Sunday, May 20, 2012

Revell Blog Tour: My Review of A Love Forbidden

Here's a description of the book from Revell:

"They're from two different worlds. Can love cross the divide?
Moved by a compassionate heart and the desire for adventure, twenty-year-old Shiloh Wainwright impulsively accepts a teaching position at the White River Indian Agency in northwestern Colorado. Eager to use her skills to help improve the lives of Ute Indian children, she looks forward to a fulfilling, independent life on the Colorado frontier.

But her new job isn't what she imagined it would be, and Shiloh soon finds herself caught in the cross fire between the Utes, their unyielding Indian agent, and a demanding US government. Her unexpected encounter with a half-Ute childhood friend, Jesse Blackwater, only complicates matters as they battle their growing feelings for each other amidst spiraling tensions that threaten to explode into a catastrophic uprising.

Set amongst the wilds of the Colorado Rockies in 1879, this tale from bestselling and award-winning author Kathleen Morgan explores the transformational power of forgiveness, compassion, and God's healing love with artistry and authenticity."

My Rating

Fall/Spring

My Review

After reading and loving the first book in the "Heart of the Rockies" series, A Heart Divided, I was eager to read this second installment. My attention was once again captured by Morgan's portrayal of the American West and her depiction of a conflict-driven romance. However, the various elements of this story didn't quite come together in a satisfying way for me.

The emphasis on faith above romance - and on not changing one's core identity in order to gain a romantic relationship - is admirable. But the way this is emphasized is mainly through words alone. The genuineness behind the words seems to be lost by the lack of real action to back it up. In other words, the faith element feels forced, added in when convenient, rather than relational and fluid.

The characters from A Heart Divided that once won me over (especially Nicholas), now (in their secondary roles in this book) lack the vitality and uniqueness I remember loving about them. The resolution comes across as almost sudden and inauthentic. The emotions sometimes lag behind the plot twists. And the title doesn't quite fit, in my mind - I might suggest A Love Complicated or A Love Uncertain.

All of that being said, I still believe this story has some great discussion points to offer when it comes to prejudices and misunderstandings. And while A Love Forbidden didn't quite live up to my hopes, it's still an enjoyable and interesting read.

*With thanks to Revell Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

“Available May 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

6 comments:

Michelle said...

Great review, Amber. Again, I love how you graciously share your thoughts, balancing the good qualities of the book, and the less favorable ones.

I'm reading this one now, and since the review needs to be up by Saturday, I need to get going! Good thing I have some days off this week. : )

Amber S. said...

Michelle,

Thank you so much! I'm honored by your kind words - I hope that my reviews are helpful and enjoyable to author and reader alike. :)

That's awesome that you have some time off this week! I hope you enjoy the reading time. :) I've been spending a lot of time reading since graduation - and it's been great! ;)

~Amber

Amanda Stanley said...

Nice review, Amber! Michelle's right, you're always very gracious in your reviews. You touch on so much that really gives a reader a good overview of the story, helping them decide if it's worth their time, while being sure not to give anything away.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one. I had read in a review somewhere that it reminded the reader of Courting Morrow Little, that right there sold me! I love books with Native American's in them and they journey to Christ but the CBA doesn't offer that many - though lately they seems to be adding some... Anyway, I really wanted to read this but now I'm gonna take your words into consideration. I think I'll wait till it's on sale, or maybe I can catch it FREE for Kindle like "A Heart Divided" was for a time.

Blessings,
Amanda

P.S.- I was at Dunkin' Donuts the other day (not sure if they have those near you, lol) but there was a girl who looked just like you! It made me smile to see a "familiar face" ;-) and it also felt like a little reminder from God to pray for you. Anyway, just wanted to share that :-)

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

Aww, thank you!! :)

I confess that I, too, am intrigued by Native American culture and stories about them. The American West in the mid-to-late 1800s is one of my favorite eras in history (I'm sure that doesn't come as a surprise after reading my WIPs!), although its tragic to learn about how Native Americans have been treated.

I LOVED Courting Morrow Little, and while I really enjoyed the first book in this series, I didn't fall in love with this book. That's not to say it doesn't have merit, though! That would be neat if you could get a free Kindle copy - I would be curious to see how you like it! :) (Aren't those free Kindle offers fabulous??)

~Amber

P.S. Oh, Amanda, that's so sweet!! I'm glad you shared that. :) And I so appreciate your prayers!! Thank you for your thoughtfulness and friendship!

UK said...

A LOVE FORBIDDEN had all the elements for a good love story but not quite the intensity. I really liked the characters of Jesse and Shiloh but wished the author would've given us a better glimpse into the relationship that grew between them as kids. I prefer more interaction between the leads in a romantic book. Keeping relationships at arm's-length for too long only tends to frustrate me.

Amber S. said...

UK,

You make some great points about the story. It's too bad the romance just didn't quite work. :(

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! :)

~Amber