I finished reading my third BookSneeze (recently renamed to BookLook Bloggers) book nearly a month ago, but I haven’t been able to dredge up the enthusiasm to write its review. The first two books I read were so enjoyable that I was eager to share them with the blogosphere. This novel was definitely not in the same league as the previous ones, and I hate broadcasting even the vaguest negativity in such a public manner, so I’ve put off this review for as long as possible.
Here’s the deal: BookLook Bloggers is a blogger review program owned and operated by HarperCollins Christian Publishing. In exchange for an honest review of at least 200 words, posted on my blog and at a consumer website like Amazon.com, BookLook Bloggers will send me a free copy of any book I select from their publications. All of the books I’ve selected to date have been fiction, but there are a variety of genres from which to choose.
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The Headmistress of Rosemere by Sarah E. Ladd
After their father’s death, when her brother flees to London, Patience Creighton devotes herself to the role of headmistress of their father’s beloved Rosemere School for Young Ladies. Forced to handle the day-to-day operations of the boarding school while battling her mother’s deep depression, twenty-five year old Patience has all but given up her girlish hopes of being swept away by a handsome gentleman. But those nearly forgotten dreams of romance are awakened when the estate’s dashing owner, William Sterling, appears on the school’s doorstep after suffering a vicious roadside assault. Sterling’s less-than-sterling past has finally caught up to him, and his life, his happiness, and the future of Rosemere all depend on his willingness to adjust his moral compass and his ability to right past wrongs.
Having just returned from living for two years in England, and being intrigued by the historical concept of estates and the complex relationships between landlords and their tenants, I was anxious to read The Headmistress of Rosemere by Sarah E. Ladd. When I finished the last page and closed the novel, I felt nothing. No sense of having learned something, no disappointment that the story had ended, no anticipation for the next novel (this is Book Two in the Whispers on the Moors series). Nothing. It’s a very formulaic historical romance, and is as prim and proper as the setting dictates. I found the characters and their problems to be very predictable, and felt no urgency to turn the page to find out what happens next. In fact, I cruised through most of the book on autopilot, which is not the way I want to spend the precious little time I have for reading. I want to be completely absorbed, drawn in by the characters and the plot to the point that I have to physically shake myself back to reality when the oven timer dings.
This was by no means a terrible novel, and I don’t want to discredit Ms. Ladd’s efforts simply because the pieces did not come together for me. But this is not a book I can recommend. Normally when I finish a book, I personally find it a new home where a friend or family member will enjoy it as much as I. Unfortunately, The Headmistress of Rosemere does not rate that effort, and will be anonymously left on the shelf of my neighborhood’s leave one/take one library.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® (now BookLook Bloggers) book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.