Sunday, September 11, 2011

Indie Author Candy Ann Little - The Unwilling Bride - A Romance Novel

Historial first thought--ugh. I hate to say that historical fiction isn't my thing, because I've learned a lot about myself and my reading preferences in the recent past (if you remember I claimed that fantasy wasn't my thing, but I've found that it can be). That being said, historical fiction generally isn't my thing.

Getting into this book took quite some time and work. The main character drove me crazy with her over use of the words 'tis, 'twas, 'twill, 'twould, and the like. I realize that our language has changed over time, but it seemed a bit much when I was reading. The characters also didn't always use the Old English words. Sometimes, they 'forgot' and simply said 'it is'. 

Caitlin is a young woman of marrying age. She hasn't yet found a suitor, but quickly finds herself being forced into an arranged marriage with her enemy, an Englishman. Because of Caitlin's Irish heritage and birth, and her brother's death at the hands of the English, Caitlin finds the idea of marrying Dillon Cade most distasteful.

Caitlin's parents remain adamant, and the wedding goes on as planned. Caitlin and Dillon agree to an 'in name only' marriage. The agreement occurs only after a botched escape out of a bedroom window and weeks of pleading with her parents and Mr. Cade. 

After the wedding, Caitlin is horrible to Dillon, even after she learns the reason for the rushed, forced marriage. Caitlin's family is being forced back to Ireland, where they are considered traitors. Going back to Ireland isn't safe for anyone in the family, but Caitlin is the only child her parents can keep safe. Her brother Brogan must go with his parents. Caitlin insists that she would be better off in Ireland with her family, but it is clear from her worry that she knows better than to think that she would be safe had she gone with them. 

Caitlin changes drastically throughout the book, and it is a welcome transformation. She begins as a snotty, bratty, rich kid who never does anything that she is supposed to. She isn't a 'proper' lady and is always picking fights with Dillon. The changes that are seen in Caitlin happen slowly and sometimes she even shows regression when she is under a great deal of stress, as we all would regress at times. 

Dillon Cade is a perfect gentleman and seems to be the perfect man, but he has his faults as well. He is just better at keeping these things hidden, something Caitlin learns from.

There are a lot of characters introduced throughout this book, but keeping track of who was who and who did what wasn't too difficult. Aside from the romance (or non-romance as some may see it) the story has political overtones from the days of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. I also thought this would throw me off from enjoying the story line, but honestly, the story was enhanced by seemingly real history (I didn't look up all of the facts, and I'm no history buff) and the real-life, historical characters.

My biggest complaint about this book was (aside from the constant use of 'tis, 'twould, 'twas, and 'twill) was the mistakes I found littered throughout the book. Not just commas (which drive me crazy) but misspelled words, typos, and missing letters. Commas were, of course, the biggest offender, but missing periods were also on my list. This isn't atypical for some indie novels (and I've seen my share of mistakes in traditionally pubbed books, too) but if you want to sell, sell a lot, and reach a LOT of readers, having your novel professionally proofed is a must.

Every time Caitlin hurt Dillon, mouthed off to him, or called him a name, I hurt inside. Dillon married Caitlin to protect her, and he genuinely fell in love with her despite her bad attitude and poor manners. He loved her unconditionally and she threw it back in his face constantly. My heart broke for Dillon, and later for Caitlin.

I do love a good romance. I'll admit it. The Unwilling Bride didn't seem like it was going to deliver, but it did. I felt the jolts of fear, loss, and struggle through my body while reading; I felt the paralyzing hopelessness when things didn't work out; I felt the joy for the characters' happiness--no matter how temporary--and pain of their suffering. Another admission, I cried at the end. Not for Caitlin and Dillon, but for two minor characters, two very minor characters.

Not a bad pick for you romance fans out there. This is a moving story.


  1. As a note to any indie writer, there are excellent online communities and crit groups who will read/review your novel in exchange for you reading/reviewing theirs. And if grammar isn't your strong point, just tell your group; one of my betas just reads to help me with pacing, one does my grammar, one helps me with dialogue and characterization. Essie is correct...the more eyes, the better!

    But I do LOVE any book that makes me cry and am a sucker for the snotty girl who learns her lesson!

  2. I have corrected the errors in this novel. The editing took longer than expected and you had an early version. I may still have a few mistakes but most of them hae been corrected. Thank you for your review and honest comments.

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