Thomas Nelson, 2010
Inspirational; Historical; Romance
Source: Received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review
Summary: Lilly and Jack were in love or so she thought until he left her with no indication of returning. Now it's 1899 and six years later and she is secretly a successful author of dime novels at the publishing company the newly wealthy Jack hopes to acquire. She's also on the verge of being engaged and moving on with her life until he brings back old feelings. Can he win her love again?
I'm going to break my thoughts in to three sections based on the main genres I saw here:
Historical-I was somewhat disappointed in the historical aspects of this book. I was really interested to know more about the Gilded Age and the lifestyle of the very rich but I didn't feel that atmosphere here. There were references to the new telephone and the strict code of the Newport ladies was maintained (ie well-brought up young ladies do not earn their own money; instead they rely on their father or husband). But this area definitely lacked.
Romance-Jack left and then he comes back with the intention of winning Lilly but without telling her so, expecting her either to realize what he's thinking or to never have gotten over him and thus jump at the chance to reunite. This is not one of my favorite romantic tropes, because both characters (or at least the guy) end up acting really stupid and annoying. While I knew that Jack had good intentions and I believed that he did not want to hurt Lilly, he still did hurt her and frustrated me to no end. Additionally his communication skills were so poor and he often jumped to conclusions.
Religion-I would say this was the aspect that was most pleasing to me. Both main characters have a relationship with God, even if it might be a bit strained and they pray to Him quite frequently. Lilly is even able to tie her God-given talent of writing to her charitable works, which I quite liked.
Random-There was Lilly's work with a charity that was important in the first part but less so in the second; there was a thread around her brother George; there was her parents' relationship and especially her mother's relationship with her which left me with a lot of plot but not a lot of engagement with it. Consequently the end was a bit rushed.
Overall: I'm not a fan of the romantic trope used here and I thought the author tried to stuff too much in. I am still interested in the planned sequel, Love on Assignment, due out January 2011.
Cover: Pretty girl wearing historically accurate clothing I believe and holding one of her books in front of the Newport area. I'm a big fan of this cover!