6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Even with a Modern Update, Reprint Not Worth Effort,
This review is from: Thanksgiving Prayer: Thanksgiving Prayer\A Handful of Heaven (Harlequin Bestselling Author) (Mass Market Paperback)
Thanksgiving Prayer - 3 stars
The funny thing is that I think I have already read this story a long time ago. Since I honestly forgotten what happened, I did not mind re-reading it. After finishing, I realize why it wasn't memorable. Note: As you can guess, this is a reprint of her older work that was updated to our "modern times." (I'm sure they didn't have Bluetooth in the 1980's.)
Claudia Masters, who was born into wealth, offered to fill in for her roommate as a hotel maid. On this fateful day, she ran into the man who changed her life forever, Seth Lessinger. From the first moment they met, they hit off and after one week, Seth asked her to marry him. Because their romance was moving way too fast for comfort, Claudia reluctantly declined. But as she sought God's wisdom, she realized where she truly belong.
The ONLY thing that ruin, which would otherwise made this novel a 4-5 star, was the hero. What a jerk. There was not an ounce of redeeming quality and no character growth. Sure. He was a gentle giant, with a successful business. But when it came to dealing with his personal life, he was a mess and very immature for a man of 36 years. His constant bouts of angry, hurtful words, and the insistent pushing and pressuring the heroine to marry him really got on my nerves. "Why go to medical school? Marry me and have my children. I'll take care of you." After having this repeated over and over again, made me want to throw my hands in the air and wonder why bother with an insensitive caveman. He never took the time to listen. It was always me, me, me. Despite ensuring his devotion to the heroine, he went ahead and got himself engaged to another woman, while stringing the heroine along! On the other hand, I sincerely like the heroine. The decisions she made and the uncertainty she felt when faced with this dilemma were understandable. She sincerely liked him, but after only one week, was it really enough to move from everything you have known all your life? Her emotions and honesty were refreshing. She gain so much maturity and growth as obstacles were thrown repeatedly in her path to true love. Macomber always write a well-written story with each chapter clamoring for your attention. If it is not one thing, another problem would draw you back in. A great cast of supporting characters. No one added any extra strife and were a great support for the heroine.
A Handful of Heaven - 4 stars
After reading Amy and Heath's story a while ago, I have always wondered what ever happened to Amy's older sister, Paige. Now, I finally got my chance with this added bonus story.
A slight from the norm: the main characters were in their late-30s to early-40's and were both suffering from empty nest syndrome. With both still living with the memories of the disastrous marriages, neither thought much of marrying ever again. But after knowing each for years, something change. It wasn't really explained too clearly exactly what changed and why Evan Thornton decided that he wanted to date again. Other than that, the hero was an amazing lead. This was the main reason this story was sooo much better than Macomber's tale. He had the guts to move forward and was willing to risk embarrassment by making the first move. And throughout the story, Evan continued his campaign to show he was a true, noble, old-fashioned type of man. He did it perfectly. Not too pushy with a nice touch of romance. However, the heroine was the opposite in attitude, which can be off-putting at times. A need to strangle some sense into Paige came at regular intervals but her uncertainty was the crux of the plot. So without her hesitation, I guess there wouldn't be a story. But it made the plot repetitive. Each chapter had her first accidentally hurting Evan's feeling, then going out a date, and then pushing him away because she realized that men leave her all the time. This repeated in some fashion almost every chapter. However in the end, they were perfect complements to each other.
The writing was done well. Even though this was a McKaslin story, the hero took up much of the plot and his character development was the main focus. Paige was slightly short-shrift in this department. All the way up the end, for her to change her mind so suddenly, it didn't jibe with me. Great cast of returning characters who helped and made the story fun as they helped these two get together, without being too intrusive. If you like Jillian Hart's works from before, you will surely like this one. Do you need to read her previous books to understand? It would really help, but not necessary.
Is this a book you should purchase this minute? Overall, I say no. Even for Macomber fans', this updated reprint will not be worth re-reading and keeping. And for Jillian Hart fans', you can easily purchase her book by itself for much cheaper. If you like sweet, drama, gentle romances, this is for you. If you are expecting passion-filled nights, think again. All in all, not worth the time.