Sunday, April 10, 2011

Book Review: Scattered Petals by Amanda Cabot/4 Stars

About the book:

Longing for adventure, Priscilla Morton leaves Boston in 1856 and heads for the Texas Hill Country, never dreaming that the adventure she seeks could have heartbreaking consequences. Although attracted to her, ranch foreman Zachary Webster knows Priscilla deserves a cultured East Coast gentleman, not a cowboy who's haunted by memories of his mistakes.

When necessity draws them together, Priscilla and Zach begin to forge a life filled with promise. But then the past intrudes.

Book 2 of the Texas Dreams series, Scattered Petals weaves a tale of drama, love, and second chances as beautiful as the Hill Country itself.

My thoughts:

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.

Southern?  No (Texas is not part of the South in my opinion...sorry.)
Sass?  No

**Click here to read my review of Paper Roses.

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