Sunday, December 11, 2011

Recent Read

The Bride Raffle by Lisa Plumley

Why this one: I’m not really sure. I had a code and it was an impulse buy. I have read books by her previously and enjoyed them, was ready for a Western so I just went for it.

Steam Level: There really wasn’t really any steam created in this book. It was more warmish

Blurb: Famous home-keeping expert Daisy Walsh is overwhelmed by the warm welcome she receives in Morrow Creek, and then she realizes she's the star prize in the town raffle! She can bet the lucky winner's not expecting a pregnant woman who needs a place to stay.

Single father Owen Cooper suspects he's been set up because his daughter is thrilled to have a woman around the house. He could get used to the smell of home baking tempting his taste buds, but the sight of Daisy's stockings is one temptation too far!

My Thoughts: As I said, I’ve read books by Ms. Plumley before and enjoyed them. This is an author you don’t really hear that much about. Again this is going to be a damned with faint praise kind of review. I really want to love every book I start reading but alas I didn’t with this one. I liked it, but it’s one I know I’ll never read again.

There were parts I liked and parts that I had issues with. The parts I liked; I really liked Owen. He’s a gruff, grumpy bear kind of guy and I liked that about him. He’s a widower whose been told again and again and again by his late wife he must improve his ways until he’s convinced he’s not good enough and must not let any fun into his life. He’s a wonderful, all thumbs kind of father who adores his little girl and will do anything to try and make her happy.

Daisy is equally interesting as a heroine. She’s been emotionally and verbally stomped on by her tour manager until she believes that she pretty incapable of doing anything on her own. But Owen is the opposite, admiring everything about her and making her believe in herself again.

Élodie, Owen’s daughter is a charmer. She wants her father to be happy, she wants to see him smile and she wants a mother. Daisy is the answer to all of these.

And you are asking yourselves what’s wrong? Why isn’t a love it book? Well, the things that didn’t work are what took it down a number of levels. One of the silly reasons is I could never figure out how to pronounce Élodie’s name in my head. Really dumb reason, I know. But I found it annoying and distracting

Another issue I had is the fact that Daisy is pregnant and all the issues around that. It wasn’t that she was pregnant in itself that bothered me. It was that she had no feeling for the father and I don’t know why she would have slept with him in the first place. He didn’t force her, but she had no attraction to him. It was like the only reason she was pregnant in the first place was to make it part of the storyline and that was a fail for me. I also had an issue with the fact that she couldn’t clue in that she was pregnant. It was up to the hero to tell her. Another issue is Owen never had even a nanosecond qualm about the fact that this woman he was falling for big time was preggers by another dude. Owen was a good guy and I could see him accepting the fact that she was, but only after at least a slight struggle certainly.

Another thing I just didn’t get was after a certain time, they lived like man and wife and no one seemed to object. This is a historical and I may be wrong, but I would think the townspeople would at least insist they get married or something. And they were living like this in front of Élodie and neither had the slightest thought that ‘oh, maybe this is wrong for the child to see’. Again, if this were a contemporary it would be a different thing, but it isn’t and it bothered me.

Then at the end they had this convoluted conflict that I didn’t get. I don’t even know if one could call it a misunderstanding exactly but I was scratching my head wondering what their problem was.

The writing was good, it made me smile at times, I liked both the hero and heroine, but ultimately the issues I had kept me from enjoying the book the way I hoped I would. But I do like her writing enough and have in the past, to read other books by her and the issues that tripped me up might not bother others.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5


Anonymous said...

This one will definitely be a miss for me. Those plot points you mention would probably have dropped the grade to lower than a 3.5 in my book. But I'd like to try her out since you say you've enjoyed her before(western/americana! Harlequin!). Can you name some of those titles you did like?

Kristie (J) said...

Jane, it's been quite awhile since I read them; before I started grading my books, but I remember enjoying The Rascal. As for her contemporaries, I found Making Over Mike to be a real hoot. And I have The Lawman loaded on my Kindle waiting for me :-)