Sunday, 6 July 2014

Pattern for Romance: Book Review

Pattern for Romance: Quilts of Love Series 

by Carla J Gade 

I was looking for a quilt-themed novel with a Christian message to offer as part of a giveaway on my blog. However, I wanted to read it first so that I knew if it was worth offering. When this one became available on Net Galley, I requested it and was given a free electronic preview edition. I have not received any compensation for this review. I also apologize as it's nearly a year late. 
The story opens in Boston in 1769 to a heroine, named Honour Metcalf, not bright enough to get out of a hailstorm. Of course, she must be rescued by the hero of the story, who somehow or other, while carrying her out of the same hailstorm, manages to emerge relatively unscathed, while she suffered a concussion. Did they even know what a concussion was in 1769? I wonder. Amazingly enough, she is able to carry on a reasonable conversation with Joshua Sutton, after he carries her into the church, until she is "taken in a swoon." At this opportune moment, the pastor arrives, as he manages to do at the most opportune moments throughout the book. This pastor is actually my favourite character in the book and he always offers great wisdom in his comments, with a bit of a wry sense of humour. The other characters are rather flat, and I mean this literally as well as figuratively in the case of the heroine. Due to her repeated accidents (at least 3, as I recall), she spends most of the book flat in bed. Makes for rather dull reading. 
The plot takes the predictable twists and turns, misunderstandings and misadventures typical of the romance genre. I feel that the author adds too many subplots, none of which are well developed. If she had taken just one or two and developed them throughout the story, it could have been much more effective and made for a more interesting read. 
To me, there is too much familiarity between the hero and heroine for 1769, and at one point while they are kissing, the writer states, "He deepened the kiss." What? That's a line from one of those steamy romance novels and it left me rather dumbfounded. Not really appropriate for a Christian romance, especially not one set in a time when a couple wouldn't have even been allowed to be alone together unchaperoned, let alone deep kissing! 
Other things annoyed me, like the fact that the hero's brother is a total jerk and turns into a wonderful guy once he gets the woman he loves. And, of course, everything is all wrapped up nice and neatly by the book's end. And Honour gets her quilt back, as it had fallen into the villain's hands during the course of the novel. 
The thing I liked best about this book is that the characters do not fail to turn to God in prayer and the Scriptures when trouble strikes. Otherwise, I found it a rather lame read. Unless I'm reading science fiction or fantasy (which I generally don't), I expect the characters and the story to be relatively believable. These ones were not. This book can't even begin to compare with the quality of The Devil's Puzzle. I found that one much more enjoyable and entertaining. 
Now, how do I delete Pattern for Romance from my Kindle?