Monday, July 27, 2009

Review of The Bridegroom

The Bridegroom


Linda Lael Miller

The Bridegroom is a sweet romance novel with happily-ever-after ending. If I'm looking for romance books, which is rare, that's what I want to read; something sweet, with a little bit of suspense as well as a feel-good ending. The reason for reading books like this is to escape real life, after-all, so might as well escape with something that leaves you thinking "awwww".

The Bridegroom is about a younger brother of some former outlaws-turned-respectable men and his childhood friend. Lydia is about to marry an older man that she doesn't really like just to save her elderly aunts and their home from foreclosure. She capriciously sends Gideon a letter to come save her, not really expecting him to get it. Gideon does receive the letter, gets her out of the wedding, along with her aunts and takes the whole kit and caboodle to Stone Creek where he is to work undercover at a copper mine.

The blurb on the bookcover is a little misleading. It gives the impression that Lydia will be able to keep everything, mansion, furnishings, etc. as long as she gets married. This isn't the case. If she marries Jacob Fitch, the banker who holds the mortages she will keep the mansion and all contents. If she marries anyone else, she loses everything except herself and her aunts. Gideon and Lydia end up marrying, to prevent Gideon from being arrested for kidnapping, and Lydia goes into the marriage with the clothes on her back, believing that she is marrying a mineworker and not expecting riches.

This is the story of how their marriage turns from a necessity to a real marriage (it's a romance) and Gideon's dangerous undercover work. Of course, at first Gideon tries to keep distant from Lydia, so he can leave when his job is done. He doesn't realize that this kind of thing never works out as planned.

The writing style in this third person narrative put me in mind of how someone would have told a story about 100 years ago. This type of prose worked well with a story set in 1915. I felt like I knew more about Gideon than Lydia; to me it felt like this was really his story. The book, though not one of the urban fantasies, or horror books I usually read, had me turning page after page to find out what was going to happen next.

I would say that this book, though there were dangerous situations for the characters, was a sweet story about love,family, friends and loyalty. If you're looking for major conflicts with gritty realism, this book is not for you. If you feel like reading something with people rising to their best, and showing care and compassion towards others, this will be good for you.

Linda Lael Miller has been writing for many years and doesn't waste time with a lot of silly dialogue; if you're not into the romance genre a few scenes in this book might be a bit mushy for you, though not too much. Gideon's story is the latest in a small series about Stone Creek, mainly focusing on Yarbro men, who have all found redemption from the outlaw life; except Gideon was very young while his brothers were running outside the law. Ms Miller's style of writing is easy to read, not stilted or stiff and I enjoyed the book.

There are quite a number of trilogies, and small series that Linda Lael Miller has written over the years. She has even written a few vampire novels, back in the early 1990's before paranormal romance became the huge trend it is now. Those books are Forever and the Night (1993), For All Eternity (1994), Time Without End (1995), and Tonight and Always (1996)

If you feel like reading a book that will leave you with a serene enjoyment of a happy ending, then pick up one of Linda Lael Miller's romances I would call this a gentle romance. (oh geez, that totally sounded like a commercial) If you aren't into happily ever afters; if you like more gritty realism or more suspense, then this probably isn't the book for you.

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