Sunday, 22 May 2011

Seaside Cinderella - Anna Schmidt

The tranquility of Nantucket Island offered poor but proud Lucie McNeil refuge, a place to dream about a better life. Her quiet existence as companion to an elderly couple was a blessing for the tragedy-haunted Irish immigrant. But all that changed when her employers' handsome, elegantly attired son stepped ashore. For she recognized him instantly as the owner of the Boston factory where a terrible fire had scarred her forever. She knew she should hate Gabriel Hunter, yet she could not. She found herself drawn to the caring soul she sensed behind the ruthless facade he showed the world. And she could not help dreaming that such different people a poor servant girl and a wealthy merchant prince might somehow make a life together.

It took a while for me to truly get immersed in this story, but by the end I was glad that I'd read it. I think this is partly because the romance between the main characters didn't really start until halfway into the book, but once this happened the pace picked up and I began to enjoy it a lot more. This was a simple story, and I'll admit that while the characters didn't have a lot of depth I did come to relate to them on some level. I loved the setting of Nantucket, which sounds like a lovely place, and the secondary characters of Emma and Jonathan. In places Emma's romantic tales seemed a bit over-the-top, but they provided a nice background to the events in the story. I would have to say that the last two or three chapters of this book are what push it from a 6/10 to a 7/10, as at this stage the emotions between Lucie and Gabe finally seemed real and I could understand their difficulties. In some ways Gabe's actions at the end of the book were a bit predictable and slightly unrealistic, but I was pleased that the solution to their problems wasn't something that I'd expected. All in all, this was a sweet, uncomplicated little romance which provided me with much needed entertainment while relaxing after my exams. The characters weren't quite as fleshed out as I'd like, but I enjoyed the refreshing change of setting and plot from many romances I've read lately. I'll be looking out for more books from Anna Schmidt and more from the Love Inspired Historical line. 7/10

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