Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Bride Most Begrudging by Deeanne Gist

I'm trying a new format for reviews. Let me know what you think!
 
Title: A Bride Most Begrudging
Series: The Trouble with Brides
Genre: historical romance
Era: 1643
Setting: Virginia, USA
Publisher: Bethany House
Source: library
Rating: 2/5 stars
Content: 3/5, parental guidance suggested for most teenagers. Lots of desire/lust/attraction. Multiple mentions of the marriage bed, consummating marriages, etc. although no actual sex scenes were written. But we know when Drew and Connie's marriage is consummated (which is much-anticipated, may I add). There were some detailed descriptions of kissing. Also, some violence and tragedy that may disturb younger readers.

A Bride Most Begrudging by Deeanne Gist

324022
 
Any ship arriving from England means good news for Virginia colony farmers. The "tobacco brides" would be on board--eligible women seeking a better life in America, bartered for with barrels of tobacco from the fields.
 
Drew O'Connor isn't stirred by news of a ship full of brides. Still broken-hearted from the loss of his beloved, he only wants a maid to tend his house and care for his young sister.
 
What he ends up with is a wife—a feisty redhead who claims she is Lady Constance Morrow, daughter of an Earl, brought to America against her will. And she wants to go straight back to England as soon as she can. She hasn't the foggiest notion how to cook, dares to argue with her poor husband, and spends more time working on mathematical equations than housework. What kind of a wife is that? Drew's Christian forbearance is in for some testing.
 
Headstrong and intelligent, deeply moral but incredibly enticing, Constance turns what was supposed to be a marriage of convenience into something most inconvenient, indeed.
 
 
I enjoyed A Bride Most Begrudging, however, there were a few things that made it not quite worthy of five stars, or yet even four. I started to give it three, then realized I really didn't like it. It was ok.
 
For one thing, Connie (yes, I will call her that!) and Drew's relationship. Sure, they were cute, but they were also attracted to each other. That normally doesn't bother me, but most of their focus seemed to be on the physical side of their relationship. Not good. Also, uncomfortable for all watching them, including myself. Especially since I was forced inside one or the other of their heads for an entire book. So that shaved off a quarter of a star.
 
Another half a star removed for historical inaccuracies, of which there were a few although much of it was thoroughly researched.
 
  • The Indian boy spoke half old-English, a quarter "white-man-ugh," and a quarter modern American. Not good.
  • I don't think Connie would have gotten a chance to learn math in that era.
  • Names weren't historical accurate (Drew, Arietta, Leoma); everyone had middle names.
  • There was some confusion with titles. "Lady Morrow," for instance, is used to describe Connie.
  • The word "okay" wasn't invented until the 1830s, and I don't think it was used often even then.
There were other things, but you can find them in almost any review on Goodreads of this novel, so I won't bother listing them here.
 
Despite that, the era was very interesting, and I got a good idea of the setting and time-period just from the book. I really liked the whole "tobacco brides" idea. Fascinating yet terrifying. I must read more about this some time ...
 
Connie was a lovely character. I sometimes go frustrated with her (GIRL GET OVER YOURSELF!!!), but the frustration always petered off after a while. I mean, she's a feisty redhead. Of course I've got to forgive her quickly.
 
Drew was ... hard to understand. At first he scoffs at Connie's love of math, then he makes up puzzles for her to solve. Most of the time he's a jerk, but sometimes he suddenly isn't ... and I don't know why! Of course, I think the writer was trying to convey that he is mixed-up due to a somewhat scrambled past, but I think he over-reacted.
 
Everyone in this book over-reacts, in fact.
 
The writing was very good - I enjoyed the description - but the dialogue was annoying. It kept skipping between modern-day and old English. It really annoyed me.
 
Sometimes I felt like there were too many plotlines, and it confused me. I felt like the story just went on and on with no definite structure. Tragic, overblown climaxes came, one after another, but they never were the actual climax. It never ended.
 
However, this was a fairly funny book. Some of the situations Connie gets in - like with the skunk or the rooster - were hilarious, and Connie and Drew did have a few sweet moments that weren't threaded with all that oh-so-annoying desire.
 
Overall, not a novel I'll read again.
 
~Kellyn Roth

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