Her One in a Million (Book Review)

  • Author: Rachelle Paige Campbell
  • Publisher: Anaiah Press
  • Publication Date (Available Now)
  • Synopsis: After discovering a valuable treasure in her friend’s historic mansion, Sam enlists Zachary, an antiques professional, to assist her with an appraisal.
  • Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author. Opinions expressed are my own.

Scripture Connection

Those who listen to instruction will prosper;

those who trust the LORD will be joyful.

Prov. 16: 20

Spiritual Themes

Sam, who considers herself to be competent, independent, and generally indispensable, comes to acknowledge the importance of trusting God. Because of the combination of arrogance and learning to trust God, I felt that the Proverbs verse was fitting. I would have liked to have seen a bit more depth to this topic, which, although introduced a few times during the plotline, felt superficial.

What I Liked

Her One in a Million was a fun, engaging read. I appreciated the small town setting, including a main character who works for both her family and her best friend’s enterprises. Going in, I was anticipating a story like a Hallmark movie, and in several ways, that is what I got.

The writing was crisp and strong, reflecting the work of a deft author. In particular, I observed the fluidity of the sentences, the ease with which Campbell integrated the action. This made for an enjoyable reading experience.

It was fun to read about some of the relationships between characters: Sam and her best friends, Amy and Hannah. I have found that I really enjoy reading about sweet friendships, and my guess is that other books in the series are from the perspectives of these other characters. I also liked reading about Zach’s relationship with his daughter, Olivia, and how the two stuck together — even as Zach adjusted to Olivia’s growing (five-year-old) independence.

The general premise contributed to some interesting narrative details, while also offering just a little bit of informative exposition on the topics of pottery and auction. Granted, I’m not sure whether or not the art school referenced in the text really existed, but I did learn a little bit more about how appraisals work with treasures. And, on that note, the premise of discovering a surprise treasure was fun, too.

I appreciated the characters’ desire for integrity, even when that meant personal sacrifice, and I was also glad to see Sam grow as a person. This was most evident in her understanding of herself and her importance. It was nice to see her arrogance falling away, and how her friends and family continued to support her (like they’d been doing, all along).

Content Notes

At the beginning of the novel, Sam is a bit of a snot as she talks about rescuing her parents’ business. This was offputting for me, as a reader, but also a part of Sam’s character development.

The romance, happily, was very light in terms of physicality.

Respectful Critique (Spoilers)

While I definitely enjoyed the read, I was quite confused by the plotline, in terms of the romance. As I watched Zach “falling in love” with Sam and wrestling with whether or not to remain in town, I really couldn’t understand his immediate attachment to either (Sam, nor the town of Harmony). This is not simply because of how I felt about the characters (see my Content Note about Sam), but largely because of their lack of meaningful interactions. They began relating on a professional basis, and while they did depart from discussions of pottery and auctions, I didn’t find a basis for Zach’s feelings– to the depth that he claimed. In my opinion, Sam’s perspective (“I’m attracted to this guy who is merely a business associate”) made a lot more sense, as she didn’t claim to be “in love” and even discouraged her friends from implying that something could happen between her and Zach.

An additional note: there were a few passages that merited further editing, as the words were a bit scrambled, making for some confusing moments.

Recommendation Status

As much as I enjoyed the writing, I felt that the romance and the spiritual content were lacking in depth and, particularly in the case of the romantic content, plausibility. Even so, this was certainly a fun read, and I think that those who enjoy the subject matter of programs like Antiques Road Show would appreciate the pottery/auction details of the novel.

Published by Stephaniesninthsuitcase

Hi, there! My name is Stephanie and I’m a Fresno, CA native. After studying at Biola University, I received my MLIS (Masters in Library Science) from San Jose State University. I live with my mom, poet Kimberly Vargas Agnese, and serve as her unofficial agent. We reside at MeadowArc, a food forest in its infancy. I am called to, and passionate about, purity. In fact, the name Agnes means “pure.” Before I was born, my mom felt led to include the name Agnes in her name, and in the names of her children. My full, hyphenated name includes 26 letters (but not the whole alphabet).

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