Friday Book Reviews by Robyn Daniels: MacPherson, Y’Barbo and Griggs

She Woke Up Married

Suzanne MacPherson

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

MacPherson writes funny. The start is chick lit and then it grows. The serious message of this book doesn’t overwhelm this writer’s wit. Potential reader alert: even when a book cover and jacket text look humorous, check for an author note inside.

Some readers complained the heroine acted self-centered. Dude! (Or she had lots of room to grow.) The heroine, a top model for over a decade, Paris James has spent all her adult years being pampered. Not all readers identify with a thin model who keeps a stash of Twinkies at home. Many more women understand killer PMS. Take time to study how Paris fills her New York loft with Teddy Bears, cutesy mugs, and kitschy items. A clue the child Paris wants a home.

She returns to her hometown, Las Vegas, to turn thirty and marries Turner Pruitt, an Elvis impersonator. This patient old friend believes everyone comes into your life for a reason. He is adorable and calm and becomes a minister.

Don’t miss Millie, a retired chorus girl whose beauty has faded with age. Millie is Turner’s roommate. Millie humanizes Paris.

MacPherson walked the fine line of creating a difficult to like heroine who moves forward in baby steps until near the end of the book. This reader wouldn’t choose the novel to unfold any other way.

                      The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck: A Novel

Kathleen Y’Barbo

Do you like a well-researched historical? Y’Barbo delivers English society loving detailed and conveys the Wild West in 1887. Solid research went into description of the family’s private train car. Y’Barbo seems to write effortlessly in this third book of the series.

Sassy Charlotte has abandonment issues. She plots overtime to grab her father’s attention. The family ranch frequently entertains Buffalo Bill Cody and serves as winter quarters for Wild West Show members. Growing up among such interesting people, Charlotte acquires lots of unusual skills.

Her maiden foray into London polite society goes awry. On the bright side, she lands in Alex Hambly’s arms. Charlotte, being rather spoiled, acts rashly. Things are smoothed over. Charlotte and her English stepmother attend the Wild West Show where Charlotte’s unique skills cause scandal again.

Charlotte wants to enter the family business so she hopes earn a degree in Mathematics. Her father will only allow this if she agrees to marry Alex when she graduates.

Alex is the twin spare heir whose father’s death forces him to assume financial responsibility or financial ruin. Charlotte’s dowry keeps the Hamblys in style.

Alex does what is right and lets the consequences follow. What makes him interesting is his patience while Charlotte grows to maturity.

Critics decry the work is not Christian enough. Throughout the book the characters display Christian principles and values. One reader mentioned these lines from Y’Barbo’s work. “Faith isn’t a feeling. If it were we’d all lose and gain it every time the winds changed. Faith is the knowledge that no matter the circumstances, you do not walk through them alone.”

 

The Hand Me Down Family

Winnie Griggs

♦ ♦ ♦

 Set in Sweetgum, Texas in 1888, this historical is a well-rounded tale. Callista Tyler rides into town on the stage ready to meet Leland Tyler, her husband by proxy. Unknown to each other, the other passenger on the stage is her brother-in-law.

A story of strong faith sends the reader back in time. The religious aspects are life-affirming.

 

Note from Robyn: Remember: If you want a particular book reviewed, please contact me. If you wish  to review a book, we ask that it not be your own work. Make reviews between 20 and 300 words. Scale between 1-5 stars with one being the worst book you ever read. Five is for a best ever read. We reserve the right to edit reviews for length and content. The reviews are based on recent reads, NOT NECESSARILY NEW RELEASES.

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