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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride by Sarah J. McNeal

Title: Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride

Author: Sarah J. McNeal

Publisher: Western Trail Blazer

Buy Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride here

Rating: You Gotta Read

Reviewer: Val


Blurb
Joseph Wilding left his prosperous Virginia ranch and his grieving father to live in obscurity and guilt over his brother’s death until he marries Lola instead of Callie McGraw, the woman he abhors but whose life he was attempting to save.
Lola discovers a warp in time in an old trunk when she falls into 1910.  She finds herself married to Joe, a stranger shadowed by secrets.  Mistaken for Callie McGraw, a thief and a woman of ill repute, Lola finds her life is threatened by a scoundrel who believes she stole his money and only Joe stands between her and death.

With danger threatening all around and secrets keeping them apart, can Joe and Lola find their destiny together or will time and circumstance forever divide them?

Review
I often sit here and think how I would handle living in a different time period. When Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride fell into my hands, I instantly fell in love with the book. I was able to take a trip through time which I will remember for a long time to come. As with any time travel book, I usually always ask myself if something from the past could hinder something in future. I feel as though I need to pay close attention and try to keep up with what is about to happen. This book was the polar opposite for me. I was so engrossed in the book, I didn't have think about what may happen, I simply sat back and let this book sweep me away.

Lola is a feisty woman who is hell bent on proving to herself and others that she will not end up like her mother. As an independent woman living in the 21st century, Lola has goals to become a lawyer so people will look up to her and is finally on her way to making her dreams come true. Joe lives in the 20th century, faces turmoil of his own and feels as though he needs to live a solitary life. Now imagine how you would react to being transported from the 21st to the 20th century without an inkling of how it happened. On top of that, you find yourself in the middle of your own marriage to a man you don't even know. This is exactly what happened to Lola. From the moment Lola and Joe lay eyes on one another the sparks fly in more ways than one. Each is drawn to the other but at the same time are exasperated with one another. Their relationship throughout the book is enchanting, humorous, spicy and genuine. These two really touched my heart.

Solid secondary characters like Banjo (a young man who has been on his own since he was about ten) and Argos (Joe's faithful canine) really brought a strong familial feel to the book. Each played an important part as a protector who would lay down their lives for those they held close.

Ms. McNeal is a new author to me and I found Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride to be a deeply sensual yet very touching read. I instantly fell in love with the writing style and I just have to say Ms. McNeal has a gift of writing with great humor, witty dialogue and superb imagery.

This book has become a new favorite of mine and I know you will fall in love with it as well. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves time travel, suspense, romance and steamy love scenes. You don't want to miss this book.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Sarah and Val,
    A fantastic review. I can tell from her descriptions that Val really GOT this book and dove right in head first.
    Congrats Sarah on a well-developed story which I found to be highly entertaining.

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  2. Val, thank you for one of the best reviews I've ever received. I saw this review this morning and I have to say it lifted my heart.
    Thank you so much for understanding the depth of the characters. I fell into writer's block right in the middle of writing this story and it was a struggle to write it. For it to receive such a wonderful review after all that brings the sunshine into my world. Thank you.

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  3. Rebecca, thank you for your kindness and for taking Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride and helping me bring it into the light of day.

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  4. If you had writer's block in the middle, you sure found your way out! The plot line got that much more juicy as the story progressed!

    Val

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  5. Wonderful review - major congrats! :)

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