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Chasing Clovers Paperback – November 5, 2011
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About the Author
Kat Flannery has loved writing ever since she was a girl. She is often seen jotting her ideas down in a little black book. When not writing or in school, she enjoys snuggling on her couch with a hot chocolate and a great book. Kat has had her writing published in numerous periodicals. She is now hard at work on the next novel. When not focusing on her creative passions, she is busy with her three boys and doting husband. www.katscratch.blogspot.com www.katflannery-author.com
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The fairy tale element is quickly countered by the strong-willed natures of both players. She has lost a loved one, and his wife died and left him with two young children, a seven-year-old boy (Ben) and a much younger girl (Emma). Besides hurt and resentment, she is coy about her past. While not a harlot, she conceals (among other things) her livelihood in Montana. In the background, the good, the bad, and the truly ugly are in their midst in John's farm staff.
There's much to admire in Flannery's writing and novel. Putting all the elements of historical placement, descriptions of nature, and mostly natural and believable dialogue, Kat makes us care about her characters and their development. 'Chasing Clovers' is eventful enough and paces the plot points judiciously as well. Perhaps the villains aren't as well-rounded as say what you'd find in a Steinbeck novel or in 'Oklahoma!,' but the main elements are solidly in place.
There are a couple of drawbacks to reading 'Chasing Clovers'. First of all, there is too much repetition. While one understands that emotions like grief and resentment are prevalent in the consciousness of characters and real people alike, the sentiments are repeated so often, they stop being revelations of obsessions and anguish. Secondly, there are a few gaps of credibility. During key times of danger, John goes for a ride on his horse Midnight. Surely there are people watching the fort while he's gone, but it comes off as a convenient plot device and/or leads one to question his judgment. Besides his other flaws, maybe he really is a louse--or just an idiot.
One can't be too critical of the book as a whole. I started to read some other free romances for Amazon's Kindle, and I didn't get far. Some romances are erotic passages with splashes of narrative and story. Here Kat Flannery's novel is just the opposite. It is a romantic, historical, redemptive story with [mildly] erotic elements. (In THAT order.) Don't expect 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Bronte' or a Jane Austin novel (as alluded to in the book), but this literary journey is certainly rewarding enough.
This is the first romance I've read in three decades, since I was assigned 'Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded' by Samuel Richardson, the English language's first epistolary novel, during college. I'll take this short trek over the excruciatingly scrupulous path of the aforementioned classic. Let's just hope that if Hollywood gets a hold of this book, they'll at least do better than they did for 'Straight From the Heart'.
There are a couple errors in the book but I never know if this is the author's fault, the editor, or something that occurs in becoming an e-book.
John doesn't plan to ever love another woman after his first wife dies, but his two little children need a mother, so he advertises for a wife. He has a huge ranch and a large, white, framed house. Livy is not the type of woman he expected. She's pretty but feisty and riddled with a sadness he doesn't understand.
Boyd watches the woman he knew as Angel from afar. He remembered her struggling against his body as he took her against her will. That's how he liked his women. He knows if he bides his time he'll have his chance again, and he can hardly wait.
This story was interesting, although John was too arrogant, macho, and alpha for my tastes. Livy lies about her past, which sets the stage for more problems. There were few mistakes, but "Northwest" is usually a compound word and not "North West." Anyone who believes in God and the Bible, like John, should have been able to tell Livy death came from Adam and Eve's fall, but he couldn't. The big problem with the novel, however, was all the cursing. It was saturated with profanity. There was an average of two or three on every small, kindle, large-print page. They were so over-used they became a distraction. I would have liked the book more without them.