Friday, September 21, 2012

My Review of A Bride's Dilemma in Friendship, TN

Here's a description of the book from Barbour Publishing:

"Journey to Tennessee at the end of the Civil War. Heaven Wharton has been left in charge of her father’s farm, but weeks of facing marauders has finally taken its toll. Meaning to fire into the air, she accidentally shoots a man charging the house. Shocked, she and her sister Angel drag the semi-conscious man into the house and nurse him back to health. As Travis recovers he finds his heart turning to the possibilities of love. But can he and Heaven learn to accept God’s plan, however it unfolds?"

My Rating


My Review

A Bride's Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee is a clever story alternately peppered with humor and faith lessons.

Travis practiced medicine during the Civil War - but now that the war is over, he wants nothing more than to breed horses on his own little piece of "heaven." A man's dying requests gives him a chance at his dream.... Maybe.

Heaven and her little sister Angel have been keeping to themselves, waiting for word from their father and hoping that they'll have enough food to last until then. But when Heaven makes a rash, split-second decision, a series of events unfolds that leads to the truth being revealed and hope being found in unexpected ways.

Travis, Heaven, and Angel form a wonderful trio of stars for this historical romance - especially Angel, who really steals the show with her trouble-making, winsome ways. (She reminds me of M.K. from Suzanne Woods Fisher's latest series, "Stoney Ridge Seasons," for those who are familiar with that author.)

As far as the storytelling itself goes, it didn't entirely win me over. The plot and some of the characters are great, but I think I would have been engaged more if the sentences were more varied (not so much of "he did this" and "she said that"), and if there was more showing (more descriptive language) rather than telling. And the secondary characters - one in particular who factors into that "dilemma" mentioned in the title - are helpful to the plot, but I was left unsatisfied with where the story ends for them and how they might grow in their own life journeys.

My "friendship" with the main characters made this an enjoyable read, though. The plot isn't super intense or exciting, and it concludes with some unanswered questions, but it has enough intrigue and enough sweetness to extend through the pages. A Bride's Dilemma is a fun, feel-good book for the gray days of the colder seasons.

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


Pencildancers said...

Thank you for this honest review. I'm working on those writing skills so the next book will have more varied sentences. :)

Annabelle and Jake's stories aren't finished being told yet. I'm hoping for another book to follow this one so I can tell their stories.

Thank you for the review!
Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

Amber Holcomb said...


You're welcome! And believe me, as an unpublished author myself, I understand that writing is hard work and a skill that grows better with time and effort.

I'm glad to hear that the story continues for Jake and Annabelle! :) Since this didn't seem to be part of its own series (just part of Barbour's "Destination Romances" series), I wasn't sure if that was where it ended or not. I hope this isn't the last of Angel's story, either! Love her character! :)

Thank you for your comment, and for providing me the opportunity to read and review your book! Best wishes on your writing career! :)