Monday, January 30, 2017

A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz

A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz

I’ve enjoyed Laura’s novels in the past, so I was grateful for the opportunity to read her latest.

Let’s begin with the summary:

After fleeing Virginia, Temperance Tucker and her family established an inn along the Shawnee River. It's a welcome way station for settlers and frontiersmen traveling through the wild Cumberland region of Kentucke—men like Sion Morgan, a Virginia surveyor who arrives at the inn with his crew looking for an experienced guide. When his guide appears, Sion balks. He certainly didn't expect a woman. But it is not long before he must admit that Tempe's skill in the wilderness rivals his own. Still, the tenuous tie they are forming is put to the test as they encounter danger after danger and must rely on each other.

With her signature sweeping style and ability to bring the distant past to vivid life, Laura Frantz beckons readers to join her in a land of Indian ambushes, conflicting loyalties, and a tentative love that meanders like a cool mountain stream.

And now, my review:

This book seemed to fall into a category by itself. The language, the vocabulary. The heroine’s thoughts are difficult to understand at times. I highlighted several words as I read in hopes my Kindle’s dictionary could help me out. Some terms were simply archaic, which shows strong research on Laura's part. Some weren't even in listed in the dictionary, which led to confusion as I read.

The author keeps many, many secrets. So many that I was lost a few times as I read. The why-not in regards to the romantic relationship was formidable enough that the romance didn’t take shape for me. There were POV missteps in the version I read, which made the reading even more confusing. (Example: though we were in the heroine’s POV, her mother was referred to by her first name in the narrative. That made me feel even more lost as I tried to track the characters.)

The heroine’s call falls far into the story, and by then I’d lost interest off and on. I did keep reading, but I wasn’t drawn in and highly motivated (hooked). The surveyors track in circles, which made the story seem less believable or motivating. Why wouldn’t they progress forward? Why keep circling back again and again for much of the first third of the book? That element felt contrived, rather than believable, in order to bring the hero and heroine together over and over. 

Perhaps introducing the call much earlier would have solved a few issues here—like keeping me hooked, making the story line seem less contrived, allowing the romance to grow as the hero and heroine would have been forced into the same vicinity earlier.

Also, in the hero’s POV, we have deep POV, but we don’t have a clear mission for much of the first third of the story, even to the half. That kept me from rooting for him. He’s too much a mystery, as is his purpose. Because of this, along with the odd POV of the heroine, I found I didn’t care for either of the main characters as much as I’d like to when I’m reading fiction. I couldn’t understand the heroine, both superficially and in a deeper way.

Unfortunately, this story didn’t work for me. But I will be watching for her next novel as I’ve appreciated her work in the past. I wish her and her publisher the best.

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