Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Christmas Gift by Janet Eaves

TITLE: The Christmas Gift
AUTHOR: Janet Eaves
PUBLISHER: Resplendence Publishing
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 27k)
GENRE: Contemporary romance
COST: $4.50

Widow Christina Montgomery gets the jolt of a lifetime when a man who looks almost exactly like her presumed dead husband shows up in her barn. The man has no memory, and no clue who she might be. He just has the letter he was found with when he was recently injured – a letter written by Christina’s daughter. Is this her husband come back to her? Or is it someone else? Either way, Christina realizes she’s falling in love, all over again…

I bought this story hoping for a poignant Christmas reunion story. What I got was nothing of the sort. Christina is one of those heroines I unfortunately can’t stand. She’s protected to the extent of being not just innocent but downright stupid sometimes, she’s so conservative that sex is abhorrent until of course the right man comes along, and on top of all that, it turns out she’s spent two years blocking out every bad memory of her husband, building him into a paragon of virtue. If the writing or characterization had been more deft, maybe it wouldn’t have annoyed me as much as it did. But Christina pushed every “you’ve got to be kidding” button I have.

The writing doesn’t flow well enough for me to get past my dislike for the heroine. The prologue isn’t so bad, but the first chapter is rife with streams of run-on sentences that get tedious to read. It continues throughout the story. It doesn’t help that the author has a tendency to make simple mistakes, like confusing “desert” with “dessert” and vice versa. By the time I reached the completely convenient ending, I’d had enough. The romance wasn’t enough, the sex scenes were perfunctory, and not even the mostly congenial hero could save it.


4/10 – Clumsy writing and common homonym mistakes do not make this fun or simple to read.


6/10 – Far more likeable than the heroine is, that’s for sure


2/10 – Dim and annoying

Entertainment value

3/10 – Though I liked the hero, the dumb heroine and the farfetched details toward the end made it difficult to enjoy this

World building

6/10 – Just enough to hold the story together, but nothing exciting



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