Wednesday, May 21, 2014

TBR Challenge: Patricia Gaffney - Forever and Ever

Connor Pendarvis has a bitter past and a driving ambition—exposing the harsh working conditions in Miss Sophie Deene's copper mine is only the beginning.
Sophie Deene is her father's daughter—proud, fiercely independent...and bound by convention. She might hire a handsome, insolent Cornishman to work in the mine, but she wouldn't fall in love with him. Impossible, unthinkable. What would people say?
But she swallows her pride for love, defying everyone, never thinking Connor could betray her. And he risks everything he thought he wanted for a love that will last...

Comment: This month, the theme for the challenge is more than one book by this author, meaning, a book by an author whose books pile up here and there in your house. Math done, I must have around 10 more books by this author to read. The biggest problem of collecting, as you all surely know yourselves. Anyway, I've decided to read the author's most known trilogy and this is the third book. I think it also fits the theme, so here is was.

This is the story of Sophie Deene, a character that briefly appeared in the other books (or just the previous one, I can't remember properly) ans she is a lady, focused on her work and her responsibilities. She wants what's best for those who work in her mine and also for herself, as a person in whom others trust and admire.
Connor Pendarvis works for a group wanting to reform the working class system, in particular the conditions in the mines and how that affects workers. He meets Sophie not knowing she is the person he came to investigate but even after that he can't seem to forget her and neither can she. But when the truth comes off, what will happen?

The previous two books in this trilogy were good enough. Not as amazing as I imagined considering the hype they have in the romancelandia, namely the second one. I wasn't expecting this to be super amazing either and my expectations were met. This was very good, but not past the expected.

The story focuses on the two man characters and what they want out of life and are they behaving like others expect them to? This is a thought that follows many of us, so it wasn't something that unbelievable to imagine. Sophie has a position in the society scale and she likes to be respected although her attitude isn't vain or superior. I thought her character to be realistic and positive and I must admit I felt much empathy towards her and her deepest hopes. She is a very likable person and from her confident start, to her troubles and her winnings I felt she was a strong and solid character.

Connor was a more complex character, I felt. He seemed to be realistic too and indeed, his biggest fault was pride, but all things considered, I can't fault him for his worst words or attitudes in the novel. One can say better communication between them would have solved many things before the conflict arose but I thin it's quite humane to let things go, to let them build up to the point where is very hard to bridge and to talk again. We do this in our daily lives, so I thought that, as with all the major communication issues in the story, this wasn't badly done, quite the opposite. Of course, it's frustrating because we want everything well right away, but it's just the plot device at work.

Sophie and Connor don't have the best start and it was hard to seem at odds in the beginning, because we knew what their backgrounds were and why they acted like that, but for the purposes of plot development, it was important for them to take their time, to be antagonists so when their relationship changed tunes, it would be like a crescendo before reaching the point where we just new things couldn't work out right then. Still, it was good to see them deal with both their hopes for what was happening between them, to act a united front when needed..I loved the moments where they took the step to work things out. I don't think the conflicts were that difficult, but considering the time of action, the period, the society rules of the time and the natural flow of the story, it wasn't that bad and at times it also made me emotional, especially if thinking about being in their shoes.

I loved the scenes where we could see the main characters from the previous books happy. It was that special touch to prove to the reader the suffering was worthy the HEA and it also gave hope to this story, although I would have liked a more confirmed idea instead of the possibility that it's left in the air. Things end up well, yes, but this is a romantic story, I wanted a bit more romance.

Overall, I was glad with this one. There are many parts I'd have liked to see different, but I can't say they didn't worked out. Still, there's this feeling that there could have existed a better expression of feelings between them besides the obvious, some things did feel a bit forced to make other things work, but in the end, it was a good story for me and I didn't want to put it down. Comparing to the previous ones, I have to say I liked it better, if not because for most of the time, it looked like the main couple was ore balanced in their individual positions which meant a stronger relationship in the end. At least, it looks like it at the moment.
A solid read, for sure.
Grade: 8/10

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