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Gentle Rain Paperback – 1 Nov 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 371 pages
  • Publisher: BelleBooks (1 Nov. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976876078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976876076
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,150,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Gentle Rain Big contemporary southern romance from bestselling women's fiction author Deborah Smith (A PLACE TO CALL HOME, SWEET HUSH, THE CROSSROADS CAFE.) A Connecticut heiress learns she's adopted. Her birth parents are mentally handicapped ranch workers in northern Florida. She gets a job at the ranch under a false name in order to learn more about her parents. To her surprise she falls in love with them,... Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leontine's Book Realm on 12 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback
My praise for A Gentle Rain goes beyond words as it left me with a rainbow of emotions when I closed this book.

When Kara stumbles upon secrets of her past it is up to her if she wants to find out more. And Kara does find more....when she arrives at a ranch in Florida owned by Ben Thocco she gets acquainted with its colorful people. In a matter of days Kara is a part of this new world, with a new job and new people to get to know. And a mare that has taken a liking to her and proves to the rest of the world what Ben Thocco, his brother Joey and Ben's crew: Mac, Lily, Miriam, Bigfoot, Roy, Dale, Cheech and Possum all along knew. Still choices need to be made to uncover the secrets of the past or to let it remain in the past as love and family are found in an unexpected place...

I'm still pondering on words as this emotionally gripping story leaves me with blurry eyes, a warm heart and a grin on my face all at once. I believe this to be the strength of Deborah Smith's writing, she's able to tell a story of the heart, of people that I can meet just by stepping out into the world. The romance soars high in A Gentle Rain but it is the characters that Deborah Smith portraits that drew me into their lives and emotions. Ben had me from the moment he appears in the story! It's just his down-to-earth behavior with a sense of humor that is purely his own and his loyalty to those he cares for that just had me at his hello. His past reveals itself in layers throughout the story and gives a reaction with Kara that just keeps me on the edge of my seat wondering when it all will be in the open, how will they react and above all, will love prevail!
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By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
Kara grew up in the Brazilian rainforest with her famous environmentalist parents. The best American finishing schools and Ivy League colleges prepared her for a life among the jet-set but when her parents die, Kara discovers she was adopted and sets out to find her birth parents. Her search leads her to a Florida cattle ranch run by a handsome cowboy named Ben who has a surprising collection of ranch hands.

This wonderful novel is told in "He said-She said" style: Kara and Ben take turns narrating the story. This clever device enables us to know them intimately; they are real, thoughtful people with complicated pasts and loving hearts. We fall in love with the folks at Ben's ranch - his ailing little brother, Kara's mentally-challenged birth parents, even the abuseded horse, Estrela.

The story is fast-paced, full of humour, romance, down-home Florida culture, and some villains you'll love to hate. Nothing is wasted; all the story elements are well-developed and resolve quite satisfactorily. This beautifully-written story is about finding happiness when it's least expected. Heartily recommended.
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By Nichola Dutch on 30 Aug. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Stumbled across this title when browsing Amazon for something different with a setting that appealed (I love books set in unusual US landscapes). I finished the book a week ago and am still missing all the characters and their Florida home! It is funny, poignant, romantic (but not in a "slushy" way) and heartwarming. It is escapism in its best possible form. I will definitely be looking for more Deborah Smith titles.
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By The Book Worm on 22 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I couldnt put it down. You cant help falling in love with all the characters in the story, I didnt want it to end. This is the first book by this Author I have read but it certainly wont be the last. You must take the time to read this book. For all you may know what happens next its a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 331 reviews
144 of 150 people found the following review helpful
Tender Heartwarming Story 21 Nov. 2007
By Elaine C McTyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A GENTLE RAIN is a wonderful story full of tenderness, love, anger, passion and the generosity of the human spirit. I loved it. The many and varied characters lend a wonderful richness to the story. It touches on so many of our most powerful weaknesses and strengths. I had tears in my eyes and I had murder in my heart more than once, this novel takes you up to the peaks and always, as in life, there is someone ready and able to stick a pin in your balloon. A read you will not easily forget.

