Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Caelen's Wife (Books 2 & 3) by Suzan Tisdale

Blurb for Book 1: A Murmur of Providence is found here along with the review and the cover. 

Blurb for Book 2: A Whisper of Fate

Will Clan McPherson ever know peace again? 

Long ago, Fiona McPherson made a sacred vow to never let her clan fall or be absorbed into another. Honor will not allow her to break her oath. Devastated she leaves Caelen McDunnah heartbroken on the stairs of his keep — turning away from the only man she has ever truly loved. Still, she is determined to prove that Caelen is not behind the attacks. 
Will Caelen McDunnah’s heart ever know peace again? 

Wrongly accused, Caelen enlists the help of Angus McKenna, chief of the Clan MacDougall. Spies are sent far and wide to help uncover the truth. Undeterred by Fiona’s belief that they can never be together, Caelen must find a way to make Fiona his wife.
Will Fiona choose her clan over Caelen?

Blurb for Book 3: A Breath of Promise

The saga of Caelen's Wife concludes with A Breath of Promise. 

Determined to make Fiona McPherson his wife, Caelen McDunnah is perfectly willing to set aside his own chiefdom in order to marry her. Is Fiona willing to make the same sacrifice? 
War is deadly. War is brutal. 

When Fiona's brother, William, is kidnapped, the identity of the person responsible for the murders of three innocent people is finally revealed. Clans McPherson and McDunnah must join together to fight against a madman motivated solely by avarice.  

An epic tale of love conquering hatred, honor defeating greed, and finding a breath of promise even in your darkest hour.

Donna's Review

First, let me say that a month had elapsed between the reading of the first book, A Murmur of Providence, and the reading of the last two books in this novel. This series is NOT a trilogy in the formal sense of the word. Let me say that up front. This may account for the disjointedness I felt in reading from the first book to the second, but it does not account for all of it. 

Readers will know I am a huge fan of Suzan Tisdale. Her book, Frederick’s Queen, which review you can read here, ranks as one of my all-time favorite books, up there with the likes of Victoria Holt and Catherine Cookson.

To be honest, Caelen’s Wife does not measure up to Frederick’s Queen, but granted, that is a tall order. And of all Tisdale’s book, this was near the bottom in my personal ranking. (And there are plenty of others to like if you have not read them.)

Part of the charm of any book is the high stakes “game” that the hero and heroine engage in, both externally and internally. I never got the sense the stakes were high enough for Caelen or Fiona.  I do not think it was because of the month long hiatus between the first and second books. I just don’t think they were that high. The result is an enjoyable read, but not a super fantastic ride like other Tisdale books.

Caelen’s Wife also seemed to lack the rich details of the setting that I enjoyed in Frederick’s Queen. With that book the author turned a corner between a good story to a great one by the use of  imagery and details that pulled me into the story and made me feel as if I was in Scotland. I did not feel I was there in this one.

However, it is not fair to judge a book by an author’s previous ones. And to be honest, the pulling together of a “great” book is an organic, living sort of experience even for seasoned authors. It oftentimes happens without the author even trying to do so, sort of a perfect mix between believable characters with high enough stakes both internally and externally that their life will truly not be the same if they do not achieve what they are after. Even great authors have only one or two works that top all their others.

And you know me, whether I like a book or not I try to determine the "why" of it as far as story structure and content. Don't get me wrong, Caelen’s Wife is an enjoyable read. The plot moves along at a reasonable pace. The characters of Caelen and Fiona jump from the page as they struggle against themselves as well as unseen forces determined to pit them against each other and later to tear them apart. The prose is easily readable.

However, there was just nothing particularly special about it that drew my attention. Caelen’s not wanting to love because of losing his first wife has already been done (even in one of Tisdale’s previous books). Fiona’s belief she is barren and the subsequent result has already been done by other authors. While their lives were difficult, and Fiona loses people close to her, that has already been done. I just did not see anything particularly original.

But fans of Tisdale will still want to read this book, especially now that all three parts are available to readers.  Three and a half roses for this one. 

Length:  both books are 137 pages; the series is a total of 347 pages
Print:  $ 7.99 each
Digital:  $0.99 for Book 2; $2.99 for Book 3
Buy Link:  

Book 2:

Book 3:

Thanks for visiting - Rose, Julie, Donna, & Rochelle

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