Sunday, January 29, 2012

Summer of Promise - Amanda Cabot

"Summer of Promise" is the first in the new series "Westward Winds" by Amanda Cabot.  Amanda is a fairly new writer with three other books under her belt, all published by Revell.
This series begins with Abigail Harding, who journeys from the East coast to Wyoming and falls in love with a soldier with issues of his own.  The plot incorporates a solid mystery and has three different storylines.  The foremost is the blossoming relationship between Abigail and Ethan.  The second is the mystery of the stagecoach robberies and rifle theft at the base.  The third is the situation of a local girl, Leah, who is trapped in an undesirable situation.  I commend the author for drawing out all three stories and winding them together in an intricate way.  I love it with an author pairs romance with mystery in a novel.
The book did leave some unanswered questions.  I thought the ending was strong, and I especially like how it ended between Abigail's sister, Charlotte, and her husband, Jeffrey.  The author could have taken an easier path, but instead chose a more difficult, but much more fulfilling ending to Charlotte and Jeffrey's story.  However, it opens the questions of Charlotte's future, which went unanswered in this book.  Also, while we know how the relationship ends for Abigail and Ethan, it doesn't provide much about their future together or how Ethan will choose to deal with his grandfather's estate.  Another unanswered question was the crooked attorney we met later in the book.  No resolution is provided in regard to him.  I assume that all these questions will be answered in Book #2.
My only criticism of this book is.... the electricity between the two main characters wasn't present enough for me.  I felt like this was a very safe, very conservative read even for the women's Christian fiction genre and the romance was more suited toward juvenile fiction.  My recommendation is to add a little more heat and attraction between the characters.
This author is talented, and I am looking forward to seeing more from her in this series.
This was a complimentary review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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