Kara Whittenbrook is an heiress, her mother and father are dead and as she grieves she finds hidden in an old chest, her adoption papers. All her life she has felt that she did not measure up, but her parents have always told her she exceeds their hopes and love. Now she goes to her Uncle who explains what had happened and why her parents had adopted a child. He also tells her that he knows who her birth parents are and that her adopted parents had wanted to tell her but they had died before they felt she was secure in herself to handle it.

Ben Thocco is a rancher in Northern Florida. Kara's real parents are Mac and Lily, they work for Ben. Ben's brother Joey has Downs Syndrome, his prognosis is not good. Mac and Lily are retarded, Mac's mother drank during pregnancy and Lily was severely shaken by a man friend of her grandmother. They have never mentioned having a child and Ben does not know about Kara. As a matter of fact most of Ben's hands have special needs, as well as some of his animals.

Circumstances bring Karen into Ben's world, this big hearted cowboy, opens his home and loved ones to Karen, but not his past. The past is the one thing he wants to forget and does not talk about. Life has not been good to Ben but he is devoted to Joey and the others who populate his life and ranch.

Karen is unsure if she should reveal herself to Mac and Lily, she still doesn't know why they let her go. She finds both to be loving, caring, giving people and falls deeply in love with them and Ben. The story is wonderful, full of ups and downs, but always with a sense of trust in the future.

I loved it, I couldn't put it down and I love these people. I live in Southern Georgia and that is not far from the lovely places described in the book. Do not miss this one. I'll bet it wins an award.
65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Blood is inherited and virtue is acquired. - Venezuelan Proverb 22 Mar. 2008
By Cherise Everhard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Kara was raised by influential and well-to-do nature loving and hippy parents. Using their money and power to help the environment, her parents went against the family grain and made their own path. Hobnobbing with royalty, celebrities, and presidents was just something Kara grew up doing along with roughing it in Brazil and working side by side with all types and classes of people.

She had a well rounded upbringing, but growing up she was a little chubby and had a bad stutter, she struggled to keep up with her parents. When her parents die in a plane crash, in her early 30's Kara feels orphaned and alone; that is until she discovers she has another set of parents somewhere at a ranch in Florida.

When she comes to the ranch she finds Ben Thocco, ranch owner and all around good guy. He takes care of his little brother and a group of misfit ranch hands he has taken in and made his own.

This book is classified as Romance, but to me it was so much more, bigger, deeper, better. This is a story about families, those you are born with and then the families we make. About two people with very different backgrounds but more in common than they know. It's about second chances, hope and a lot of faith.

There are so many characters in this book and everyone is worth reading about and getting to know. Ms. Smith created a family out of several very special and unique individuals, each one with their own issues, but each one with a grand heart. I was moved and deeply touched by this story. I fell in love with every character and shared in their happiness and triumphs and cried with their sorrows.

Kara's biological parents were my favorite characters. Two people with so many odds stacked against them, so much heartache in their past, but in their childlike innocence, remained hopelessly in love. They were sweet and simple, warm and loving and two of the most endearing characters ever written. I enjoyed every page of this book, it's a truly poignant tale; this Gentle Rain floods the soul.

Cherise Everhard, March 2008
129 of 146 people found the following review helpful
Gentle Rain? More like Holier-than-Thou Hurricane 17 Jan. 2008
By camille - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The author deserves credit for creating an interesting story in a relatively-unused setting -- the ranches, small towns, deserted tourist attractions, and back highways of Florida, far away from the glitz and money of Orlando and Miami. The characters intrigue us by their very difference from our own experiences while calling on the nostalgic memories of readers who travelled Florida in the days before theme parks and spring break baccanalia took over the image of the state. The pairing of a subsistence cattle rancher with a wealthy albeit socially-aware woman provided reasonable contrast. The inclusion of the elderly and mentally/physically challenged is a welcome broadening of the population of romance novels.

