Monday, May 16, 2011

The Choice [Fisher]

Book: The Choice [Lancaster County Secrets, Book 1]
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Review: Carrie is planning to run away with her Amish boyfriend when her father suddenly dies. Unwilling to leave her younger brother with her dour step-mother, Carrie decides to stay in Lancaster. Her boyfriend leaves the community to pursue his dream of playing professional baseball while Carrie marries another man out of spite.

'The Choice' was a free kindle download. My husband said "You are reading an Amish romance-really? Sounds terrible." That pretty much sums up my mindset going into it. I was pleasantly surprised that this wasn't as horrible as I thought it would be. It was chaste (only a few kisses!) and very religious/preachy at times (Amish are a religious people and Carrie's main love interest liked to talk about the bible...a lot) but otherwise, it was okay. It wasn't completely predictable (at one point I wasn't sure where the plot was headed after a main character died) and learning more about Amish culture was interesting. For example, I thought all Amish who chose to live in the English world are shunned. However, you are only shunned if you are baptized and then leave. If you leave before baptism, you can still come back.

If you are a religious person who wants an extremely mild romance story, you will probably enjoy this. It is a quick read and free from amazon's website.

Grade: C+

Salting Roses [Marinello]

Book: Salting Roses
Author: Lorelle Marinello

Review: Abandoned on a porch as an infant in small town Alabama, 25 year old Gracie Lynne Calloway discovers she was kidnapped from a wealthy family and is now heir to a $600m fortune. Protective of her family and small town southern roots, Gracie Lynne rejects her northern biological family and wants nothing to do with the money.

Like most people, I've fantasized about winning the lottery. I have different scenarios depending on how much the jackpot is (I don't actually buy lotto tickets, but it's fun to daydream). So, the fact that Gracie Lynn essentially hit the jackpot and did not want the money is something I can't relate to. My immediately thought was that she help out the people who raised her and give the rest to charity.

Anyway-this book had a good premise. Small town girl finds out she was kidnapped and is heir to a vast fortune. She is someone who rejects change-how will she handle everything? Unfortunately, the execution was not good. The characters were stereotypical (especially concerning north vs. south) and many parts were flat out unbelievable. The love story (between Gracie Lynne and Sam, a private investigator who explained everything to her) was contrived and rushed. Additionally-we are told that Gracie Lynne's father (who knew about her existence for years and never disclosed his true identity) decided to leave her his fortune because she could manage it properly. I have no idea how he came to this conclusion-she's a small town girl who works in the back room of a grocery store (I think as a bookkeeper) and didn't even want to venture out for college. I have nothing against small town people (I'm one of them) but I don't believe she ever traveled or showed interest in much of anything except softball. The kicker is that she was raised by a couple who lived in different houses. It is later revealed that these characters have been divorced for years and didn't want to tell her because she doesn't take change well. Okay-this is a town of just over 2k people. Everyone knows everyone. How she didn't know they were divorced and her mother (or sorts) was dating someone else shows how unobservant she was. She isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. Come on! She's not someone who screams "I have a good head on my shoulders and can manage hundreds of millions of dollars."

Bottom line-I am shocked this book has such a high amazon review. It was terrible.

Grade: D