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The Last Honest Seamstress Paperback – August 4, 2012
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About the Author
Gina Robinson lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children. She loves humor, romance, suspense, and spies. Not necessarily in that order. She writes contemporary romance, humorous thrillers, his-torical romance and women's fiction. Most days she writes while wearing slippers, flip-flops, or tennis shoes, depending on the season. But she loves a great, sexy heel and has a closet full for special occasions. She belongs to Romance Writers of America and In-ternational Thriller Writers. To find out more about Gina, visit her website at www.ginarobinson.com
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Set in historic 1889 Seattle, Washington, the story begins with the main character Fayth Sheridan meeting a younger girl in prison. Fayth's been mistaken for a harlot and rounded up with the other "seamstresses," a title that prostitutes use for cover in the city.
However, Fayth is a real seamstress and has trouble running her dress shop as the last honest seamstress in Seattle. Unable to buy the property she needs to keep her shop, Fayth takes up the desperate idea of marrying the right man in town to acquire a business partner and collateral.
At first read, I thought Fayth and Con O'Neill made a cute couple. Con is a sea captain who's had his eye on the little seamstress for some time. Fayth, on the other hand, is strictly looking for a husband to better her business and decides that the captain is the best choice in town.
Of course, every romance needs some tension, and Fayth and Con don't see eye to eye at first. But at the risk of losing the woman he loves to another man in town, Con agrees to marrying Fayth. At this point, I thought this story was really going to pick up. It didn't.
From the prologue to Fayth's date with Mr. Toad and then her meeting with Con and the subsequent long, drawn out financial problems Fayth has in town, personally, I thought the story could have been summed up in far fewer chapters. Describing Fayth's day to day work, her doubts about the captain, and the captain's similar doubts about her makes the story seem too much like real life. Sadly, it's rather dull.
You can call it a pet peeve of mine but reading questions on nearly every page got on my nerves. Does Con need to question everything? Do I need to know Fayth's every doubt? Do you find too many questions unnerving?
The numerous questions were one of the reasons I struggled to read to the end. I can understand the occasional question adds tension but the overuse can also seem condescending to the reader. With all the questions, I kept wondering why these characters didn't know answers to the obvious.
The only reason I finished this book was because I took stock in the characters and, to be honest, I wanted to find out when Con and Fayth would see some action. That brings me to my next point, the awkward sex. Do I really want to go there? Let's not question this.
I'll just say that the sex scenes in this romance weren't your average ilk. There were only a few intimate moments. A kiss on the captain's ship, a brief scene in the captain's quarters, which I have to admit was pretty nice until it was interrupted. Then there's the big finale towards the end and, boy, is it unusual.
I have never ever heard of a comparison between intercourse and the workings of a sewing machine, of needles and such going in and out. I'll spare you the details. Simply, the awkward analogy just destroyed the moment.
While I liked the characters, I have to say I was disappointed by the repetitious questions, the length of the story, and the dull goings on. The Last Honest Seamstress can be an enjoyable read depending on your personal preference but, in my case, I can't say I recommend it.
Fayth Sheridan is a legitimate Seattle seamstress who owns her own shop located on the dividing line of an iffy part of town. Unfortunately, her legitimate job description is also the alibi used by prostitutes of the day. She moved west after her cheating fiance' dumped her and all but ruined her reputation. To say she guards her heart would be an understatement.
Captain Con O'Neill owns and operates his schooner from his own pier, transporting goods to other cities up and down the coast. As a confirmed bachelor, Con has availed himself of Fayth's shirt making skills for awhile, but his blooming interest in Fayth has him thinking of getting to know her better.
On the surface it would seem that these two would be perfect together, but each struggles with emotional and personal baggage that will make for a very turbulent sea as they try to find safe harbor in each others arms.
This is a pretty clean read with only a sight amount of intimacy that is very tasteful.
"'But how could she turn down these lonely men? The handsome, arrogant ones were easy, but men like Mr. Hoage elicited her sympathy. They looked so eager and pleading...and so dejected when she turned them down...One evening was a small sacrifice to make them happy. But only one."
I like a well-made arrogant character but with an inner monologue like this, one is tempted to think that the reason this character is having such a hard time with her service-oriented business is because she is horrible and annoying. Maybe this scene was meant to establish a character flaw that is supposed to be challenged and flipped over the course of the story but I doubt it. Her uncharming cousin showed up so I threw in the towel.