Summary from Christianbook.com: Ten years ago, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston as a battered woman, escaping the husband who scarred her beautiful face. The physical and emotional wounds have faded with time, and her life is finally full of purpose and free from the pain of her past. But when she falls for her friend Charity's handsome and charming brother, Sean O'Connor, fear and shame threaten to destroy her. Could Sean and Emma ever have a future together? Or is Emma doomed to live out the rest of her life denying the only true love she's ever known?
Since I have enjoyed most of Julie Lessman's other books, including the first book in this series, I really tried to give this book a chance. I got about halfway and then I had to quit. I had gotten so irritated and annoyed that I couldn't finish. It takes a great deal to stop me from reading a book and I'm really sad that I just couldn't finish this one.
There were several things that bothered me about the book. I'm trying to figure out if it's just the romance genre in general that I am getting annoyed with or the storyline. The overall plot is very interesting and since I didn't finish the book I had to ask someone to tell me what happened. I feel like everyone involved in this story needs counseling. Unfortunately during the 1930s that was not an option.
It really annoyed me at how many times throughout the book men would get angry at their wives and then immediately after the argument is over, he would get horny. And then they needed to have sex because all of a sudden he wants her because she fought back. And then she'd give in! This sounds so barbaric!
Also there's a male character that keeps getting propositioned by a younger, engaged female. No matter how many times he tries to avoid her advances, she keeps coming on to him causing him to lose his job. She continues to pursue him even at the expense of breaking her engagement. He is very uncomfortable being around her. What bothers me is that other people seem to think that he needs to be nice to her and just be polite. If the roles were reversed, this would be sexual harassment and the guy would get arrested or worse. But because a girl is doing this, it's totally ok it seems even though she's literally throwing herself on him.
Something to note: I am NOT against any of the "passion-filled" scenes in this book that a lot of other readers seem to have issues with. In fact, I am totally for them and it is one of the highlights of the book. I do not understand why so many Christians have a problem with seeing a husband and wife so in love with each other but that's another discussion for another day.
One more aggravating issue: it's been mentioned MANY times throughout this book and the series that Emma has scars for burns on her face. Yet look at that cover model? Unless they are on the far side of her cheeks that are not facing the cover, she has a smooth face. Another disappointment that only pretty women on covers sells books.
Even though I couldn't finish this book, I am sure that many other fans of Lessman's books will enjoy this one. I've noticed that there are many 5 star reviews for this book and more power to them. The only low star review I've seen complains about the sex which again that is the one issue I had no problems with. Since I didn't finish this book, I probably will not be picking up anymore books in the series. However as a whole, I do enjoy Lessman's writing so if/when she does start a new series, I will be eager to read that one. This one just wasn't for me.
Here are some other reviews of this book:
My Two Blessings
Window to My World
A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman is published by Revell (2011)
This review copy was provided by the publisher
Other books in the Winds of Change series that I have reviewed:
A Hope Undaunted (Book 1)