10 October, 2016

His Perfect Bride by Merry Farmer #review

The Brides of Paradise Ranch - Spicy Version (left)

Genre -  Historical Romance, Victorian, Mail-Order Bride
Pages - 181
Published -  December 25, 2015
Sold by -  Amazon
Series -  Book 1 of 5
Language -  clean
Sexual Content -  1/5
Narrative -  3rd

For Corva Collier, life as a mail-order bride in the quirky town of Haskell, Wyoming, is her last chance for escape. She longs for a peaceful life away from the darkness of her past, where she can create the paintings that are close to her heart, and where she hopes she can grow to love her husband.
But how do you love a man who was persuaded to marry you against his will?
Franklin Haskell never planned to marry. What woman would want a man who was crippled due to his own arrogance? But when he is offered the chance to help a woman in crisis, he agrees to wed. Corva is so much more than he expected, and when a baseball game gives her the chance to shine, he loses his heart.
But how do you tell a woman you love her when she deserves so much better?
The game of love has never been so hard to play…or so worth winning.

By today's writing/reading standards, this could be considered well-written and with a definite plot that follows through.

Merry Farmer is an award-winning author with numerous novels in publication, which I would help to promote by saying that this particular novel read well, flowed at an even pace, stuck to the main plot, and it wasn't over-written or heavy in the middle with a lot of unnecessary words.

The two leads could be considered underdeveloped, but not to the point of their being one-dimensional. I think it is more because the story just went too fast to get to know Franklin and Corva well enough to form better judgments.

An example: when they first meet at the train station, I was disappointed that the author chose not to tell us how the two felt and what were their first impressions.

Corva said Franklin was handsome and only gasped inwardly to see the metal braces on his legs, but Franklin didn't say or think anything about Corva, and it wasn't until a bit later (during the game) that he realized his true feelings.

Franklin kept telling us he was unworthy, but it took a long time to understand why, and when we are finally privy to that information, it fell a bit flat with me -- a bit unjustifiable -- and ten years seemed like too long a time for a grown man to be wallowing in self-pity.

Which, by the way, he insisted was part of his reason for not wanting to fall in love, because the woman would undoubtedly pity him and not really love him.

The story is fast-paced, a bit too fast to be able to fully engage with the leads and better understand their situations, but with enough information at our disposal to comprehend and not confuse.

As for its being the 'spicy' version, yes and no.

It was neither vulgar nor graphic, but I was startled when the intimate scene finally did occur because up to that point, I had to wonder if I'd mistakenly downloaded another Christian-variety romance.

For a welcome change, it wasn't the standard format where Franklin has to take his time, be super-cautious about hurting her, and having to slowly ease his way inside paradise.

There is sexual tension between them that is never pounced upon or obsessed over, which was nice and another refreshing change from a majority of what is being written today.

If the Sports label interests you, you'll be disappointed because only one scene included a baseball game.

That scene is well-written, though, and rather cute.

There were a few type-o's toward the end, but not nearly enough to distract or make me think the author needs more schooling,

And the cover (for the spicy version) is completely deceptive because as I read their story, the cover model in no way resembled the Franklin being conjured up in my head.

And Franklin turned out to be attractive to my mind, sensual despite his self-appointed distancing, and love-able despite his wallowing in self-pity.

Corva was cute but did not come off as a sexy siren or the type of woman a man would drool over, yet she was perfect for Franklin.

She had more good points to her personality than bad -- another refreshing change from the norm -- but like Franklin, her dysfunctional past should have made her a slightly different woman than she appeared.

Her tragic past was explained and explored while Franklin's was left for us to decipher and then judge based on the shallow explanation that eventually comes to light, which made things a little off-balance in my head.

There were two antagonists involved and neither really amounted to much aside from the fire, but I suppose a Romance of this nature doesn't require a ton of anguish prior to sweet bliss due to the H's and h's past being pretty horrible.

An  It's Time for Everyone to Stop Getting Hurt and be Happy  type of theme.

Yes, I'd recommend this and any of Merry's work because of the length and style of her stories but especially if, like me, you sometimes want a break from the sameness involved in your favorite genre of Romance.

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