Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Book Review of The Trouble With Patience by Maggie Brendan

A new series by seasoned author Maggie Brendan titled Virtues and Vices sounded 'oh-so-appealing' to me. Although this is my first time reading a novel by Maggie Brendan I awaited the book with much anticipation. But I ran into some "trouble" with The Trouble With Patience.

Publisher's Blurb:
Patience Cavanaugh has lost hope in romance. The man she yearned to marry is dead and her dreams are gone with him. Now she is consumed with restoring a dilapidated boardinghouse in order to support herself.

Despite Patience's desire for solitude, Jedediah Jones, the local marshal with a reputation for hanging criminals, becomes an ever-looming part of her life. It seems like such a simple arrangement: She needs someone with a strong back to help her fix up the boardinghouse. He needs a dependable source of food for himself and his prisoners. But as she gets to know this "hanging lawman," Patience finds there is far more to him than meets the eye--and it could destroy their tenuous relationship forever.

The story starts out strong, grabbing the reader's attention immediately. A rough and gruff Lawman and a single, yet strong-minded young woman clash instantly. Fireworks!

However they fizzled out quickly in my mind. Let me share some positives and some negatives I found in reading this novel.

First off, the plot was fun. It sounded very intriguing on the back cover and got better as the reader entered the story. There was so much potential for a riveting read. All the characters were easy to like and the hero and heroine both had strengths and flaws that were understandable. However, that is where the "connection" ended for me. At the end of the story I liked the characters as much as I had at the beginning--so-so. Not what I prefer in a novel. I want to be restless at the end of a novel because I can't bear to read "The End".

I also found that the plot moved very slowly through the story covering a lot of mundane story aspects. Then when the tension should be high - the peak of the romance thread and the peak of the suspense thread, the story skipped over these with a handful of sentences. 

For me the biggest challenge to a true investment in the story was the writing. I felt constantly yanked out of the story by the style and choice of words and dialogue. It was hard to put my finger on it at first. Then it dawned on me that the words were telling me the story instead of the characters showing it to me. The dialogue felt forced and contrived at times. The characters words didn't match their inner thoughts and the personality I had perceived them to have. Also, words like "java" were used to replace coffee. I can't say with any certainty that in 1866 in the Old West they didn't use words like that. However it didn't feel authentic to me. (But I am not an historian).

I really wanted more from this novel. This all may be personal preference. According to many other reviews on-line the book was very successful. 

Overall I found the story to be a light hearted read. The romance was slow and gentle and the characters likeable. If that's your cup of "java" then you might enjoy "The Trouble With Patience".

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. I received the book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

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