Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bethany House Book Review: 'Hatteras Girl' by Alice J. Wisler

Publisher's Book Description:
Jackie Donovan prays for two things: an honest, wonderful man to marry and to own a bed-and-breakfast on the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina. In the meantime, she works for Lighthouse Views, writing articles about local business owners, and intrepidly goes on the blind dates set up by her well-meaning but oh-so-clueless relatives.

There's one specific property Jackie dreams of purchasing: The Bailey House, a fabulous old home located right next to the ocean, a place where Jackie spent many happy childhood afternoons. But the Bailey House has strange stories and secrets surrounding it—not to mention its outrageous price tag.

When Jackie meets handsome Davis Erickson, who holds the key to the Bailey property, she believes God has answered both her prayers. But as Jackie learns some disturbing details about Davis's past, she begins to wonder if her heart has lead her astray. Will she risk her long-held dreams to find out the truth?

This book is set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Jackie Donovan has dreamed of owning the Bailey House Bed and Breakfast since she was a child and now, through a series of events, it looks as if her dream may finally come true. But, as Jackie learns, sometimes things aren't always what they seem.

This review is actually a little hard for me because there were a lot of things that I actually did like about the book. The problem is that what I didn't like was really distracting and frustrating for me. I thought this book was just okay. I didn't hate it, but I didn't really like it, either. Confusing? Let me explain.

I'll start with the things I did like. I like the charm and ease of the South that was very evident and very well written throughout the book. I liked the characters. They all had very unique personalities and you really felt like they cared about each other. They really were very well written. They also all have some quite unique names, although I found them to be a little distracting sometimes. I liked the message and the storyline of the book. To me, it was evident that the plot and the characters were really well thought out and that the author took great care in making them come to life in her book.I also think that Ms. Wisler did a good job at portraying emotion - particularly worry and confusion. I think that those are really hard sometimes to make your reader feel, so I appreciate when an author has the ability to do that.

Now for what I didn't like.This book was really anti-climatic for me. I kept finding myself 'waiting for the good part'. There was a constant sense that the plot was building, and it would either be a great confrontational scene or a really great I'm-in-love moment. It did neither until the last few pages of the book. So I had 300 or so pages of anticipation - and letdown - and a couple of pages at the very end that gave me a bit of satisfaction. I found that really frustrating. I kind of felt like I kept getting strung along by a proverbial carrot on a string. Sometimes in books - mostly suspense and mystery types - this is actually a very exciting plot strategy, but it just didn't work for me here.

I've read the reviews for the book on Amazon, and honestly, I'm in the minority when it comes to my opinion on this book. I have heard good things about Wisler's other books however, so I may give them a try in the future.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Bethany House Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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