Amanda Cabot certainly knows how to weave an incredible story. When I read her first book, Paper Roses, last year, I completely fell in love with her writing. The way she created the most beautiful love story between Sarah and Clay was so romantic, it gave me goose bumps. Because of that, it was a no-brainer that I would eventually read her second novel, Scattered Petals.
While I recommend that any series of books be read in order, Scattered Petals was a book that was easily read as a stand-alone novel. It shared the story of Priscilla, the sister-in-law of Clay, and Zach, a member of the local town and a friend to Clay and Sarah. Priscilla and her parents were on their way to share in the joy of Clay and Sarah's upcoming wedding when their stagecoach was attacked. In a matter of minutes, Priscilla watched as her parents were shot, and experienced the subsequent act of being raped. From that point on, she didn't want anything to do with men, regardless of their good intentions.
Meanwhile, Zach had a host of memories that he would rather forget. He made a stupid mistake in his teenage years, and he's never been able to forgive himself for it. When he met Priscilla, he thought there was no way in the world she would ever give him a second look...until circumstances forced them to make some crucial decisions about one another.
Being that it's been a year or so since I read book one, I struggled a little bit with remembering some of the characters in this story. Yes, the introduction of Priscilla and Zach was easy to follow as their story stood alone, but it was the other townsfolk that I had some trouble with. The town was settled by both German and French immigrants, and even after a few years of living amongst each other, there were prejudices that still existed. It wasn't until I was almost half-way through the book that I was able to better follow the story, and understand the direction it was heading.
There's one other thing that bothered me. I believe I noticed this in Paper Roses, but it wasn't as obvious as it was in Scattered Petals. Occasionally, there were sections of the story that appeared to be lumped together. For example, a character would mention an activity that they wanted to do that evening, and that event would appear in the very next paragraph. There was no break in the page. I really didn't understand the reasoning for this as all the chapters in the book were very long; a break here or there would have been very helpful.
In my opinion, Paper Roses was a book worthy of 5 whopping stars, but I can only give 4 stars to Scattered Petals. I feel bad that I am comparing these books against each other because I like to judge each book I read on it's own merits. I was literally glued to the pages of Paper Roses, but I didn't have that same urgency to find out what would happen in Scattered Petals. In spite of that, I am anxious to see how the series wraps up in book 3, Tomorrow's Garden, releasing in April 2011.
I enjoyed this book. It was as good as the first. Can't wait for the next one. Pick this book up and get lost in the adventures of a city girl and her cowboy. Amanda Cabot is a great storyteller. Great Read!
Prairie romance meets edgy Christian fiction in Scattered Petals, book 2 in Amanda Cabots Texas Dreams series. The story starts out with a shocker, and I was impressed with the way Ms. Cabot handled it. There was a time when Christian fiction never dealt with such harsh themes as rape, but I for one am happy that the venue has gotten more real, while at the same time handling it with delicacy. It reminds me of the way old movies handled violence and sex. We could understand what was happening without being exposed to imagery that would be stuck in our heads forever. I enjoyed the book. I thought the characters had depth, and there were good twists and subplots to the story. Ms. Cabot has definitely created a community worth following in this series. Three and half stars!