Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review: Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper by Kathleen Y'Barbo

Today I have another review for you, this time it's The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper by Kathleen Y'Barbo. This is the first book in her "Women of the West" series.

The future is clearly mapped out for New York socialite Eugenia “Gennie” Cooper, but she secretly longs to slip into the boots of her favorite dime-novel heroine and experience just one adventure before settling down. When the opportunity arises, Gennie jumps at the chance to experience the Wild West, but her plans go awry when she is drawn into the lives of silver baron Daniel Beck and his daughter and finds herself caring for them more than is prudent–especially as she’s supposed to go back to New York and marry another man.

As Gennie adapts to the rough-and-tumble world of 1880s Colorado, she must decide whether her future lies with the enigmatic Daniel Beck or back home with the life planned for her since birth. The question is whether Daniel’s past–and disgruntled miners bent on revenge–will take that choice away from her.

My thoughts:
I was never able to completely "click" with Gennie, but as the story progressed I did become accustomed to her. Her love of all things Wild West seemed maybe a bit overdone, however it definitely made things more fun. There were things I liked and others that I questioned as they seemed a bit drawn out (particularly the situation that occurs when Daniel takes Gennie and Charlotte to Leadville), but overall I enjoyed the book. The author certainly has a nice handle on the time period and dreaming up unique characters!

Each chapter begins with a small portion of "Mae West", who is Gennie's favorite dime-novel heroine. These are somewhat repetitive (same circumstances, different situations), but are sort of amusing as they give a look at Gennie's favorite stories. They are not integral to the plot of the book, however, so if they aren't your cup of tea you could easily pass them over.

Other thoughts:
Honestly I felt like Gennie was out-shined by Anna Finch, her neighbor in Denver. As soon as Anna gets a chance to speak more than a few lines, it's immediately clear that she needs her own book. Fortunately, the next book in the series IS about her! (Anna Finch and the Hired Gun) Yay! I have extremely high hopes for it, and am anxious to find out her complete story.

My rating: 4 stars

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