October 20, 2012 Rissi JC 2 Comments

‘TWICE PROMISED,’ BY MAGGIE BRENDAN. Historical fiction review of the 2012 novel. All review text © Rissi JC / RissiWrites.com

STORY: Two women hoping for a change must face a new reality when, after answering mail-order bride ads, the brother of the man both thought they were corresponding with meets their train. There never were two such different women than Greta and Cora. Both feel as if Zach Gifford used them, which is why, meeting Jess Gifford isn’t part of their plans. The man both thought they could love is, in fact a brusque, easy to anger man who cannot seem to remember things.

Zach knows his brother needs a wife to help keep his dream alive. He writes to the ladies as Jess, and plans to allow Jess to choose his own wife and he agrees with a condition: Zach must court one of the women. Jess’ world is about to change drastically as he finds himself captivated by one pair of very pretty blue eyes.

BOOK REVIEW | ‘The Spice King’: A Historical Novel Sure to be an Experience
‘TWICE PROMISED,’ BY MAGGIE BRENDAN #FWarchives #BookReviews #BookTwitter Click To Tweet

REVIEW: As a teen, I think my fascination with prairie fiction is all due to Janette Oke’s historical stories, but also because the writing is unfussy. Though I always intend to read relative newcomer, Maggie Brendan’s novels, this is the first one I got around to. Reading the synopsis wasn’t all that enticing but did try not to be a pessimist and went ahead with this “Blue Willow Brides” series. Though I hate to be negative, I don’t plan to re-visit this book.

As a reader, the writing, story and even at times the characters, is a let down. All four of the main protagonists are good moral people but their actions and quirks aren’t easy to applaud. So many of their reactions and motivations are insincere, and it frustrates me to no end that a certain someone doesn’t just blurt out that they aren’t happy. Their feelings lay elsewhere and yet, they keep quiet over foolish misunderstandings and fear of heartbreak. The “revelations” in this story just aren’t as jaw-dropping as they should or could have been, and in fact are rather ordinary. Perhaps I’m merely in this burn out pattern of old west fiction or maybe the older I get, the less tolerance I have for stories that don’t work for me. If you like mail order bride books, I’d recommend Al Lacy’s series.

If you like Janette Oke or Wild West fiction, then you will likely enjoy this tale. For myself, the entire novel was too much of a misunderstanding scenario that never really draws me in.

CONCLUSION: Sometimes stilted writing and character’s who came across as too compliant made this something I won’t be anxiously awaiting the conclusion of though for fans of Brendan, I suspect, this will be a new Western jewel for
your collection.

About the Book:

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Author: Maggie Brendan
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: 2012
Series: Blue Willow Brides Book 2
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical
Shop the Book: Bookshop.org | Goodreads
Rating: 3 out of 5

With thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book for reviewing purposes

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Rosie October 20, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Sorry you didn't really enjoy this one, Rissi!

  • Rissi October 21, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Me too, Rosie but that's okay: There are lots I do like! :-D

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