Sean Donovan by Lori Wick

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.

Sean Donovan by Lori Wick

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.

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Here’s my review of Book Two in this series, As Time Goes By.

  

 

As Time Goes By by Lori Wick

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.

As Time Goes By by Lori Wick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Boys will be boys, perhaps, but the way Jeffrey Taylor once hurt Roberta “Bobbie” Bradford’s feelings was still inexcusable. Now that Bobbie is returning to Santa Rosa after a five-year absence, Jeff will finally have the chance to make it up to her in person. But her arrival back home throws Jeff strangely off-kilter in As Time Goes By by author Lori Wick.

Here’s another novel I’ve now read thrice, which I think I first read in my teens.

I once loved this second book in The Californians series for various reasons, including that the heroine is considered to be rather plain. Bobbie also wears spectacles, and no, when she comes back to town, she’s not an ugly-duckling-turned-beautiful-swan who’s done away with her glasses to conveniently make her gorgeous. Not that romances have to make a big to-do about a heroine’s physical looks either way (they most certainly do not), but it’s still refreshing to see something different from this author’s norm.

“Plain girls have dreams too, you know.” Bobbie is competent and personable with a cheeky sense of humor, and she’s regularly ready to cut folks some slack.

Even with the super cool heroine, though, I’ll admit I don’t feel the same about the story as I used to. It’s often pretty schmaltzy and not the most natural. Having jumped straight to the second book in the series this time, I can see how certain minor characters and scenes don’t really matter unless you already care about those characters from the previous book. Also, this novel has a lot of talk about salvation, prayer, and Bible reading, which I think can work if a novel’s plot calls for it, but it feels overdone in this story.

Nevertheless, this is a feel-good kind of read for fans of ChristFic historical romance who can appreciate something that’s easy to digest.

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Here’s my review of the next book in the series, Sean Donovan.