Monday, January 19, 2015

New Historical Nothing Special (And I Want Special, Dang It!) [With a Giveaway]

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Julia Barrett's been in love with handsome, wealthy Adam Wolcott since the two were kids.  Once they marry, she'll be living her dream come true.  Even though he's been absent from Niagara, New York, with nary a word to his fiancé, Julia's ready to trust him with the rest of her life.  The time away has changed Adam—everyone can see that, even if he refuses to talk about it—but Julia trusts him implicitly.  Doesn't she?

While Adam keeps his secrets, Julia's got a few of her own.  One is her conversion to Mormonism.  Her family intends to stay for Julia's wedding, then head West.  She wouldn't mind going with them.  The other is the 7-year-old girl who's hiding in Julia's house.  As the sole witness to the murders of her parents and brother, Penny is wanted by the notorious Murphy Gang.  Long-time conductors for the Underground Railroad, the Barretts are used to hiding fugitive slaves, but this situation is especially precarious.

Julia longs to share these complications with the man she loves, so why is she hesitating?  Is it because she fears he might be caught up with the Murphy Gang?  Or does it have something to do with the sudden appearance of Tom Harrison, a charismatic Mormon magician?  With Adam pressuring her to marry him, Julia must decide where her loyalties lie.  Can she follow her heart, even if it's leading her away from everything she's always wanted?

Despite its exotic setting, there's not a lot about Betrayed, a new historical novel by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen, that's truly original.  With cookie cutter characters, humdrum dialogue, and a plot that winds here and there without really coming together, it gets tedious.  I did appreciate the setting—which came alive for me more than anything else in the book—as well as the clean, uplifting (but not preachy) nature of the story.  Still, I didn't love it.  Betrayed isn't a horrible book, not at all, it's just kind of ... average.  Nothing special.  And, doggone it, I wanted special!  Ah, well.

(Readalikes:  Hm, nothing's coming to mind.  Ideas?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for violence and scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Betrayed from the generous folks at Covenant in exchange for my participation in the book's blog tour.  Thank you! 

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4 comments:

  1. Aw, sorry it wasn't special. I know the feeling. I want a book that wows me.

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    Replies
    1. Me, too. That's not too much to ask, is it??

      Delete
  2. I'm in the midst of a huge letdown right now with "All the Light We Cannot See." I'm almost 400 pages into the 530-page book and I'm still trying to figure out why it has taken the bookworld by storm as it has. Right now I'm thinking it's, at best, a 2.5 star (of five stars) book, and I might not even bother to review the thing. I know how you feel.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I quit that one about halfway through. The writing's beautiful and the premise is great, but man, it's a sllllooowwww read. I just didn't have the patience to stick it out.

      Delete

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