Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Flirtation Walk {by Siri Mitchell}

I don't quite know how to review this book.  I'm in, as it were, a bit of a pickle.


First, the back cover's synopsis:

Lucinda Pennyworth, the daughter of a con man, is trying her best to leave her father's sordid past behind her.  When he dies unexpectedly, she takes the opportunity to move to West Point to live with her aunt, ready to take on a new life and determined to marry a respectable man, a West Point cadet, to impress her relatives. 

Seth Westcott, a cadet at the academy, is proud to be at the top of his senior class.  But when his mother dies and his sister loses their inheritance to a swindler, Seth wants nothing more than to head west to track down the con man.  But the army will only send the cadets at the bottom of the class to the frontier…which leaves Seth with some tough choices. 

When a woman trying her best to be good meets a man determined to be anything but, can there be hope for love, or will two lonely hearts be condemned to casual flirtation?

"Here's the deal with the deal":  this book is good.  Indeed, for a CFR, it was very good.  The characters are well-drawn, and the romance is actually fantastic.  Lucinda and Seth take an immediate liking to each other, so we're spared the often overdone cliche of girl-hates-guy-but-totes-admires-his-abs and guy-is-irritated-by-girl-but-enthralled-with-her-eyes.  (That's not to say that Seth doesn't instantly think Lucinda is beautiful, because he does.  But that's mentioned a couple times and then Ms. Mitchell moves on.)  These two become close friends quickly, BUT they also actually have lives.  Apart from their romantic interest in each other, they have other concerns.  The romance is rather understated for quite a while, actually, and it's a tremendous breath of fresh air.  

So…why didn't I like it more than I did?


The answer to that question, my dear darling readers, is I simply don't know.  Perhaps it was because I read it coming off of a CFR-high initiated by reading the first two books in the Heart of India trilogy and the first Love Comes Softly book.  (Have we talked about the HoI trilogy?  HEAVENS ABOVE.)

It just didn't do much of anything for me.  I haven't the faintest idea why, as I love the time period, the setting, and the characters.  The writing was even good.  (Look at me, oozing condescension over here.)  I truly don't know why I was bored during the first half of the book.  I just wasn't connecting with it, I suppose.  

But anyway, enough about my personal experience with the story.  Other than a few grammatical errors which were rather distracting, I feel I should mention the switch in POV.  Each chapter alternated between Lucinda and Seth, and I don't know how I feel about that.  I personally don't really care for changing viewpoints in books as a general rule, but that's a personal preference, I'm sure.  Overall, it was neat being so thoroughly immersed in both of the protagonists' worlds, and it added a slight element of "cliffhanging" in certain chapters. 

The characters, as I've mentioned more than once, really are wonderful.  I lurve Seth's circle of friends, and I like Lucinda's relatives.  I loved the parts when Deke, Dandy and Seth were contributing advice to Otter's letters to his mother, and I loved the way Ms. Mitchell delved into the psychological and social impacts of life as a West Point cadet.  She took her story to different levels, and I really appreciate that.  


ALSO.  THAT ENDING.  That ending left me with such a big smile on my face.  It was just so cuuuuuuuuuuuute :D  

All in all, I highly approve.  The more I think back on it, the more I find to admire about it.  I suppose it was just an inopportune time for me to be reading it, and that's why I didn't enjoy it more in the moment.  However that may be, it's well-written, humorous, touching, and for the most part a keeper :)





12 comments:

  1. Lovely review, Olivia! I am reading one of those books that I can't really get into right now either. It is also a CFR and I am almost half way through, but it has taken me a bit of time to get there. It is called, The Brick Maker's Bride, and I don't know why it has taken me so long. Anyways, I feel yah! :)

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    1. Thanks, Morgan! So glad you know what I mean; sometimes, even if it's technically good, a CFR can be blehh. I think one just has to be in the right mood for a CFR, y'know?

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  2. This one is on my list of books to read at some point and I've heard both good and bad reviews for it. It's almost a shame the story isn't about her con artist father, since I'm quite fascinated by them, but you don't usually find con artists in Christian fiction, more's the pity. ;)

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    1. Carissa, you've got a point! They are rather interesting characters, aren't they? We do get to hear quite a bit about him in the story, but it certainly isn't centered on him. Frankly, I found the bits about him rather irritating/boring, but that's just me ;-P

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  3. Yay! I was waiting for thy review.

    It's a confusing way to feel about a book, but you know what? I UNDERSTAND. I've felt this way over so many books before -- like, I know it's a good book, and I should be liking it a lot, but for some reason I don't. I didn't have that problem with this one, however -- it came along right when I needed something light and rollicking and fun, and I enjoyed it immensely. :-) Especially Seth and his buddies. They are all my darlings.

    I love what you said about the romance -- they start out as friends, which is awesome, and it's not based solely on physical attraction. That is SUCH a relief. I was pleased that the author never really said Seth was particularly handsome, because it didn't matter. And I was pleased that Lucinda's beauty was not the only reason Seth wanted her. All in all, I liked these two a whole lot.

    Awesome review!! I think it's cool when we read and review the same books. ;-)

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    1. Haha! Ain't that a coincidence; I was waiting for thy comment :D

      Exactly! I'm very glad it came at the right time for you, though--isn't it fantastic when that happens? I knooooow--Seth and the other Immortals are just precious.

      Wasn't the romance great?! I know, I loved how Lucinda replied that Seth was handsome "in a quieter way" than Campbell Conklin when Phoebe asked her.

      Thanks, girl! Yeah, so do I :)

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  4. SO happy to hear that it's not one of those "guy-hates-girl-and-girl-hates-guy" romances . . . you know that's one of my biggest pet peeves :-) Cause, like, WHYYYYYYYYY???? If they hate each other, what's the point? And if they don't really hate each other, then WHY DO THEY PRETEND THAT THEY DOOOOOOOOOOOO??????

    Ahem.

    I think that just happens sometimes . . . you feel like you OUGHT to like the book, but it's just not clicking with you for some unknown reason. You never know; maybe you'll enjoy it more on a later re-read :-)

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    1. Hahaha…I knew you'd appreciate that ;) I like it sometimes, but I think it's way too overdone in CFR.

      Yep, I think that's it. Hindsight is making me appreciate it a lot more than I did when reading it :)

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  5. This sounds like a good book to read. And I understand how you feel about a book you don't know what to feel about, but as your think about it, you start to love it more and more once you read the whole entire book. I get that way sometimes about the books I've read

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    1. It was pretty good, Brittany! Mm-hmm, that's just about the size of it. Maybe I'll reread it one of these days :)

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  6. It's really interesting to hear both yours and Emma's opinion. I think it still sounds interesting to read, although I will make sure I feel like it, when I go to read it. ;D
    Oh, and the picture with the lady in the huge hoop skirt. O_O She wouldn't be able to fit through the door even if she did turn sideways!
    ~Miss Meg

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    1. Haha, sounds like a plan, Miss Meg ;D

      I KNOW RIGHT.

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