Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review: Beloved by Robin Lee Hatcher

Beloved by Robin Lee Hatcher

My rating: 2 stars / it was okay


Diana Brennan came west on the orphan train and was given a home with a loving couple who cherished and spoiled her. At 17, she fell hard for Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, Tyson took off for adventures around the world, including fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Receiving no word of him for seven years, Diana's infatuation with her dashing husband died an ugly death, and she is ready to move past the old pain and marry again, just as soon as Tyson is declared legally dead.

But when her husband returns, supposedly a changed man, he wants to reunite with his wife and run for the senate. While Diana suspects the election is his real reason for wanting her by his side, she agrees to maintain his home and to campaign with him, but when it is over, win or lose, she wants her freedom. He agrees with one condition- she must give him a chance to change her mind about him.

My Review

The premise was interesting... the book, however, was not. I really enjoyed the first two in the series so it was a let-down to not connect with the characters in this final book. There are flashbacks to the past throughout the story, but the basic content of the flashbacks had already been explained in the present-day text, so I felt it was repetitive and slowed the story down in a major way. It also brought Tyson's selfishness and indiscretions into the limelight, as well as Diana's hurt and role as the victim. It was difficult to feel compassion for Tyson when such a great deal of the novel was spent rehashing his mistakes, and his redemption was explained rather than shown. I found the romance lacking as well- Tyson was afraid to pursue his wife so he wouldn't scare her off, and Diana spent the majority of the novel keeping him and her feelings at arm's length (not that I blame her). The overall theme of forgiveness is an important one, and it was most compelling in the relationship between father and son. The story could have delved so much deeper if not for the bulkiness of the unnecessary flashback scenes.

(Thank you to Zondervan Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Check out the first two books in Robin Lee Hatcher's Where the Heart Lives series

Belonging by Robin Lee Hatcher
Belonging by Robin Lee Hatcher
My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

In the high desert town of Frenchman's Bluff, Idaho, Felicia Kristoffersen has set out to create a future for herself that is better than her painful past. Alone in the world with only her faith to sustain her, she must prove herself as this tiny community's new school teacher. She cannot, must not, fail. But, there are those who never wanted her there to begin with.
Five years after the death of his wife, local merchant Colin Murphy cares about just one thing: raising his daughter, Charity. Colin wants to give her the educational advantages he never had. The new schoolmarm's inexperience doesn't sit well with him, and if this teacher up and marries like the last one did, Charity's heart will be broken once again.
A woman who hasn't known love. A man who lost the love he had. In the midst of the wide, sage-covered plains, each is about to discover that life's bitterest circumstances truly can work together for good.

Betrayal by Robin Lee Hatcher
Betrayal by Robin Lee Hatcher
My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

It's the turn of the twentieth century and drifter Hugh Brennan is a man well acquainted with betrayal. Hugh finds himself drawn to the attractive widow, Julia, yet when he looks into her eyes, he recognizes the same hurt that haunts him. Julia Grace has little reason to trust men, but she's going to have to trust someone if she's to keep her ranch from the clutches of her dead husband's half-brother. Is it possible God had a hand in bringing Hugh to her door? The latest historical romance from award-winning author Robin Lee Hatcher and the second book in the Where the Heart Lives series, Betrayal will take you to the high desert of western Wyoming, through the crags of the Rocky Mountains, and into the hearts of two seekers learning to trust God's love no matter the circumstances. 

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