The characters were poorly developed. The plot was... baffling... until about the mid-way point and then...moreI... have no idea what to say about this one.
The characters were poorly developed. The plot was... baffling... until about the mid-way point and then extremely predictable and kind of bordered on the absurd. The explanation for Edgar's behaviour was grasping at straws, at best. (According to my daughter, my reaction was "REALLY?!? REALLY?? THAT's how you explain it?? Thank God I'm at the end of this damned book.")
I've tried to find...any... reason to justify a second star but I can't come up with one. Though the basic story had potential, I felt it wasn't developed well. In short, I simply didn't like it.
I struggled with my thoughts about this book. So much so, that I had to make a pro/con list to sort everything out. Here's what I came up with:
Pros: -...moreI struggled with my thoughts about this book. So much so, that I had to make a pro/con list to sort everything out. Here's what I came up with:
Pros: - easy read - paced well - made me laugh (at more than a few points I almost fell off the treadmill I was laughing so hard) - strong heroine; she didn't wait to be rescued (not sure she thought she needed rescuing) and was pretty set on rescuing her father whether anyone was helping her or not
Cons: - not a comedy book - while I loved her name, it was Irish. Now, it's entirely possible her mother (who was dead years before the story started) could have been Irish, but there's no mention of it and that's not the impression I got. - he kept calling her "ma chere". He was Scottish. I get that he spent time in other places and could have picked it up somewhere, but the Scots have some beautiful endearments and it baffled me why he didn't use some of them. - she was perfect. The term "Mary Sue" kept popping into my head. One lesson with a sword (during which she was preoccupied with his body against hers) that she could barely hold and she was able to wield it and fight off seasoned warriors? - he was perfect. Is there a male version of "Mary Sue"? After escaping from his torture (hung over a pit with spikes & whipped) he faced 40 armed soldiers and, except for those SHE took out, managed to best more than half of them. The other half, he bested by breaking the floor. While standing in the middle of the room. With half the band of soldiers between him and the door. And still managed to escape. No lie. (For the record, while reading this rescue/fight scene is when I nearly fell off the treadmill)
Yes, it's a fluffy read. Yes, it has serious "REALLY??" moments. Still, I found it to be an amusing read that easily kept my attention while I was on the treadmill.
I really, really wanted to like this book. And I did like how this book taught patience and faith. Not just to the characters within the story, but al...moreI really, really wanted to like this book. And I did like how this book taught patience and faith. Not just to the characters within the story, but also to the reader. (You have to have a lot of patience to get through this book, and some faith that it will get better doesn't help, even though it's disappointed faith by the end.)
After saying that...
I have no idea where the title came from, but it so does not fit this story.
I have no problem with suffering and tortured characters, but these two... wow. I really just wanted one of them to get kicked by a horse or for someone to push them both into the waterfall they loved so much or... something. And while I love a slow-developing romance (not sped up or rushed like in most stories, even though it keeps the page count manageable), this book would have been about a hundred pages shorter and a better story if both of them weren't so freaking hung up on assuming/doing what was "right" for the other and NOT talking to the other, even as they rekindled their feelings for each other. I got real tired of them thinking about their doubts and assumptions. At the least, there should have been more dialogue interaction with secondary characters about some of their doubts, assumptions, feelings, whatever. But there wasn't; just a lot of "I have to deal with this alone" and some prayer.
And that brings us to the writing in general. There was a lot of POV switching in mid-paragraph that got really confusing sometimes. Too many times I had to go back and figure out who was thinking/talking/doing what and where, exactly, the POV shifted. It was also both annoying and confusing when the characters had thoughts or did things that just didn't fit with how they'd been developed to that point. Unexpected things are good in stories, but having characters be, well, out of character, isn't so good. And, overall, the characters and plot felt shallow. There was no real depth to most of the story or the characters. Every time the author started to show any depth to the characters or plot, it was jerked away again by the self-deprecating thoughts of the two main characters.
I have to say, I'm both delighted and saddened this was one of the free books for eHarlequin's 60th birthday; delighted because I didn't pay for this book, saddened because it doesn't do the genre justice and, to many people testing out romances (especially faith-based romances) with this book, it will be the measuring stick by which the genre will be unfairly judged.
Waffling between 1 and 2 stars, I'm going with two, just because Henrietta and Robert (the aunt and uncle) were a pleasure to read and both made me laugh. (less)
I really, REALLY wanted to like this book but once I started reading it, it was all I could do to reach the end. More than once I tossed the book in m...moreI really, REALLY wanted to like this book but once I started reading it, it was all I could do to reach the end. More than once I tossed the book in my donation bag but dug it back out each time. This time, I'm happy to let it stay there.
Over all, the premise of the story was good, but the execution of it left a lot to be desired. The author had a good command of the English language (I gave it two stars for that alone) which meant that even though I wasn't drawn into the story and often felt like the author could have shown more and told less, it wasn't excruciatingly painful to read. (less)
While I was amused by the story, I felt it was off balance. The first half of the book dragged out forever while the last half of it felt rushed. This...moreWhile I was amused by the story, I felt it was off balance. The first half of the book dragged out forever while the last half of it felt rushed. This book could have easily been another 100 pages long or had the pacing balanced out a bit and been a better story. I almost put it down before the first 50 pages were up but hung in there and am glad I did.
Despite the pacing, it was nice to see a "plain" girl with glasses in the role as heroine, and the story was fairly good. I was amused by it and it kept me entertained for the better part of two days while was icing my wrist and unable to do anything but watch tv or read.(less)