I count it a privilege to have had the opportunity to read the first book in the Heart Saga Trilogy before it was released earlier this morning.
Now to share my thoughts…
The English Proposal: Christian Victoria Era Historical by Jenna Brandt is one of those books that really wasn’t in a genre I would normally read. As a matter of fact, I believe it is the only Christian romance book I have ever read. So keep that in mind as you read my review. Well, that, and the fact that I’m a guy and most books like this are written more for the gals.
To be honest, it took me a little while to really get into the novel. That may have been my own fault as it was close to midnight before I read the first page. It had a lot of vivid imagery, leaving no detail to the reader’s imagination. It painted the picture of a young lady, Margaret, who came from a wealthy blood line. Her father had prearranged her marriage to a man by the name of Henry—a man she didn’t love. In her heart, she wanted more than anything to spend the rest of her life with another man, Richard. Deciding what to do is a true struggle for Margaret as she worries about humiliating her father if she does not go along with the prearranged wedding. Her family name is important to her. So is her own honor. But what about her heart? Is she supposed to ignore that?
I thought I knew who she was going to choose and how it would come about, but I was completely wrong! The book took a twist I wasn’t expecting and unfortunately I can’t tell you what that is. I don’t like to be the one to spoil a surprise!
Eventually Margaret gets married. Shortly thereafter, a few scenes appeared that I wasn’t too crazy about. I’m a preacher and I tell our congregation that we need to be careful what thoughts we put in our minds. What we put before our eyes. What we listen to. That’s why I try to only read Christian books. I don’t fill my mind with things that would not glorify God. Even though I am very well aware of the fact that a part of becoming husband and wife does involve intimacy, I don’t feel that Christian books should paint sexual pictures in the minds of their readers. There weren’t any vulgar descriptions provided—just enough to get one picturing what was going on in the bedchamber right after their marriage and later on a similar scene outside, next to a lake. Maybe all Christian romance books contain that type of imagery—like I said, I’ve never read one before this one. If they do, though, I won’t be reading any more books in this genre.
After moving beyond those scenes, more of Margaret’s past seems to be revealed and I found myself beginning to speculate. I was certain I knew what was going to happen within the next few pages and believe it or not, I was wrong again! That is the sign of a good story-teller. Someone who can make you believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that you know exactly where that book is headed and then BOOM, you find out it’s not what you would have expected at all.
So overall, my thoughts are this: The author, Ms. Brandt, has an excellent way with words. I absolutely loved her writing style. I am not one who is particularly crazy about a lot of detail – as far as knowing exactly how characters are dressed and things like that, so those parts I could have done without. However, I know a lot of people do enjoy those types of details, and I’m sure that’s why they were included. I found the story line captivating and I see this author’s potential to hit the top sellers list, if not with this book, then with future works she has in progress.