The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper by Kathleen Y'Barbo
May's Review: One of the great things about romance novels is how simple the premise is. In this case, Eugenia is a beautiful, highly-educated, upper-class woman from New York who is yearning for a Wild West adventure. Seeking to spread her wings, she "borrows" an identity and heads out to Colorado where she poses as a governess to a young girl who continually acts out in order to get her father's attention because he is too busy running his silver mines. Somehow, the pseudo-governess and the silver baron are forced to marry one another to avoid a public scandal but before they can reconcile their feelings for one another, Eugenia's wayward fiance from New York has tracked her down and coerces her to go home.
For me, this book falls into the "Meh" category. One on the one hand, I found the main characters to be entertaining, especially Eugenia whose enthusiasm for adventure is contagious. What I found annoying about the book, however, is how contrived some of the scenes were. For example, I literally cringed during the whole "we have to get married because the town passed a "good morality" clause" bit. The citizens came off as being purely tyrannical and very un-Christian, which I don't think that was the author's intent.
Another annoying aspect of the book was its pacing. Somehow I have trouble believing that Daniel traveled from Colorado to England and then to New York in less than a week. Hey, that type of travel itinerary maybe more common today but not in the 1880s! Not to mention, the author brings up the meeting with Daniel's estranged father and how Daniel dreads presenting his daughter to him. Yet, the meeting is barely acknowledged and mentioned only in passing towards the end as if the author ran out of steam and wanted to tie up all of the loose ends.
I know plenty of people would probably enjoy this book due in large part because of its spunky heroine and the fast-paced romance with no explicit sex scenes. Personally, I would recommend Deanne Gist's Bride in the Bargain as the better of the Inspirational-Historical books (click here to read my earlier book) for someone to read. But then again, don't just take my word for it. Let me know what you think.
Sushi for One? by Camy Tang
Summary: Lex Sakai never had time for dating until her crafty grandmother insisted she bring a date to her cousin’s wedding. The always-in-control Lex uses Ephesians to compile a huge list of traits for the perfect man … but God seems to have a much more unlikely candidate in mind.
Only Uni by Camy Tang
Summary: Trish Sakai is ready for a change from her wild, flirtatious behavior, so she creates three rules to follow from First and Second Corinthians. But with a persistent ex-boyfriend and a gorgeous coworker in pursuit, suddenly Trish's simple rules don't seem so simple after all.
Single Sashimi by Camy Tang
Summary: Venus Chau is a high-powered video game developer. Now she might be working for the man she’s always hated…but what if he’s no longer the man she thought she knew?
May's Review: Okay, let's freely admit it. You either have a meddling grandmother/mother who despairs about your single status and tries to set you up with anyone who walks through the front door or know of someone who complains about their meddling grandmother/mother. Throughout the series, the grandmother is quite dominating and manipulative of her granddaughters. Strangely enough, the series only focuses three out of the four cousins who are the only Christians in the mixed Chinese-Japanese family. I'm not sure if Tang plans to write a fourth book for the series but I'm kinda hoping she does but the book grow in strength as far as I'm concerned.
Sushi for One? was okay but I couldn't connect with Lex and her problems. On the other hand, I immensely enjoyed Trish's saga, especially her Christian-themed dating rules, in Only Uni. Venus' story in Single Sashimi was equally entertaining at times. While the Christian element was present in the third book, it didn't play a huge role in Venus' romantic outlook as with her other cousins.
If you are into inspirational romance and have not stumbled upon Tang's books, I think you will enjoy the series. For those of you would like a break from all the heavy petting, clothes dropping and sexual innuendos, then you might want to check out this series as well. Enjoy!
The inspirational love story by Cindy Woodsmall in the Sisters of the Quilt series continues in Amish Pennsylvania. A young Amish girl struggled with her faith and fled her community in disgrace after a rape and pregnancy in When the Heart Cries. Her secret relationship with a Mennonite ends when she flees to an aunt in Ohio but When the Morning Comes finds her settling into life with the new loving family of a wealthy Englisher.
This newest novel, When the Soul Mends, takes Hannah back to the Old Order Amish community of her childhood when her family calls for her help. Old wounds reopen but a decision must be made. Will she choose the English world and the man who restored her hope or will she heed the call to return to the Plain Life and perhaps to her first love?