Lisa reviewed this book for the RITA® Reader Challenge, and unfortunately found it to be a difficult review to write in some respects.
The idyllic little town Cheyenne Rhodes has chosen for her fresh start is almost too welcoming. After all, she’s come here to hide from her past—not to make new friends.
But single dad Trace Bowman isn’t about to let Cheyenne hide away her heart. He can’t ignore the special way she has with his daughter, Zoey—or how she’s reminded him of the power of real love. Now he needs to convince Cheyenne that Redemption is more than a place to hide—it’s also a way to be found….
NB: I think we need to start keeping track of all these unbelievably cute and eerie small town names for posterity’s sake. They’re like plot moppets (™RedHeadedGirl) only town names. In fact, I bet Prosperity is the name of a town in a romance somewhere! Anyway.
Here is Lisa’s review:
(Reviewer’s Note: I am going to say up front that I am not the target audience for this book, but I hadn’t ever read an “inspirational romance” before, and figured this was a good opportunity. Accordingly, I will stick to my opinions of the literary aspects of the book.)
I find that it’s the most difficult to review a book that is only so-so—and unfortunately that is what I find with this book. The romance felt almost like an afterthought, and was not particularly satisfying. The characters were likeable enough, but nothing outstanding. Goodnight falls prey to an all-too-common problem in romance: Cheyenne has no real faults other than situational ones. This prevented me from caring much about her relationship with Trace. The townspeople while well-meaning are pretty one-dimensional, and so aggressive with “fixing” Cheyenne that it became rather creepy.
The thing I thought the book did best was to address, fairly bluntly, domestic violence and sexual assault. A survivor of sexual assault, Cheyenne becomes an advocate for other women suffering domestic violence by the end of the book. The times the author dealt with this issue were the most moving and genuine of the entire text.
By far, the strongest feeling I had about this book was irritation—in several instances the author uses sloppy diction (use of the word “irony” when in fact the situation was “apt,”) and displays a verbal tic that really pushes my buttons: use of the German separable prefix “über-“ outside of the German language by a character who is neither a) German, b) a teenager, or c) a teenager in German class.
Overall, I would say that this book was distinctly average—I’m not sorry to have read it, but I have no desire to seek out anything else by the author. I am not left with a lasting impression of the story, but rather a lingering wisp of irritation brought on by the author’s style.
Final Grade: C. An average grade for an average book.