Friday, February 12, 2016

A Sweet Misfortune

Finding herself alone and homeless in a small western town, independent heroine Rachel Matthews stoops to working as a dancing girl at the local saloon in an attempt to earn money to re-purchase her family’s ranch.  When her brother in far-away California hears of her occupation, however, he sends his friend and local cattle baron John McIntyre to rescue her.  Sparks immediately fly between the two, but will John be able to let go of his pride and suspicions that Rachel did more than dance at the saloon?  Will Rachel ever forgive John for buying the failing ranch from her brother in the first place? 

With an entertaining cast of characters and an interesting backdrop, Maggie Brendan tells a story not only of love, but of forgiveness, humility, and grace.  While all romance novels tend to end somewhat predictably, this one lacked any suspense or adventure whatsoever.  Every conflict resolves itself within a chapter or two, and every character gets just about everything they want without much development.  It seems as if the events leading up to the start of the novel would have proven much more captivating: Rachel’s parents’ deaths, her brother’s departure to mine for gold, and her own decision to work at the saloon would have entertained much more than the given plot.  Even the story of John’s sister Lura’s fall from grace would have livened it up a bit.  As it is, not much happens.  That said, Rachel is spunky and likable, and John is adequately swoon-worthy, which leads to a satisfying— if predictable— conclusion.  

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in return for an honest review.   

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