Monday, September 9, 2013

Review: Dawn Comes Early by Margaret Brownley

Cover and Synopsis:
Disgraced dime novelist Kate Tenney fled the city that banned her latest novel for the emptiness of the desert. Answering an ad to be "heiress" to a vast cattle ranch in the Arizona Territory, Kate hopes ranching turns out to be as romantic as she portrayed it in her novels. But what awaits her is a life harder than the one she just left. There is no room for mistakes on a working cattle ranch, and Kate is ill-prepared for her new life. She quickly learns that dawn comes early. But she is tenacious.

Having been abandoned by a string of men, Kate has no intention of ever marrying. But she didn't expect to meet Luke Adams, either. Luke awakens feelings inside Kate she doesn't recognize, and his steady presence is a constant distraction. She has only written about love in the past, never known it herself. But her feelings for Luke stand in the way of all she has to gain if she is chosen as the heir. Perhaps God brought Kate to the barrenness of the desert to give new life to her jaded heart.
My source for book: Local Library
My Thoughts:
Having previously enjoyed several of Margaret Brownley's prior novels, I was anxious to get my hands on "Dawn Comes Early", especially since the desert setting sounded reminiscent of where I grew up. Unfortunately, the book was quite different from my expectations and I ended up being rather disappointed.

The quality of the writing is good, I have no qualms about that--it's just the characters and story that I couldn't connect with. I honestly can't put my finger on exactly what the main issue was, so perhaps it was just many small issues combined. No matter how hard I tried, I simply couldn't relate to the characters, and some of the things they did grated on my nerves. Top of this list would be the storyline revolving around Luke's aunts, which struck me as over-the-top silly.

As for Kate and Luke's relationship, I never felt much chemistry between them. They barely had any interaction before it was obvious feelings were developing, which made their "feelings" somewhat hard for me to believe. While they didn't blatantly seem un-suited as a couple, I just couldn't get excited about the two of them. I think Luke's repetitive thoughts about being un-educated and not good enough for Kate contributed to my feelings. Likewise, Kate's insistence of remaining single didn't scream romance, either. I do have to admit the last couple of chapters had a semi-cute way of bringing them together, but overall I fear Kate and Luke are a mostly forgettable couple for me.

Honestly, the book wasn't "bad"... it just felt a bit flat and fairly average. I normally read books of this length in 5 to 7 days, but this one took me about 10 days, simply because I couldn't keep focused on it. I think it's probably just a case of the reader and book not meshing well, but I have to be honest about my feelings. The good news is that I have already started the second book in the series (Waiting for Morning) and it is much more to my taste. The author hasn't lost her touch, but in my opinion Dawn Comes Early just isn't her strongest offering.

My Rating: 3 stars

1 comment:

  1. Oh from the book description I was pretty excited. You see, we are cattle farmers here in missouri and this story sounded interesting. Now I am not sure after reading your thoughts. Maybe I will pass and wait for a better reviewed book! Thanks!~