Saturday, March 22, 2014

An Unexpected Wife by Cheryl Reavis

As usual a too busy life with far more distractions than any one person should have has pushed me into the clutches of another romance novel. I complain about this genre despite the fact that I’m actually grateful for it. The one good thing about a romance novel is that I don’t have to think about what I’m reading, it is quick reading, and if I happen to put it down for an extended time, it is easy to pick up again.

This book is from the Love Inspired division of Harlequin. I quite literally just figured out who publishes the Love Inspired line of books when I typed the preceding line, and that really explains so much! I chose this book from the Love Inspired books because I don’t need or want to read something that amounts to nothing more than poorly written porn.

Unfortunately, I was not very impressed with this book. As I have spent the last 20 years actively participating Civil War era living history I determined before even reading the first page that I would not judge this book on it’s historical accuracy or proper portrayal of the period in question. As a Daughter of the Confederacy I further determined that I would not judge the book based on its portrayal of Reconstruction. Had I judged the book on any of the foregoing, the book would have received negative stars. Of course one look at the cover art told me historical accuracy wasn’t this book’s strong suit anyway.

I will say that the author’s ability to write in a coherent manner was appreciated. With romance books it is so hit and miss when it comes to author ability. Cheryl Reavis thankfully writes in an engaging style that doesn’t leave me feeling as though I’ve just read a grade school book. Certainly the writing is not scholarly, but that is hardly to be expected in any of today’s mainstream books.

The characters in this book were about what I would expect in the romance genre. Unfortunately, I found the main characters to be less than engaging. Don’t get me wrong, they were OK. I simply found the character of Sergeant Major Perkins to be far more appealing. In all honesty, I am hoping to see a book written for Sergeant Major Perkins! I do believe that would be a very good book.

While the main characters didn’t catch my attention as much as they should have, I will say that at least the author did allow them to develop. In fact, Kate (the female lead), truly seemed to grow up and come into her own through the course of the book. With Robert (the male lead) we had to take the author’s word for the changes in his character through other character’s thoughts and conversations, but even at that, the way it was written just worked.

The plot was OK. I don’t like to write much about plot because I don’t want to spoil the books I review for other readers. Please forgive my vagueness. All I can really say about the plot is that the climax of the story seemed rather farfetched and quite engineered. Yes, it served it’s purpose, but I truly believe there were better options available to the author.

All things considered, I’m not sure I would recommend this book. Certainly it wasn’t horrible, but neither can I say it was even average. This book simply didn’t work for me. However, should you find you want to read the book, I can assure you there is nothing in this book that a reader might find objectionable. In fact, this book is safe even for a teen to read.

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