Vow Unbroken by Caryl McAdoo (A Review)
by Caryl McAdoo
A spunky young widow hires a farmhand with a bad reputation to help her get her cotton to Jefferson to meet the wagon train, and sparks fly—but can she love a man who doesn’t love the Lord?
Susannah Abbot Baylor reluctantly hires Henry Buckmeyer to help her along the Jefferson Trace, the hard stretch of land between her Texas farm and the cotton market, where she is determined to get a fair price for her crop. It’s been a rough year, and she’s in danger of losing the land her husband left to her and the children, but she’ll need help getting both of her wagons to Jefferson safely. She knows Henry’s reputation as a layabout and is prepared for his insolence, but she is not expecting his irresistible good looks or his gentle manner. Soon they are entwined in a romantic relationship that only gets more complicated when Susannah learns that Henry doesn’t know God the way she does. Dangers arise on the road—but none as difficult as the trial her heart is going through.
Will Susannah and Henry’s love overcome their differences? And will she get her crop safely to the cotton market with enough money to save the farm? In this heartening and adventurous tale, a young woman’s fortitude, faith, and heart are put to the ultimate test.
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As a reader of romance, I've come across a lot of unique and interesting stories through the years and western romances are some of my favorites. I'm always on the lookout for something new and fresh in the genre, so I jumped at the chance to read this story by Caryl McAdoo. Unfortunately, after struggling with it for a few weeks, I finally finished it to meet a review deadline. To be honest, if I didn't have to write this review, I would have set it aside permanently. It's not uninteresting, in fact it had quite a few exciting moments -- storms, ruffians, raging rivers, you name it, but the connection I felt with the heroine was absolutely nonexistent.
Susannah Baylor, a widow with a young daughter and nephew faces a long cold winter unless she can get her cotton to market. As a last resort, she enlists the help of Henry Buckmeyer, a man rumored to be a layabout and drunk and his dog Blue, to help her get a fair price for her "lint". Of course, they go against nature and critters of both the four-legged and two-legged variety in their race against time to meet the buyers before they leave port.
Henry was great. He's loyal, hard-working, PATIENT, and dedicated to getting the job that he was paid for done, much to Susannah's relief and thankfully, mine. Henry was a saint. He kept the story from being a complete loss. Susannah, as I mentioned earlier in this review, just seemed a bit holier-than-thou. She was bossy and irritating with Henry who was supposed to be the one she trusted to get her and her cargo safely to her destination. At one point towards the end of the story, she apologized to Henry but even then it didn't have that authenticity. The dialogue, from the beginning was a bit stilted, so the story didn't flow well.
I believe Vow Unbroken is the author's first historical romance. I might end up picking up her next book just because I liked Henry and the secondary characters (heart Blue Dog!) so much. I have faith that this author will create a heroine who is easy to like!
If you like an historical adventure this book definitely has that pioneer story danger, the characters have to work their way out of some sticky situations multiple times. If you like loads of romance or a heroine with whom you feel a great connection to or can empathize with, this might not be your book. If you decide to read it, I hope you enjoy it!
*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.*
~ My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars ~