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Calm, Cool & Adjusted    by Kristin Billerbeck order for
Calm, Cool & Adjusted
by Kristin Billerbeck
Order:  USA  Can
Integrity, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

With her other Spa Girl-friends Morgan and Lilly married or nearly married, Poppy finds herself the only single girl in a sea of couples. Her eclectic personality doesn't allow much wallowing, however, because chiropractor Poppy is more concerned about body-fat percentages, healthy eating, exercising, and natural healing than she is about trivial things like love relationships. Or is she really?

Poppy is torn between an attraction to a patient with a dynamic personality and the gorgeous plastic surgeon in the office next to hers. And these interests don't stop Morgan and Lilly from trying to set Poppy up with a man they know is absolutely perfect for her. Poppy's friends also think that she should get out of the past and start wearing modern-day clothing rather than skirts her mother wore in the 70s. To complicate matters even further, her father decides it's time to move from the house Poppy grew up in, and dumps the whole mess of a falling-down home into Poppy's lap to deal with. All of these trials don't mesh well with Poppy's ordered, controlled life. Is there a way she can choose which man - if any - is right for her?

This is the third book in the Spa Girls series. Since the characters continue from one book to the next, so for maximum enjoyment readers should start with the first book. Enough background is provided so that new readers won't be too lost though. Poppy is an interesting character, probably the most interesting of the three women in these novels. Her Christian approach to natural healing is quite unusual. I never did get a true sense of how she meshed her faith with her work, but that didn't seem to be a main focus of the story. Although these novels are marketed as Christian chick lit, the faith storyline never takes center stage. Even when Poppy's friends are trying to get her to realize that she can't be in control of everything in life, God is given only a cursory mention and Poppy never really comes to realize what she's doing and how she needs to let go and trust God.

There's a great deal of humor sprinkled throughout Calm, Cool & Adjusted which makes the book delightful to read. The suspense of wondering who Poppy will choose is fun. And the storyline about Poppy confronting her past makes the whole book worthwhile. It has been great getting to know these characters over the past three books. Kristin Billerbeck is skilled at character development and carrying a story through to completion. Fans of chick lit looking for wholesome, yet not preachy, novels need look no further than this enjoyable series.

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