Thursday, August 4, 2016

REVIEW | The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz

The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz
Publication Year: 2011
Genre: Romance, Christian (inspirational), Historic
Series: NA
Awards: NA
Format: Ebook from Library
Narrator: NA

WHY?:  It's complicated? Or perhaps a long story?  I am not a religious person though I am also not hostile to religion.  I am fine reading a book that espouses moderate Christian values but I don't want to be preached at.  However, the most important thing for me in a romance novel are the characters and the relationship development and while I don't mind a sex scene or two, I do think they can be a crutch and aren't really necessary to a satisfying romance. Also, I like a romance that take its time (slow burn) and it seems in traditional romance there is an expectation for the sexy times to make an appearance pretty early in the book which kind of rushes things along and makes me sad.  So, despite my reservations, I have been eyeing Christian (or inspirational) romances for a while to see if perhaps these might give me the slow burn romance I'm looking for.  A fellow blogger (who I can't remember dang it) recommended another book by this author but this book was available at the library and looked interesting.

SYNOPSIS:  It's 1779 and America is in the midst of the Revolutionary War.  Roxanna Rowan's mother has just died and she is left with nothing to do but travel from Virginia to a Colonial Army outpost in Kentucky where her Father is posted.  Unfortunately when she arrives, she discovers her father has also died but the handsome, Irish Colonel McLinn who commands the fort vows to take her under his wing  Guess what happens next?

I won't be coy; this book didn't really work for me.  It was okay and honestly did a lot of things very well!  The writing was good, the story was mostly good, the historical details were interesting, the romantic scenes were lovely.  Frantz does a good job slowly drawing the two lovebirds to their Happily Ever After.  It's not rushed and their feelings develop naturally.  Colonel Cass McLinn is a suitably dreamy hero though a smidge too Alpha for my preferences.  For all this goodness it definitely deserves at least the 3 out of 5 stars I've given it.  I think for most readers, particularly Christian readers this book will work well for you.

However, I had three main problems with the book that kept me from loving it:

1) Roxie, the heroine, is boring.  She also spends much of the book depressed or in despair.  Understandable, considering her parents are both gone, she has no safety net and she's stuck at a military fort in the wilderness.  Understandable or not, though, it is just not fun reading about someone so mopey and woe is me.  She's also just so....good...both morally and skills wise.  Because she bored me I was also rather bored by the romance.  It was believably developed but it was also rather ho hum.  There's a little bit of excitement towards the end but it's too little too late and it all felt just a little too inevitable.

2) My personal preference, and it's a strong one, is for frivolous and funny romances.  With a morose heroine and a stern and serious military hero, this book was neither of those things.  It was exceedingly earnest and fraught with angst.  There is good dialogue but no witty banter or saucy exchanges. 

3) It was a little too heavy on the preaching and bible quoting for my taste.  For much of the first part of the book McLinn has lost his faith but Roxie's pure heart and staunch belief help him to embrace his faith again.  It mostly fits in with the narrative being told and there were no beliefs pushed that I would struggle with but I just could have done with less.  So maybe Christian fiction ain't my cup of tea?  I've read at least one other book by an author labeled as writing "christian fiction" and the religious components were much more subtle so perhaps I'm not ready to give up yet and really this wasn't too over-the-top.

One smaller complaint, and this could be said about many if not most romances, is that I would've liked the secondary characters to be more developed and less caricatures.  There are a few other woman in the "cast" but they are mostly there so Roxie has someone to talk to.  

FINAL VERDICT:  This book wasn't my cup of tea but I was impressed enough by the author's writing that I'd definitely plan to give another of her books a shot. My lack of connection with the book was really for very personal reasons which I tried to make clear so that if you don't share them, you should not hesitate to read this overall well done romance.  3 out of 5 stars

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