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Posts Tagged ‘Mona Hodgson’


Widow Caroline Milburn realizes there’s nothing left for her St. Charles. With confirmation that her husband died in the Civil War after waiting years for word, she realizes she can’t remain living with her sister, her sister’s abusive husband, and their children. RipplesAlongtheShore

There’s a wagon train heading West, being led by Garrett Colishaw. Caroline feels that’s where her destiny waits. California needs teachers, and the widow feels called to reclaim her former career.

The wagon train- and former soldier Garret Colishaw,- however, won’t take single women. Caroline is determined to go. Can she claim her destiny?

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This is another novella in The Quilted Hearts series. If you’ve read the last one, Bending Toward the Sun, you’re familiar with the main characters in this title.

Here’s my beef: yes, it’s a novella. Yes, it’s a series. But finish a storyline within the novella! The storyline could be really good. But it’s not. I think it’s because it’s a novella.

Each one of these I’ve read could have been really good as full-length novels. These, though, just stink. The characters aren’t adequately developed, even after reading more than one part of the series, and the story lines have no meat to them. They COULD be really good.

I don’t know if this is the publisher or the author, but I really wish they’d just stop. Or finish a whole story within the novella.

And, there are too many characters and too many storylines going on for a novella. Ironically, one little snippet about another friend going west got resolved, with basically no character development or actual back story to the characters.

I was sorely disappointed in the ending. I hoped something substantial would happen, but it never did. Boo.

I have to give this 2 stars, and that’s being generous. Write something real, for goodness sakes! Make it worth the effort to read the novella!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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It’s 1865 and prejudice against the Irish runs surprising deep, as Emile finds out.

Her childhood friend- and Irishman- Quaid McFarland has returned home from the war. Emile didn’t plan on having any feelings, but she was curious to see him again after so many years. Bending Toward the Sun

As both Quaid and Emile realize their feelings toward one another, they both find themselves torn between love and obeying Emile’s German father.

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That’s the plot in a nutshell. I know this is a novella, but it didn’t do anything for me. This could have been a good book as a novel, although the premise of just being obedient for the sake of being obedient doesn’t set well with me, regardless of what year it’s supposed to be.

I won’t spoil it if you decide to read it- it’s a fast read- but let me just say the ending was terribly ‘canned,’ in my opinion. I’ve reviewed another title by this author, and both have been let-downs, I’m sorry to say. I really want to like the story; the plots are decent, but the writing just leaves me disappointed, because there’s just not enough substance there.

I hate to do it, but this one gets 2 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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Set in Cripple Creek, Colorado, in 1896, the storyline has great potential.  New resident Ida Sinclair has moved out West to be near her two sisters.  Both sisters are recently married after having settled in town, matches helped along by the boardinghouse’s landlady.

Ida, however, has no aspirations for marriage; her sights solidly set on being a businesswoman.  To that end, she takes a job with Mollie O’Bryan, a business owner. (Historically, Mollie O’Bryan was the first woman to have an official seat on the gold mining stock exchange.)

This book was a bit short and underdeveloped for my personal liking.  While the story has a variety of characters, there was not much character development. I found the plot to be predictable overall. What was there was well written; there just wasn’t enough of it, in my opinion, to really draw you in and keep you reading.  I am a fan of shorter chapters, though, since those are good stopping points; something I found myself doing more of than usual for me while reading.

If you like shorter books with predictable plots, be sure to put this book on your list! I give it 3 stars out of 5; not a great book, but not bad, either.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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