Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Book Review: "A Love of Her Own" by Maggie Brendan

April McBride has suffered a broken engagement once before and fully intends to guard her heart when she travels to Lewistown, Montana, to attend her brother's wedding. One look around the small mining town convinces April that this won't be difficult—just a bunch of dusty shops, bad service, and ill-bred cowboys. But a run-in with a horse trainer named Wes Owen opens up vast possibilities for frustration, embarrassment, friendship, and . . . love? Can April and Wes see past their differences in order to envision a future together?

As with the other books in this series, this story is more of a historical romance than historical fiction. The historical background is just the setting for the story with the characters acting in the manner of the time period without any actual history coinciding with the plot. April travels out west to be with her brother at his wedding and then decides to stay in the small town even though she is a big city girl. She has a rough time at first adjusting to the slow non glamorous life she is used to. Also the townsfolk seem to take a while to warm up to her as well.

April got on my nerves several times throughout the book. She seemed to act like a spoiled rich brat at times, then at others she would be a strong willed almost tomboy-ish character. To be honest, I didn't really buy her relationship with Wes. I just felt that they had too many differences to all of a sudden fall in love with each other. The scene where he throws her in the water was just too romance novel for me especially as he immediately realizes that her dress has become practically see through. I preferred reading about the secondary characters like Jane, Natalie and Mark. Their stories seemed more well rounded even if only for brief glimpses throughout the book.

Overall, while I did enjoy the story, I felt it was the same "spoiled girl becomes unspoiled and gets a man" type of plot. The characters were interesting but I didn't feel as if any new ground was being broken here. Nothing really stood out to me to make the story very memorable. Brendan is a very good storyteller and I hope to read more of her books in the future. I would just like to see her break out into new territory and try out something that hasn't been done before. While this book is the third in a series and makes references to characters and events in past books, it can be read as a standalone.

A Love of Her Own by Maggie Brendan is published by Revell (2010)

This review copy was provided by the publisher

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