The “Old West” is a setting familiar to all and beloved by many. In Maggie Brendan’s newest book published by Revell, entitled “A Sweet Misfortune”, all of the prerequisites for a great old-time western story are clearly in place. But is that enough to allow the story to leap out of the pages and come to life in our imaginations?
When Rachel Matthews is forced to leave her family’s ranch after the deaths of her parents, she makes a choice that she soon regrets – working as a dance hall girl at the saloon. As a favor to Rachel’s brother who is seeking his fortune on the gold fields, wealthy rancher John McIntyre agrees to remove her from the saloon… regardless of what Rachel has to say about the matter. What ensues is exactly what you would expect, in exactly the way you would expect it.
What is not expected of Revell publishing, however, is the unprofessional writing style of the entire book. It seems as though the basic principal of “show don’t tell” has been completely overlooked, and instead unrealistic, uninspiring, and oftentimes unlikely thoughts and dialogue prevail. This leads to lifeless characters, which multiplies into an emotionless plot, which altogether equals a very dull novel! Aside from the tedious writing style and colorless characters, a number of improper but thankfully vague insinuations are made in reference to the saloon and the women who work inside it.
Overall, “A Sweet Misfortune” was not a book I will likely pick up again. While I do enjoy many inspirational, western and historical romances, especially those from Revell, this book was not one of them.
I am grateful to have received a copy of this book from Revell Reads, free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.