Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
Sean was sentenced to hang for his part in a bank robbery, but a rare law in town now has him wedded instead—to a complete stranger. His new wife, Charlotte, only married him to make him a blacksmith in her livery. She doesn’t intend to fall in love with Sean in Sean Donovan by author Lori Wick.
This was at least my third time reading the third book in The Californians series, once my favorite series by this author. It was fun to reread some of this wholesome ChristFic I ate up nearly two decades ago.
I’ll admit, though, that issues I “winked at” back then are more glaring to me now. The novel’s first chapters are vague in places and seem to be in a rush to get Sean’s life of crime out of the way so that he can hurry on into the changed-man stage. The story is full of head-hopping, frequently switching between characters’ perspectives with little or no warning. Words like “softly” and “gently” are overused, and while tears are understandable, given the dramatic turns his life takes, Sean cries a lot during a certain stretch of the book.
While it’s something I’ve become used to in these novels, the dialogue and descriptions often overplay the sentiment, including where the abundant Bible talk, sermons, salvation lessons, etc. are concerned. Even in Christian Fiction, it takes finesse to present spiritual content in a way that isn’t schmaltzy or overdone.
Still, I like that Charlotte is a capable and plucky businesswoman, kind of rough around the edges. And as with the other books in the series, this is a feel-good read for ChristFic historical romance fans who can appreciate something that’s easy to digest.
Here’s my review of Book Two in this series, As Time Goes By.