Friday, October 25, 2013

"Perfectly Matched" Blog Tour

His life runs like clockwork. Hers is a spontaneous adventure.
But God's timing is always perfect.

Anna Olsen knows it's time to leave her sister's increasingly crowded house and start a life of her own. Following both sisters' examples, she becomes a mail-order bride, and after a short correspondence with clock maker and jeweler Edward Parker, she moves to Denver to become his wife.

 Almost immediately it's painfully apparent that Anna and Edward are very different. Anna is a free spirit who would rather be painting and enjoying the company of friends than cleaning house. Edward is a consummate perfectionist who, on their wedding day, hands Anna a list of chores that need to be done around the house daily.

Can this mismatched couple see past their differences to a harmonious future? Or will their disparate passions create obstacles neither is willing to surmount?

For more information, please click here.

Available October 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Maggie Brendan is the bestselling author of several books, including the Heart of the West series and The Blue Willow Brides series. She was a 2013 finalist for the Published Maggie Award of Excellence, a 2013 finalist for the Heart of Excellence Readers' Choice Award, a 2012 finalist for Inspirational Reader's Choice award, and a recipient of the 2004 ACW Persistence Award in Atlanta. She is a member of the ACFW; Author's Guild; Romance Writers of America; Faith, Hope, and Love; and Georgia Romance Writers. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, researching for her novels, and spending time with her family.

You can follow her at her website, her blog, and on Facebook and Twitter @MaggieBrendan.

My Take:

After reading the first two novels in this series, Deeply Devoted and Twice Promised, was expecting a cute, fun story of a mail order bride in Perfectly Matched, the conclusion to the series.

This was true of this novel, but it also had some things that I wasn’t expecting – some good, others not-so-good.

The portrayal of the “odd couple” in this novel was perfectly stereotypical – he as the rigid, wants-everything-to-be-perfect man and she as the flighty, unorganized girl. While this made for an interesting storyline and some nice setups for conflict, it seemed as if the resolutions that were presented were often one-sided. I got the impression that Edward was required to change more than Anna. He has to be less rigid and get rid of his lists and such, but she can continue to be flighty and completely thoughtless? I think Anna needed to do a little bit more growing as well, especially in her attitude towards her duties in her home.

Their relationship as the odd couple was further complicated by their extreme lack of communication, especially when they would just kiss and make up without really solving anything. The back and forth of their relationship made my head spin. Therefore, it was nice when closer to the end of the novel they were able to learn how to better communicate.

The ASPCA aspects of this book were interesting and unique and something that I was not expecting from the summary on the back of the book. I do not claim to be an animal lover, but I never want to see or hear of an animal being mistreated. I think Anna tended to throw herself into her missions at times when maybe she should have been spending time with her new husband and in her home, but I also think that she grew in this area somewhat over the course of the novel.

The spiritual part of this novel seemed a little glossed over to me. The characters prayed and claimed to have faith in God, but it wasn’t always clear and sometimes seemed to be an afterthought rather than Christ being at the center of their lives.

Finally, I feel I must mention something about this novel that concerned me. I read Christian fiction romances because I like the boy-meets-girl stories, but I prefer to avoid the sensuality that comes with most secular novels of that type. Since Anna and Edward in this story are newlyweds, I realize that there will be issues of a sexual nature that will arise, and I would not want Christian novels to shy away from this subject.

However, the endless descriptions of the couple’s passionate moments were way, way too much in this novel. There were no explicit descriptions of sex, but there was much written about the things leading up to it. Here is an example (and it is definitely PG-13):

“Anna could feel his warm, ragged breathing against her face as he kissed her brow. Finding her mouth again, he nipped at her bottom lip playfully. Her pulse quickened and she felt warm in places that were new to her as he lifted her onto his lap and held her in a tight embrace. No words were needed, just the exploring touch and feel of each other.” 

Warm in places that were new to her? Wow. And this sort of wording occurs over and over throughout the book.

Now, the book of Song of Solomon from the Bible is also brought up in this novel, and I will admit that that book could be considered similar in its descriptions. But the verses from the Bible feel sacred while these lines in a fiction book feel as if I am observing private things that I should not be observing. If these actions were taking place in a Christian film, I would feel the same way. I also feel as if that paragraph could have been taken from any number of secular romance novels out there, which does not set it apart as a Christian novel. As a married woman, this part of my relationship with my husband is very important, but what if I was a single woman reading this novel? Is reading this book a good way for a single woman to keep her thoughts pure? I don’t think so.

I always judge things like this by whether or not I would be embarrassed to have my grandmother read it, and this is one book that I will not be passing on to her.

While some things in this novel were unique and entertaining, there were just too many other things that kept me from enjoying this book completely.
I will give Perfectly Matched … 2 BookWorms.

Perfectly Matched
by Maggie Brendan
Blue Willow Brides #3
Revell Publishers
Publication date: October 1, 2013

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

No comments:

Post a Comment