A book for the heart. "A Bride Opens Shop_" has a cast of characters to adore, situations to inspire conflict and a love romance that will blossom in the heart of even the most reticent of participants.
Tildy. Oh. My. Goodness. What a little girl. She had me giggling by the first time I met her and sharing her witty tidbits with my family. Elenora is a very determined woman. Nothing is going to get in her way, especially Miles. Her drive at times got her into trouble, physically and emotionally. Watching her bloom was a pleasure and at times I thought moved too gradually, but read further into the novel and you'll see as I did that all was preparation for crafting her character.
Elenora and Miles are very proper young people with backstories rich in conflict. Each background played a strong role in the story and how they accepted each other in their romance.
Between Tildy, the romance and the feuding mercantiles, the story was kept lively and enjoyable with something always going to happen. The ending was absolutely charming. I loved it most of all and once you've watched these characters grow together, I have no doubt it will be your favorite part of the novel as well!
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author for my copy to review.
Perfect Summer Debut: A Bride Opens Shop in El Dor
July 3, 2012
It's not often that so many debut novels impress me but so far this year I've read a ton (probably a ton, literally!) that I loved and would highly recommend for any romance readers. This latest debut, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, is making my list of awesome first books and has earned its spot in my permanent library. Going into this book I knew that I'd probably enjoy it simply because I've really enjoyed all the "destination" romances that have been published by Barbour but this one is by far my favorite.
Elenora Watkins left her old life behind with the hopes of starting a new life for herself and her daughter, Tildy as a junior partner in Rutledge Mercantile of El Dorado, California. Miles Rutledge's new partner, E. F. Watkins, is not quite what he was expecting especially since she's a Elenora and not an Edward. Unwilling to return to her old life Elenora takes her meager savings and starts her own little shop across the street.
Never before has the lyric, "Anything you can do I can do better..," come to my mind while reading a romance but it certainly fit with this story. I absolutely loved the back and forth competition between Miles and Elenora concerning everything from their shops, their violin playing, to shooting a gun all while watching them grow closer together. I was a little worried about Miles at first since he admitted to being something of a dandy but as the story unfolded he began to remind me of a certain Austen hero (yeah, that Darcy fellow) we all know an love. He was a bit cold at first but boy does he warm up! As for Ellie she is the perfect heroine. She is probably the most stubborn woman that I've ever come across in a book but it's not off-putting at all. Sometimes hardheaded heroines definitely make for some serious eye roll moments in a book but not so with Ellie! She definitely does not give in easily and she goes for EVERYTHING with gusto.
Between Miles and Ellie alone I didn't want their story to end but throw in her precocious daughter, Matilida aka Tildy, and you definitely have a winner. Hopefully Tildy grows up and gets her own story. She is a bundle of energy and never quits gabbing so I think I'd like her to meet a man whose ears she can talk off. ;-)
A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, is a fine debut that was worth the wait. Keli Gwyn is a truly talented writer who has a knack for writing an engaging and fun story that's perfect to read on a sunny summer day. Bring on the next book Ms. Gwyn!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*