I'm going to forewarn you that I didn't care that much for this book. I understand if you aren't interested in continuing on to read the review. I did my best to be kind, but a negative review is still just that.
Patience Cavanaugh has lost hope in romance. The man she yearned to marry is dead and her dreams are gone with him. Now she is consumed with the restoration of a dilapidated boarding house in order to support herself. Despite her desire for solitude, Jedediah Jones, the local sheriff with a reputation for hanging criminals, becomes an ever-looming part of her life. It seems like such a simple arrangement: Patience needs someone with a strong back to help her fix up the boardinghouse, and Jedediah needs a dependable source of food for himself and his prisoners. But Patience gets more than she bargained for as she explores the depths of the "hanging lawman"--and finds both betrayal and love.
About the Author:
Maggie Brendan is the bestselling author of several books, including the Heart of the West series and The Blue Willow Brides series. Winner of the 2013 Laurel Wreath Award, she was a 2013 finalist for the Published Maggie Award of Excellence, a 2013 finalist for the Heart of Excellence Readers' Choice Award, a 2012 finalist for Inspirational Reader's Choice award, and a recipient of the 2004 ACW Persistence Award in Atlanta. She is a member of the Author's Guild; Romance Writers of America; Faith, Hope, and Love; and Georgia Romance Writers. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, researching for her novels, and spending time with her family. You can follow her at her website www.MaggieBrendan.com, her blog www.SouthernBelleWriter.blogspot.com, and on Facebook and Twitter @MaggieBrendan.
My Review: 2.5 stars
The Trouble with Patience is the first book in Maggie Brendan’s new Virtues and Vices of the Old West series. I’ve read a few of Ms. Brendan’s books before and have enjoyed them, so I was looking forward to getting swept up in another of her stories. It managed to hold my attention fairly well, though I didn’t enjoy it as much as her previous books.
I would like to preface my review with the comment that I have very high expectations and am probably more critical of books than most people. So please, take my opinions with a grain of salt.
While Ms. Brendan does a great job with the descriptions, I found myself skimming after the first couple chapters. The story wasn’t catching my interest like I had hoped and the writing was irritating me. There seemed to be a disconnect between the characters’ thoughts and the dialogue. For an example, cowboys in Nevada comment that the food is “divine.” Jedediah, the hero, thinks in a very proper manner, but his words come out like we have come to expect a cowboy sounds. Wording like “how do,” doesn’t really fit a character who thinks a word like “prettily.” Also, there is a major discrepancy in how Jedediah is portrayed. He seems like two different people, going from his point of view and Patience’s.
Patience Cavanaugh is the heroine and I honestly didn’t love her. She is an okay character and there are a couple points on which I was able to connect with her. She struggles with self imagine, which is something probably every woman can relate to. She also tries her best to be a good Christian, but at first comes off as self-righteous, though we do see her grow throughout the story and realize God doesn’t expect perfection. He loves broken people just as they are.
Jedediah Jones was a very confusing character for me. I already mentioned that there was a problem with his character’s portrayal, and this really affected my enjoyment of the book and how much I cared about him. I didn’t feel as though I really knew him or understood what was going on. He is strong, kind, and he struggles with something in his past. He is something of a tortured soul, though that part is actually pretty glossed over. I really wanted more resolution for him. He isn’t the deep, well drawn character I have come to expect from Ms. Brendan.
I honestly didn’t much care for their relationship, either. It seemed like the same thing over and over, and every little conflict that might possibly have kept them apart was resolved within a page or two. Though the book is over three hundred pages and covers a couple months of time, they don’t seem to know each other very well. When they think of each other, all of their thoughts and opinions are on a very surface level. I can’t say there was much in the way of romance, as they are both very stiff about the very idea of a relationship and simply hold hands once in a while throughout most of the book. Jed tries to hug Patience at one point and she quickly rebuffs him. I didn’t really understand that and could empathize his confusion and anger over her reaction.
To be honest, the only reason I’m giving this book two and a half stars, is because I really enjoyed the spiritual aspect of the book. As previously noted, Patience struggles with her self image and several times is encouraged to find her worth in God. I really enjoyed this particular encouragement from Patience, “God gave each of us an unique ability and fashioned us in His image. Who am I to tell Him He’s wrong?” - Patience Cavanaugh, page 285 I loved seeing her grow and become more confident in who she is and her appearance.
Forgiveness is also a strong theme in the story and it will definitely resound with quite a few people. Jed has things in his past that haunt him and he isn’t sure God will forgive him. I enjoyed watching him learn that God forgives even the worst of sinners.
Overall, I can’t honestly say that I loved this book, or even really enjoyed it. I did finish it and found myself smiling a couple times. It did grow on me and improve as I went. Plus, I liked the spiritual themes and enjoyed the ending. I’m sorry to be so negative concerning this story. This review is in no way meant to express my opinion of the author personally, or hurt her in any way.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.
*Please note: I own no rights to this book, or the quotation used in my review. No infringement intended.
Though I didn't enjoy this book, this is solely my opinion. I know many others have really enjoyed it. If you're interested in reading their reviews and seeing another side of the coin as it were, here are some links to get you started.
Barnes & Noble
Thank you so much, if you took the time to read my review! I really don't like to write negative reviews, and I'm very sorry I had to for this one. I do hope you will check out some other opinions and that I didn't put you off from reading it or any of Ms. Brendan's other books.
Have a lovely day! :)