CFBA Blog Tour – The Lightkeeper’s Bride

This side of heaven, expectations can be a curse. I wish that was a line describing the theme of this CFBA Blog Tour feature, The Lightkeeper’s Bride by Colleen Coble. Unfortunately, it’s related to my reaction to the novel.

I anticipated what? A good story, well-written, but of course those things are subjective. One of the endorsers of this historical mystery romance mentioned plot twists, another, red herrings. A third identified the book as a fast-paced romance. Those then were things I expected.

Except, the title gives away which of the two men in the heroine’s life she falls in love with. No twist there, despite the usual prickly beginning to their relationship.

What about the mystery element? There weren’t any genuine red herrings. The heroine suspected the hero, but the reader knew he was out in the ocean at the time of the crime trying to save a group of sailors whose ship had been pirated. The next suspect was the heroine’s father, and he admitted to his part of the nefarious events. But not the critical event our heroine is initially concerned with.

Who was left? The constable, the hero’s private investigator brother who is trying to solve the pirating crime, the heroine’s mother, and her gentleman friend who insisted on courting her though she had no feelings for him. Hmm. Let me see. Who do I think committed the crime? 🙄

I understand, not everyone puts as high a value on surprise as I do, and perhaps others read without interest in looking for suspects. Consequently, I’m sure some will overlook the things that bothered me and enjoy the typically sweet romance in this story. (Girl meets boy; girl is forced because of a small pox epidemic to move into the lighthouse with boy—and a chaperon and an abandoned one-year-old they both want custody of; girl is attracted to boy because of his rugged good looks and tenderness with child; boy falls for girl; girl admits her attraction but thinks she must marry to please her parents; love conquers in the end).

Those who enjoy the romance may well overlook some of the writing issues that disappointed me, too, such as characters that dropped out of scenes without explanation, or blackmail secrets told in front of characters as if they weren’t present.

At one point the heroine felt physically ill when she found out the man wooing her was involved in the piracy that cost ten men their lives. But earlier in the story when she learned of her father’s similar involvement in said piracy, she had no such reaction.

Those kinds of hiccups made the story feel uneven to me. At some points I was caught up in the adventure and at other times I felt uninterested in characters that seemed unrealistic.

Too bad. I like the idea of a historical mystery romance. I think this book’s beautiful cover gives a feel for the intrigue I expected. But the problem with expectations … they sometimes cause a letdown.

In conjunction with the CFBA Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

Published in: on November 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 Comments

  1. I’m sorry you didn’t care too much for the book. I know how hard it is to write negative reviews, but I’m thankful that you gave your honest opinion.

    I have a quick question because you make me curious when you say that there were endorsements: when you read a book you don’t care for and other authors have given glowing recommendations to the book, does that make you not want to read any of those authors’ books?

    I find that when an author recommends a book I don’t like, I won’t read any his books. I just assume we have different tastes and I won’t like his books.

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  2. Thanks, Sally. I stopped by a few others who were doing this tour and read some favorable reviews, so I do think a lot of the response depends on expectations.

    I put a lot of emphasis on the endorsements in my review, but I decided to opt in for this tour long before I read their comments. The cover was good, I thought, and the title didn’t lead me to believe this one was a romance. I mean, it was about a bride, wasn’t it, not a girl pursued by one man and in love with another. My mistake.

    But undoubtedly fans of Colleen Coble would know exactly what to expect, so I’m sure they will enjoy this book.

    Becky

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