Secrets, Lies and Deception
Amazon DescriptionWhen her father's debts, brought on by heavy drinking, threaten Leah Carlson's family ranch, she fights to save it. When handsome banker Steven Harding must decline her loan request, he determines to do what he can to help. Just as he arrives to serve as a much-needed ranch hand, Leah's family secrets—and the pain of her past—come to a head. They could destroy everything she's fought for. And they could keep her from ever opening her heart again.
This is western historical romance that offers hope and healing to the deepest wounds in a woman's past.
Based on the beginning, I thought Dreaming on Daisies was going to be a standard historical romance. While the first half of the novel certainly focused on the attraction and developing relationship between rancher’s daughter Leah Carlson and banker Steven Harding, the second half almost ignored that relationship and instead focused on Leah’s relationship with her drunken stepfather, dead mother and wayward brother.
The Carlson/Pape family had a lot of issues, which had left Leah feeling as though everyone she ever loved abandoned her—and that if she fell for Steven, he’d abandon her as well. There were some strong Christian themes of the dangers of pride and the need to offer forgiveness. These were addressed well, but I couldn’t help feeling the plot was being driven by the need to demonstrate these themes. This was particularly the case with the character of Charlie Pape, whose personal journey detracted from what the romance plot.
I also didn’t like the fact that so much of the plot was centred around secrets, lies and deception. Leah was the victim in most of these secrets and lies, and it seemed her personal journey to deal with the lies she’d been told was the most important factor in the plot. I’m not saying it shouldn’t have been important, but not at the expense of the romantic relationship. This resurfaced out of nowhere towards the end and seemed a little too convenient, because it hadn’t been threaded throughout.
Having said all that, Dreaming on Daisies was a solid read. I’d probably get more out of it if I read it a second time, but it didn’t interest me enough (and there are dozens of books on my to-read list which interest me more!)
Thanks to David C Cook and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.