Friday, February 27, 2015

Patience is a Virtue...But Humility Serves Her Better


The Trouble with Patience

Maggie Brendan

Virtues and Vices of the Old West #1

Patience Cavanaugh has lost hope in romance. The man she yearned to marry is dead and her dreams are gone with him. Now she is consumed with restoring a dilapidated boardinghouse in order to support herself.

Despite Patience’s desire for solitude, Jedediah Jones, the local marshal with a reputation for hanging criminals, becomes an ever-looming part of her life. It seems like such a simple arrangement: She needs someone with a strong back to help her fix up the boardinghouse. He needs a dependable source of food for him and his prisoners. But as she gets to know this “hanging lawman” Patience finds there is far more to him than meets the eye --- and it could destroy their tenuous relationship forever.

With a keen eye for historical detail and a deft hand at romantic tension, Maggie Brendan invites you to a Montana gold rush boom town, where vices and virtues are on full display and love is lying in wait.

To begin, I can not stop thing about how absolutely gorgeous the cover is. I think it certainly hints at one of her previous series The Blue Willow Brides (which is a totally worthwhile series). I had a problem with the back cover though. More specifically the little blurb on the back. I thought it totally fell flat of the wonder of this book. The blurb makes it seem so pedestrian, with only the one problem, but it is so much more than that! Yup.

When I started reading the book inspired blushing on my part. The second hand embarrassment was over the roof. If there was a gauge, it would’ve started smoking. I am really empathetic when it comes to potentially embarrassing situations (my family complains about it-they say that I skip over too much in an attempt to avoid this). 

Another problem I had with Patience was her tendency to spill the beans at the slightest provocation. Not that she couldn’t keep a secret, mind, but that without anyone really asking in any sort of depth she would tell an almost complete stranger the things that really bothered her. Things, like her mother’s shortcomings, that you would expect to keep close to the chest. The first time she does this follows the face-burning first few scenes. It was almost really painful. After we got over that first bitty hump, everything was a lot less humiliating.

From there I got really excited. Nine percent of the way through the book (that sounds a bit snobbish) 29 pages in, was this little line - “She still agonized over it all, wishing she knew more details about his accusers and the awful hanging” - and it hit me like lightning. BAM! I knew the big conflict that the back cover was building you up for. I was so proud of myself. My dad can watch a movie and tell you within twenty minutes of starting it what the major conflict would be and how it would turn out/ who the villain was/ what the crime was etc etc. I never get it right. But I did! Which as soon as gotten over my pleasure realized that knowing the major bang already was bad. As I continued, I realized there was more substance there that would provide enough conflict to carry the novel through the ending.

  Along the way to the end were these little nuggets of gold. I really enjoyed these little nuggets of time appropriate jargon. My favorite example was when Jedidah greeted the wife of a rancher with “Miz Judith”. Oh it was bee-you-tea-ful! (It was also a bit odd, because I didn't notice the recurring use of 'Miz' throughout, but when it appeared it made me giggle).
  Despite all the odds of terrible first impressions (that blurb!) I honestly loved the story, and I hope that you will as well. OH!- I almost forgot about the Jesus factor! The Trouble with Patience did a fantastic job incorporating the miraculous nature of Jesus' impact on a persons life when it comes to guilt and forgiveness.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Revell) in exchange for my review.