A while back my great-aunt passed away, and somehow my grandpa ended up with two boxes full of books. Almost all of them are ‘inspirational’ romances published by Harlequin as ‘Love Inspired’. At one point (not sure if you still can) you could subscribe and have a new book mailed to you every month. Aunt Darby did just that, and now I’m in possession of somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 or so of these ‘Love Inspired’ titles. Most of them are pretty cheesy but alright for a one-time fluff read. I’m sure that I’ll binge through some of them periodically. They’re perfect to grab out of the crate when I’m just looking for a quick, no-brainer book. However, most of them will probably end up exiting this house after that one-time read, because they just aren’t worth the shelf space to me. So if there’s one that sounds especially appealing to you… let me know, and I’ll be quite happy to mail you a gift! ;-)
I guess the real question is – why do I keep reading these?? I can’t seem to help it. Somehow, I feel like I owe it to Aunt Darby! This batch of five was just as mediocre as the rest, although I’m getting better at just DNFing the really terrible ones. :-D
Cattleman’s Courtship by Carolyne Aarsen
This one wasn’t too bad, with a likable pair of main characters. Cara and Nicholas were engaged a few years ago and broke things off due to some misunderstandings. Now their best friends are getting married, so Cara and Nick are back together for the wedding planning. All in all, this would have been a pretty decent story, except it went off the rails at the end – Cara is a veterinarian and is trying to decide whether or not she wants to join her uncle’s practice. In the meantime, her uncle has hired this other guy… who kind of turns out to be arbitrarily a terrible person?? He felt like this really random evil villain who swoops in and decides that Nick’s entire herd has TB and has to be slaughtered. It just felt like there should have been a lot more research done before making that kind of decision, and the whole thing felt superfluous to the story which was otherwise basically finished. Still, 3.5/5 for what was overall not a bad story.
Fresh-Start Family by Lisa Mondello
This is one of those tales where there is an emotionally wounded man who meets a sweet widow and her son. All in all, I really liked Tag and Jenna, but felt like their relationship was really choppy. Another 3.5/5 for a decent story.
Their First Noel by Annie Jones
DNF. Not even sure why exactly. Just boring. I skimmed the rest to see what happened.
The Marine’s Baby by Deb Kastner
DNF. This actually seemed like one I should enjoy, where a dude inherits a baby and needs help taking care of it, but I was immediately put off by Nathan’s family, and there were already these huge jumps in logic in just the first couple of chapters. (e.g. the baby is running a really high fever and instead of “rush her to the hospital,” Jesse is like, “oh, let’s just try to bring her fever down ourselves” – huh??)
Rocky Point Reunion by Barbara McMahon
Not a bad little story, although sometimes it really just felt like these two needed to sit down and talk. I understood why Marcie was wary of Zack, but it felt like that part just went on and on. Like did she really think he couldn’t change at all in ten years?! 3/5 for a story that was alright for a one-time read.