Is there a second chance at love?

Renn Shearin

3 Stars

September 25, 2012

Love lost doesn’t mean love lost forever.

Can unexpected romance deliver a second chance for two deserving widows?

Full of resolve, young widow Willow Peterson decides to pursue her dreams to be an artist as she settles into a new life in the growing mountain town of Cripple Creek. When she lands a job working as a portrait painter with handsome entrepreneur and photographer Trenton Van Der Veer, the road before Willow seems to be taking a better-than-anticipated turn.

With questions tugging at several hearts in town, including the Sinclair Sisters’ beloved Miss Hattie, change is traveling down the tracks as several unexpected visitors make their way out West. Will the new arrivals threaten the deep family bonds of the Sinclair sisters and the roots of love that are just taking hold for Willow?

Filled with the resonating questions that all women face, this romance awakens hope against grief, love against loss, and dreams against life’s unexpected turns.

Twice a Bride by Mona Hodgson is the fourth novel in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series, and this novel explores the lives of the Sinclair sisters' beloved Miss Hattie and sister-in-law Willow Peterson. The novel picked up about a year after the third novel, The Bride Wore Blue. The plot line of Twice a Bride is similar to the rest of the series and for me seemed rather predictable. There were several of unexpected events that did occur that added suspense to the story. Another positive aspect of the story was the the courage and faith that the Sinclair sisters displayed as their friends and relatives were struggling in different areas of their lives. I did enjoy seeing how the characters all worked together and helped bear one another's burdens. Overall, I was not really taken in by the storyline, and I thought that the plot did not flow well nor did the speed at which events moved in the story seem very realistic.

The characters of Twice a Bride were also hard to connect with and follow in the story. The character development seemed very limited, and I felt separated and disconnected from the characters. Even when the reader was allowed to glimpse Willow's thoughts, I had trouble sympathizing or identifying with her struggles because there was little development of her character. The man that Willow begins to fall in love with has even less character development, which works out alright because it adds to his mysterious background, but it makes it hard to experience his feelings and thoughts. While I was not pulled in my Willow's love story, Miss Hattie's love story was more of a surprise for me, and I did enjoy seeing her growth. I felt the most connection with her, and I had more background on her struggles and character from the previous novels. I wish the romance between Miss Hattie and her man (not to give it away!) had been more prolonged; I felt like that the couple had little time to understand each other and made their romance seem contrived and unrealistic.

Overall, while I enjoyed Twice a Bride as a quick, easy read, I was somewhat disappointed by the story line and the lack of development in the characters.

I received this novel for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Press in exchange for an honest review.