The problem with the book is how the author subverts her own goals. She is clearly trying to convince us that all people have value, regardless of their deviation from societal norms and societal values. Older people and mentally-challenged people, the author demonstrates, are interesting and capable of being productive members of society. However, the author torpedoes her own goal by creating perfect characters. The two main characters are saints-in-training and the challenged characters are without blemish. The bad guys are uniformly evil and without redeeming qualities. We have white hats and black hats. Period. She could have made a much more meaningful point by having the 'good' guys demonstrate more complexity, showing us moments in which the good guys make mistakes, even serious ones.

Finally, I also grew tired of feeling lectured about the wonders of a vegan lifestyle.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
"It was Shangri-la with cattle and palm trees." 30 Mar. 2008
By Kona - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Kara grew up in the Brazilian rainforest with her famous environmentalist parents. The best American finishing schools and Ivy League colleges prepared her for a life among the jet-set but when her parents die, Kara learns she was adopted and sets out to find her birth parents. Her search leads her to the Florida cattle ranch of a handsome cowboy named Ben who has a surprising collection of ranch hands.

This wonderful novel is told in "He said-She said" style: Kara and Ben take turns narrating the story. This clever device enables us to know them intimately; they are real, thoughtful people with complicated pasts and loving hearts. We fall in love with the folks at Ben's ranch - his ailing little brother, Kara's mentally-challenged birth parents, even the abused horse, Estrela.

The story is fast-paced, full of humor, romance, down-home Florida culture, and some villains you'll love to hate. Nothing is wasted; all the story elements are well-developed and resolved quite satisfactorily. This beautifully-written story is about finding happiness when it's least expected. Heartily recommended.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable, but not original enough to stick with you 26 Nov. 2007
By K. Hinton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
After the death of her environmentalist parents in a plane crash, Kara Whittenbrook, heiress to a billion-dollar fortune, learns that she is adopted. Kara grew up living in the shadow of her parents' philanthropy, her family's name, and her desire to live up to both legacies. When she discovers that she is not a Whittenbrook by birth, she sets out to learn about her biological parents and who she might have been had they not given her up. Posing as a traveling artist named Karen Johnson, Kara goes to Florida to learn more about her roots.

Ranch owner Ben Thocco has his hands full. His brother, Joey, has Down's syndrome and a heart condition that is slowly killing him. Along with that, Ben's cattle ranch is mortgaged to the hilt since he insists on paying his employees, a motley group of mentally handicapped individuals, a normal living wage, giving them full health benefits, and food, room, and board. Proud man that he is, Ben is unwilling to admit that he needs help when beautiful Karen Johnson comes into his life and suddenly all of Ben's bad luck seems to fade away.

A Gentle Rain was a different kind of love story. There were so many different facets to this book. There was Ben's determination to care for his brother, and his stubborn refusal to let anyone else help him bear the burden of his grief. There was Kara's discovery of herself as not just another Whittenbrook heir, but a person with her own worth. There was the love story of Mac and Lily, Kara's birth parents, and how their disabilities were taken advantage of by someone who they thought cared about them. And then there was the hope and love that they all found together.

A Gentle Rain was a multifaceted love story, and enjoyable to read, but I did have some problems with it. First of all, there was the author's pedantic quoting of literature ad nauseum. When Kara had to excuse herself at the end of the book with the statement, "Pardon me for quoting again," I knew that I wasn't the only one who had noticed. It would have come across as more sincere if the author could have used her own words to convey the characters' emotions rather than repeatedly poaching from the likes of Jane Austen and Shakespeare. Then there was the question of Kara's fortune. I am all for philanthropic heiresses, but it was a bit much for me to take when the woman has to ask someone her net worth (in the billions, FYI) and then still has to hide it from the man and family she says she loves. I know it's a book. But it was still a bit much to take.

A Gentle Rain was entertaining enough while I was reading it, but it doesn't have the depth or originality to stick with you like some more unique stories such as the ones the author chooses to quote (eg, Northanger Abbey, Atlas Shrugged).
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