Last Circle of Love

Lake Union. Dec. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781662506260. pap. $16.99. F
A women’s group at a struggling church is at the heart of this new novel from Landvik (Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons). All Souls Lutheran has a newish, young pastor, Mallory “Pastor Pete” Peterson, but a declining population, while the newer, richer church across town is thriving. Determined to raise needed funds, the five loyal members of the Naomi Circle from Pastor Pete’s church ditch their usual bake-sale and church-cookbook fundraisers. Instead, they’ll write and try to sell a risqué book tentatively titled The ABCs of Erotica, to which each of the women will contribute, along with anyone else they can wrangle. Their ABCs of Erotica entries are more sweet romance than they are erotica, but the title alone gets people talking.
VERDICT Landvik usually excels at creating novels with quirky characters and small-town charm, but there are so many characters and subplots here that the charm gets short shrift. Nonetheless, Landvik is popular, so buy accordingly. Should delight fans of Fannie Flagg and Debbie Macomber.
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