I was just going to have this be a mini review post, but I realized the genres were kind of … exactly the same. So this post is ‘7 Christian Historical Romances.’ Hopefully you enjoy these reviews.
And no, these aren’t any particular Christian Historical Romances. They’re just ones I needed to review that I grouped together to do mini reviews of.
It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist
For the most part, this was a great book. I loved Cullen and Della, and everything about the fair was absolutely fascinating. I also loved reading about the school for deaf children, etc. That was part heartbreaking, part intriguing. I don’t really have any complaints about the characters, plot, setting, or writing … I thought it was all pretty awesome! It even deals with some tough issues of the time.
However, the content was a little much for a book of this particular genre. Cullen’s former fiancée tries to talk him into sleeping with her (basically). It’s a brief scene, but … still. Too much. Also, we kinda-sorta get a peek at the wedding night of the main characters’. It’s not an actual scene, but it’s led up to, if you will. Then Cullen does spend a lot of time staring at Della’s lips … but … if you read the book (or even the synopsis), you’ll understand why. 😉
All in Good Time by Maureen Lang
This novel deals with a time and place I don’t often visit – Denver, Colorado of 1887. It also touches on a difficult subject – prostitution. Basically, the main character, Dessa Caldwell, is trying to found a refuge for former prostitutes (and needs the help of
handsome bank manager Henry Hawkins to do it). However, I thought it was well dealt with. The content didn’t feel like too much (although I still wouldn’t recommend it to younger readers because it just isn’t good subject-matter for them).
I was a little worried that Henry’s secret past wasn’t dealt with as fully as it should have been, but maybe that’s just me. Also, the book seemed to drag in a couple places. I didn’t enjoy it a ton, but it still was interesting, and Della was endearing.
A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander
I don’t know if I’ve yet to express how much I love Belmont Mansion and its owner, Adelicia Acklen. Also, I’m a huge fan of Tamera Alexander’s writing style and the settings she chooses for her novels.
Things I loved included Tate, Rebekah, basically everything related to the orchestra and music, seeing characters from the old novel, Adelicia herself, the mansion.
Things I didn’t love so much included a super-rushed ending, quite a lot of kissing (you know, for this genre), and Rebekah’s stepfather (who tried to rape her when she was a young; there is some talk about this, but it’s never described).
When Hope Springs New by Janette Oke
I feel like there was only meant to be one or two of these books and Janette Oke just kept stringing them out ’cause they were popular. I didn’t really enjoy this book very much. I liked Elizabeth and Wynn still, yes, but I guess I just got sick of them. It’s the same Elizabeth and Wynn of the last three books, and I guess some people really want that, but I just can’t take it anymore.
I guess I just ended up being kinda disappointed with this series as a whole. I did love the first book, but after that they got steadily worse and worse. Yes, there’s a lot of sweet Christian content, but I never absolutely loved Elizabeth. Then, in this book, the ending seemed so random and just there. Not worth the rest, in my opinion.
The Pelican Bride by Beth White
I loved parts of this book, what with its original setting and interesting characters. The romance took up a small part of the story, which was refreshing.
However, there seemed to be a lot of content. I’m not too worried about the violence. There was nothing gory, but the French were at war with some of the American Indians as well as the Brittish and all sides could be pretty ruthless. I didn’t even mind the mentions of how the French took Indian mistresses and sired illegitimate children. I mean, that actually happened; we can’t just ignore it!
I’m talking about all that talk about the wedding night. Goodness gracious, what was that for? We didn’t need to go that far! Sure, the book doesn’t actually show sex, but it shows what I’d call foreplay. Seriously. Not something I want to read.
Other than that, it was pretty awesome. The author clearly did her homework. I recently studied this period, and seeing it play out in a fictional world was fun for me.
Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke
Not a great book, but not a bad book. It skipped forward rather suddenly a couple times, oftentimes skimming over years. It was kind of divided into two parts; the Titantic and the war. Between then, the events are kinda foggy. (And yes, a lot of reviewers said the exact thing, but it bears restating.)
Then there were just too many POVs. Don’t get me wrong; I love seeing the world of a book from as many perspectives as possible. However, this was just too much. A lot of characters just got one scene and for the rest of the book either didn’t exist or weren’t important. This was extremely annoying.
I did enjoy it, I just didn’t love it. I don’t think it was as well-done as it could have been, and it was pretty confusing at times.
The Widow of Larkspur Inn by Lawana Blackwell
This was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. There were a couple issues (which I’ll address below; I literally wrote them down because I read this on vacation and was bored), but other than that, I really loved it. Great characters, great plot, great setting. I especially loved Julia, Fiona, Mr. Clay, and … okay, yep, I loved all of them.
So, the negatives:
- Trumpets, baritones, etc. aren’t “wind instruments.” Just sayin’.
- I believe housekeepers were called “Mrs.” even when they weren’t? Correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t know for sure.
- What happened to half-mourning? Julia just seems to hop out of mourning at the end of a year, but that wasn’t how it worked. In fact, it seems like a lot of the rules of mourning were ignored.
- The formatting was pretty awful in the Kindle version I had. Not really a problem wit the book, but, um, I wrote it down, so …
- There were a couple places where the author randomly head-hopped at the very end (about 90%+). And a few typos here and there, I think.
- Were American fashions seriously considered fashionable in England? Okay, yes, maybe they were, but … I’d never heard it before. And, again, I wrote it down, so …
- I don’t believe the English school system was at all like the American school system of the time. I believe you had to pay to put your children in school except in the case of charity schools (which this school didn’t appear to be). (Again, I could be wrong!)
- The ending was a little sudden and rushed. It wasn’t too bad, though.
Thanks for reading my reviews! I hope you enjoyed them. I’ll be reviewing a lot in the next couple weeks, and then, once I’m all caught up, there will be some fun posts. Hopefully.
Have you read any of these books? Do you enjoy Christian Historical Romances? If so, do you have any pet peeves about the genre? I sure do …