STORY: Moira Hayes hadn’t seen Kenneth Woodfall in nearly eight years. Nor did she want to see this man who stirred such feelings of anger in her. After all, their families had been rivals since their great-grandfathers’ day. And he was the reason—though indirectly—for her own brother’s death.
But Kenneth has returned from war and is home for good. And he isn’t willing to forget the past—a time he shared with his first and only love, Miss Moira Hayes. The moment he sees her again, he knows his future. Because Kenneth is more than willing to forgive.
If only Moira can too…
REVIEW: What just happened? [shaking my head to clear my thoughts] I just can’t believe that this book has been written by my all time favorite author [but then maybe I can, since this was first published by Jove in 1998?]. But wait. That can’t be it. The writing was very good and distinctly her own, so what went wrong? That’s the question I’m going to try and answer.
This is the second story in Ms. Balogh’s Horseman Trilogy series in which we meet four friends who’ve survived and returned from Napoleonic wars. Now, since I read and loved her Survivors Club series, I was pleasantly surprised that she’d decided to reprint this series and I liked the first book and Rex and Catharine’s story, so I was sure that this one would be just as good. Color me surprised as I dug deepper and deeper into this story.
Why write such a self-righteous, self-pitying and all round pathetic human being? I’ve said before that the reason I love Ms. Balogh’s characters is because she gives them flaws which makes them real, but she also gives them plenty of time to grow with the story so that by the end they are richer and well rounded. It’s what made them interesting and compelling. I genuinely cared for them and their plight.
Not so in this story. I not just didn’t like it, I detested it. I found myself livid with the heroine’s attitude and reckless actions. No amount of interior musings on the part of this heroine was ever going to make me like her. I couldn’t even pity her.
Plot wise, I was disappointed as well. This had a potential to be such a warmhearted and touching second-chance at love romance, but the characters did things that were peculiar and awkward. Even their love scenes felt forced and stilted, unbelievable. This was supposed to be a romance, yet I felt no chemistry between the two. None!
To make maters worse, the wrong assumptions these two had about each other and their refusal to communicate and give each other the benefit of the doubt, took 80% of the story. It was downright tedious. By the time they come to some sort of understanding, I felt frustration and by the time they resolve their differences, I’ve lost interest.
If you want to be depressed, go ahead and read it, otherwise, skip it!
Melanie for b2b