Review Double Feature: A Reluctant Courtship by Laurie Alice Eakes and Perfectly Matched by Maggie Brendan
|A Reluctant Courtship|
by Laurie Alice Eakes
A woman without a prospect. A man without a homeland. Can love give them a future?
Honore Bainbridge has been courted by two men, one of whom turned out to be a traitor, the other a murderer. Banished to her family's country estate, where she will hopefully stay out of trouble, she finally meets the man she is sure is exactly right for her: Lord Ashmoor. Tall, dark, and handsome--what more could a girl ask for?
But he too is under suspicion because of his American upbringing and accusations that he has helped French prisoners escape from Dartmoor Prison. If he's to keep out of a British prison himself and secure his place in British society, Lord Ashmoor needs a wife beyond reproach--something the vexingly beautiful Honore certainly is not. Though they find themselves drawn to each other, family obligations may conspire to keep them apart forever.
For the sake of her heart, Honore determines to prove Ashmoor's innocence--even if doing so risks her own life.
“Available October 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
The English countryside comes to life in the last book of The Daughters of Bainbridge House trilogy from author Laurie Alice Eakes. While this series isn't my favorite from this author, I enjoyed each book and A Reluctant Courtship was no exception. Each of the sisters is quite unique and rather headstrong and stubborn in their own right, Honore probably the most.
If you like a slower paced story that unfolds gradually, A Reluctant Courtship certainly delivers. I was hoping that this was going to be an exciting tale with a lot more danger since Honore had such a knack for finding wholly unsuitable beaux in the previous books, but I was a bit disappointed. It literally starts out as a cliff-hanger that goes slightly downhill (no pun intended) after those first few breathtaking moments. Honore isn't unlikable or unrelatable, but rather flat and boring. I found myself skimming through almost half of the story just to get it over with. Luckily, the latter half and the mystery of the sea caves and smugglers kept me reading and I did end up liking the book.
The author does a terrific job with the language of the period, the setting, and including real events that were current at the time the story was set. If there were a few more interesting characters and maybe a little more danger, I have the feeling this could have been one of my favorite books of the year to date. All in all, this series was a good addition to the Revell line and I'm glad to have had the chance to read each story.
~ My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ~
To learn more about the author, visit her website here:
by Maggie Brendan
His life runs like clockwork. Hers is a spontaneous adventure. But God's timing is always perfect.
Anna Olsen knows it's time to leave her sister's increasingly crowded house and start a life of her own. Following both sisters' examples, she becomes a mail-order bride, and after a short correspondence with clock maker and jeweler Edward Parker, she moves to Denver to become his wife.
Almost immediately it's painfully apparent that Anna and Edward are very different. Anna is a free spirit who would rather be painting and enjoying the company of friends than cleaning house. Edward is a consummate perfectionist who, on their wedding day, hands Anna a list of chores that need to be done around the house daily.
Can this mismatched couple see past their differences to a harmonious future? Or will their disparate passions create obstacles neither is willing to surmount?
Maggie Brendan knows how to write good stories, plain and simple. Perfectly Matched is probably my favorite of the Blue Willow Brides series and that's saying a lot since I fairly gushed over the first two books. It wasn't the heroine, although she was great, and it wasn't the hero who was pretty special too, but the fact that stray animals played such an important role in the story. If you have a soft spot for dogs, cats, horses. etc. you will definitely like that Anna Olsen stands up for sick, hurt, and abandoned animals -- so much so that I think she'd give Sarah Mclachlan a run for her money! Even her new husband, Edward, can't say no to Anna when it comes to her heart for caring for the towns sick and abandoned animals. I loved how Ms. Brendan threaded the history of the ASPCA into this great western romance. I don't think I've ever read a Christian book that featured such a great cast of four-legged critters who added such joy and fun to a story.
Even though they definitely lightened the mood of the story, this book wasn't all about animals. Edward's and Anna's budding romance, of course, took center stage. Edward was a bit of a control freak to say the least and definitely had problems adapting to Anna's free spirited ways. Sometimes he came across as bit of a jerk, he was such a stick in the mud! It was definitely interesting to say the least to see them both adapt to their newlywed status. It was nice to see both Anna and Edward gain confidence in who they were AND in their relationship.
As the final book in the Blue Willow Brides series, Perfectly Matched is a real winner. I'm so sorry to see this series at and end, but if this series and Maggie Brendan's Heart of the West series are any indication, her next book will be well worth buying and reading! Kudos to Ms. Brendan on a job well done!
~ My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars -- A favorite! ~
To learn more about the author, visit her website here:
*I receive complimentary books for review from the publisher. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*