Author: Lacy Williams
Format: Paperback 250 pages
Release Date: 23 July 2017
My Rating: **
This review was a difficult one for me to write because as a general rule I don’t usually gravitate towards the romance genre. I have read romance novels, and even sometimes enjoyed them, but they’re often not my first choice. I do however, like to read a broad spectrum of material and like to give books a chance to prove me wrong on first impressions, of which unfortunately, weren’t particularly great for this book.
The book cover was the standard romance book affair of a man and a woman who look like they’re about to have a heated kiss. Mills & Boon have flogged this style of cover to death over the years, along with hundreds of other authors. It would have been nice to see a change from the standard format which might have helped appeal the book to me more. If it wasn’t for the fact that this book is part of the Big Library Read at present then I can genuinely say I would have flicked past this and not given it another thought.
On the subject of the Big Library Read, for those of you who might not be familiar with the concept, it is facilitated through OverDrive, which is a reading app/programme linked with your library card which allows you to access any digital content which your library may have on offer. The purpose of the Big Library Read is to connect readers around the world with the same eBook at the same time without any wait lists or holds and effectively works as an online book club.
At the time of reading I didn’t actually realise it was part of a series. It’s actually No.3 in the Wild Wyoming Hearts series by Lacy Williams. However, it can be read alone and doesn’t necessarily require the first two books to have been read to get the gist of the story and characters.
The book opens around the character Liza Bennett who works in her family’s shop and has set herself the mission of helping her sister Janie find love. The two sisters attend a dance at the town hall where they meet Rob Darcy and Nathan Bingley. Jane and Nathan seem to hit it off instantly and dance all night, whereas although there appears to be attraction between Liza and Rob, a throwaway comment made outside the dance by Rob sets her mind against having any romantic feelings towards him. Janie becomes injured while riding her horse in a storm and the two sisters find themselves at Nathan’s ranch while Janie heals. In such close quarters emotions are bound to run high.
Bar the annoying spelling mistakes which kept cropping up throughout the book, this was a pleasant re-telling of what is meant to be an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice as a western. I guess there were some similarities to the classic, but if it wasn’t for the fact it mentions Pride and Prejudice in the books synopsis then I’m not sure I would have even realised the connection.
Ultimately the book is just a love story set in the west. When an author compares their book to a classic like Pride and Prejudice, they are setting up their reader for big expectations. I would imagine the majority of readers of this book would have chosen to do so because of the fact that it has been marketed as a Pride and Prejudice adaptation.
I would suggest that if an author is not 100% sure that they can deliver on these expectations, that they should think twice before making the comparisons. It might get the book more reads initially, but ultimately it will not result in good reviews as rather than reviewing the book as the cute little easy summer beach read that it is, everyone will spend their time comparing the book to the classic and all the reasons why it has not lived up to their expectations.
I personally feel that the book would have done better of its own steam rather than selling itself as a Pride and Prejudice adaptation. Taken as a Western Romance it’s a nice easy read, taken as an adaptation, in my opinion, it has failed.
Putting aside the personal opinions expressed above, I did like the fact that book was told from the four main protagonists perspectives, although it does sometimes jump rather erratically from one to the other. Having a story told from different perspectives did help to create a rounded picture and fill the plot out. Even though this genre wouldn’t be my top pick, it did help me kill some time on a few lunch hours. It wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, just not one that I would wish to read again.
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