Monday, March 28, 2016
A Sweet Misfortune- Maggie Brendan
Description: Rachel Matthews isn't one to rely on others to take care of her. Destitute and alone, she still wants to make her own way and her own money--even if she's forced into the life of a dance hall girl. Horrified by her circumstances, Rachel's brother sends a friend--the widely admired cattle baron John McIntyre--to rescue her, then sets off to earn enough money to buy back the family ranch. But when months pass without her brother's return, Rachel isn't sure she can take one more day in John McIntyre's home--especially once she discovers that he's the one who holds the deed to her family's ranch.
Sparks fly between this spunky, independent heroine and the ruggedly handsome hero as they navigate the snarled terrain of pride, greed, faith, and love in Maggie Brendan's delightful series set in the Old West.
My Thoughts: A Sweet Misfortune addressed some important concepts, such as taking the time to learn people's stories and not casting judgement. These appeared often in the story, with many of the characters having to address their opinion of Rachel's dance hall days and the friends from the Wild Horse who she is unwilling to abandon. However, this is one of the few things I can say I liked about the novel.
Everything mentioned in the back cover description takes place in the first couple chapters, which should give some hint as to how little happens in the book plot-wise. Time and again something would happen, hinting at a conflict that would carry the book, only to be resolved before it could cause any real complication in the story. Physical ailments disappeared after a couple chapters and any complicating romantic interests are dismissed after two or three conversations. Even John's initial belief that Rachel was a soiled-dove didn't seem to really matter as he dismissed it rather easily.
Yet it was repetitive dialogue that took me out of the otherwise sweet story. Through most of the book, characters would repeat the same words and phrases within the same conversation, making the interactions feel copied and pasted.
The lack of urgency and complication, along with repetitiveness, made this book difficult for me to get through. I'd had no doubt that the characters would work things out and had little interest in finding out how they did it. What kept me reading was a hope that eventually one of the conflicts would pay off, creating some suspense in the story. I don't feel that that ever happened.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.