I've often remarked about the formula for writing a romance novel, but now there seems to be a new formula. The heroine of the romance novel must be orphaned (preferably by car accident) and raised by her grandmother. The grandmother must now be in ill health for one reason or another, and in a hurry to marry the heroine off. I've read two such novels back to back with the added attraction of having quilts play important parts of both books.
Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey
Taryn has a secret that only her Jemma knows, but when Justin shows up at the craft fair where Jemma sells her quilts, Taryn's secret comes back to haunt her. Justin is the father of Taryn's secret--a little girl named Sarah Faith, almost twelve years old. Jemma wants Taryn to tell Justin, but in the meantime, Taryn's cousin Rachel is getting married and Jemma ends up in the hospital with a broken arm--which seem to be totally unrelated except for the fact that Jemma is making a quilt for Rachel and needs it finished by Christmas so it will be done in time for Rachel's wedding. Taryn is pressed into service to finish the quilt for Rachel and Justin flies in for the rescue to help her sew it.
This is a typical boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back romance. There aren't many surprises to the plot and this is a rather "fluffy" book without deep substance, but it is a quick read and entertaining for what it is. Four stars.
Swept Away by Laura V Hilton
As I was finishing reading this book this morning as I rode my stationary bike, my husband asked me what I was reading. I said it was a rather goofy book. He asked why I was finishing it and I told him I only had a few more minutes to finish it. Kindle is good to tell me how much time I need to finish a book. It's a handy little feature on the device, which makes this seem like a Kindle review, rather than a book review. Maybe it is the constraint of a short novel that makes the plot and characters seem disjointed. There were some loose ends left untied and gave me a feeling of incompleteness. Grandma hires Drew, the broom maker, to do some handy-man chores around her place. Sara Jane's grandmother, Sari, wants to finish her ballad quilt because she knows her memory is slipping and she doesn't know how long she will have lucid times. She ends up in the hospital with a concussion that has changed Grandma's personality too. Again a quilt plays a significant part in the book and AT TIMES, the quilt is the only thing holding the book together. Some of the spiritual aspects of the book are over the top and really not quite believable. Three Stars.
Abingdon Press provided these books in exchange for my honest review.