Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Caelen's Wife (Book 1) by Suzan Tisdale


This is book one of a three part novel. The review for Books 2 & 3 can be found here.  

Rumor has it the water on Clan McPherson lands is magical…. 

Clan McPherson has known peace amongst their neighboring clans for more than one hundred years. That peace is threatened when Fiona McPherson is made chief after the death of her husband. 
Known more for her fighting skills than her beauty, Fiona refuses the multiple proposals of marriage that begin to seemingly arise from nowhere. She may be the chief of her clan, but she’s still a woman. It isn’t Fiona they want, but her land and she’s willing to fight to the death to keep it. 

Rumor has it Caelen McDunnah has lost his mind… 

Called McDunnah, the chief of Clan McDunnah, has no desire to remarry. He’s perfectly content to still mourn the loss of his first wife and babe, even if it has been sixteen years. Until he meets the beautiful and feisty Fiona McPherson. 
Known to start a fight out of sheer boredom or madness — no one is ever truly sure which — Caelen suddenly finds himself in the middle of battles he has no desire to fight, but fight them he will if it means he can have Fiona McPherson as his own. 

There is always a wee bit of truth in every rumor.

Review by Donna Hechler Porter:

It really pains me to write this review. I have even put it off for days.

I simply love Suzan Tisdale. I have reviewed every book she has written. (You can find reviews previous to my posting them here at Roses and Thorns Reviews at my website.) She has grown in leaps and bounds as a writer from her first book, Laiden’s Daughter, to her latest book, Caelen’s Wife, A Murmur of Providence. Her previous book, Frederick’s Queen, is at the top of my all-time favorite list.

The author tried something different with Caelen’s Wife. In an effort to create shorter books she decided to publish this book in three installments. In an ever changing publishing world, we all have to take risks now and then. In this case, it did not pay off.

Caelen’s Wife did not grab my attention as quickly as some of her previous books, but I have a lot going on right now and I am not certain anything would have grabbed it too quickly. It is well written. The plot is tight and moves along. The characters of Fiona and Caelen are well drawn, as all Tisdales’ characters generally are. As it rolls along, it begins to pick up.

Unfortunately, it picks up and then it is at its end.

And I have to wait until February to read the second part.

One of the biggest reason readers read is to get a payoff at the end of a book and a resolution, hopefully a “happily ever after.” This is sort of an “unwritten contract” readers and writers engage in. To not make good on that contract is a violation of the trust between author and reader. This book did not deliver on that unspoken contract. (I am not speaking here of trilogies with clearly solved problems at the end and hints of new ones to come in the next book.)

Now, I knew going into it there would be three books. (Tisdale did a great job letting everyone know this was what she was doing.) I did not realize, though, that it would literally cut me off at the knees just when the story started rolling.

I admit, I was frustrated. By the time I get to the second and then third book, I will have lost my momentum and my connection with the characters. While that is sometimes the case with a trilogy, they SHOULD be constructed in such a way as to weave the past books into the present to catch the reader up. This book is not being written that way. 

I love Suzan. She is one of the finest people you will meet. She can weave a story like few others I know, and she genuinely cares about pleasing her readers and giving them an enjoyable book. Caelen’s Wife is written in typical Tisdale style, complete with a hunky Scotsman, a woman who needs her hunk but doesn’t know it (or refuses to admit it), an unknown enemy, and all the tartan, sheep, claddaghs, and sgian-dubhs you could ask for. However, I have to recommend to readers that you simply wait until all three books are out so you can read them in succession.

Three 1/2 roses, the only flaw being I have to wait for the next one, but that's a biggie . . . 

Length:  210 pages

Digital Price:  $2.99

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Thanks for visiting - Rose, Julie, Donna and Rochelle 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Donna, for so eloquently defining what's wrong with cliff-hanger endings in book series. They are among my pet peeves.