed a story to the Christian romance novel, Smitten — and the main character was a perfume creator. It looked like an interesting read!

Unfortunately, the beautiful cover, the premise, and the characters weren’t enough to make me fall in love with this book. I’ve heard amazing things about Kristin Billerbeck’s writing — and I do agree that she is a great writer — but this book had too many things that pecked at me the whole time I was reading. 

Let’s talk about the main character, Daphne. At first, she comes across as charming and secure, even though she was ditched at the altar by her fiancee, Mark; but throughout the book, she’s portrayed as a pushover, someone who wants to make everyone else happy — even at the cost of her own happiness, as well as someone who comes across as naive and foolish when it comes to making decisions. She did quite a few things in the book that made me cringe, hoping that eventually a powerful woman would come out of her shell.

I didn’t mind the other characters too much. The bad guys were definitely bad and they were quite well written. I liked seeing Daphne form new relationships with these people, watching as they helped her adjust to her new life, new job, and awkward situation.

One thing that was really a selling point for me when I requested the book was the dialogue. Right on the front cover of the book, there’s a quote that talks about the “snappy dialogue” and the “smart, amusing writing style” — both of which made me want to read the story. But at times I felt that the dialogue was choppy, or didn’t flow right. I also felt like the story was a little slow at times and then the ending was quite rushed, as well as awkward and not quite true to reality.

Of course, I think the best part of the book was definitely the gorgeous cover. I love the colours and how it makes the reader want to figure out what the smell is like in that little bottle.

In the end I really did want to enjoy this one. I will definitely be checking out more of Kristin Billerbeck’s work — I’ve heard she’s written a few really good novels.

(End rant: Another thing that drove me nuts was the company that Daphne was working for. Being someone who’s worked in the industry, it seemed odd to me that she would get to work on her first day, straight from the airport and have no real orientation as to the safety and conduct in the lab — instead, she was just thrown in there to start working. I also didn’t think it would be wise, financially, to even hire a professional nose (as Daphne’s referred to in most of the book) for a chemical company. It just didn’t seem like there would be a lot of use for her time. But this is just me nitpicking — I get that I’m reading fiction and really shouldn’t throw the book into reality.)

Don’t get me wrong, the book definitely has promise and if you’re looking for something that’s a quick read in the Christian romance genre, then this really is a good fit. Though, if you’re looking for something that’s fast paced, laugh out loud funny, and has relatable romantic moments, then this might not be the best fit.

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© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.

9 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: The Scent of Rain, by Kristin Billerbeck

  1. From reading the synopsis and seeing the cover, I was thinking how great it sounded. But I really dislike characters who are pushovers. It does sound like an ok read though, so I might put it on my maybe list.

  2. Pingback: Clock Rewinders (1) | Reading In Winter

  3. It’s always a bummer when you don’t like a book you had hopes for. I loved The Book of Lost Fragrances too. I hope you find others from this author to perk you up.

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