Wednesday, September 16, 2015

TBR Challenge: Maggie Osborne - I Do, I Do, I Do

A rich, proper spinster aching for a man's touch, Juliette March is an easy target for the seductive Jean Jacques Villette. When he disappears with her inheritance after their wedding, Juliette sets out to find the scoundrel. She never expects to meet Clara Klaus, who ran a boardinghouse until Jean Jacques swept her off her feet, then swept himself out of town.
While following the trail of their no-good husband, Clara and Juliette run into Zoe Wilder, another victim of the debonair Jean Jacques. Now Juliette's ready to put a bullet in his cheating heart. When these three vengeful ladies embark on a misbegotten quest to Alaska, things get downright dangerous--especially for the unsuspecting men they entice along the way. . . .

Comment: Here we are in another TBR read, this time the theme is historical and like many of the readers that participate in the challenge, I had many historicals to choose from. I picked this one because the blurb seemed promising and I wanted to be positively entertained.
This is the story of three women that randomly meet and realize they are married to the same man. They decided to unite their efforts to find him and clues lead them to Alaska, where their husband is rumored to have gone in search of gold.
In the way, they have to deal with the fact they all were with the same man without really knowing him but believed the things he said. The journey to Alaska has many obstacles for them but they find help along the way as well a friendship and a kinship they never imagined.
Could it be that they could also find true love with men that loved them for real?
This book is my second attempt in reading something by the author. Precisely one year ago, in 2014, I've read Silver Lining and enjoyed it, so I had high hopes to read another book by the author and that it would be as special as the other one. I know no book is the same, even written by the same person, but I liked how my expectations were met even if, comparing the two of them, I still prefer the other one.
I liked the idea of this book. I liked that three women would be the protagonists and each one would find love on the journey to solve a situation that caused them embarrassment and anger. I imagined how angry and in need of revenge they must have be in, trying to find reasons for something not their fault but in which they ended up humiliated. I was very curious to know the story would end because I assumed they would learn their lesson and be in love with men that were right for them but still get some sort of revenge not only finding true love. I have to say that the end disappointed me a bit because not only was the plot crazy enough - although not impossible - but the way it was solved? Not buying it and it felt like a let down after all the effort and troubles the women went through.
The story focus on three women, Juliette, Clara and Zoe, each one with a different background and reason to have felt she was falling in love with Jacques, the French supposed husband. Of course each one had something to learn, some sort of morale to understand before getting a proper HEA. It was difficult not to think about it to simply enjoy the story... It also felt like the story had to lead to a personal path among all the common tribulations. I get this but it was so obvious I don't think this was the purpose but I can't help seeing it that way.
My favorite woman was Juliette because I empathize more with her. Her sheltered life and her fear of doing things on her own but still trying anyway spoke to me. I liked Zoe too because she's practical and very like myself in temperament and thoughts...Clara was more difficult to visualize, she's what I think most people would like to be, adventurous, practical and assured of herself.
The men they find and fall in love are convenient to each of their personalities and that's one of the things I struggled with. they're too perfect for them, I wanted a bit more contrast, I think. The HEAs make sense but are too picture perfect. This isn't a bad thing but everything seemed orchestred somehow, so this story doesn't have the depth I expected. In that aspect I much preferred the other book.
Some readers didn't like how the couples dealt with intimacy issues (yes, the sex part). I wasn't bothered by it considering their marital situations simply because I also felt this was just another thing to cross off the list of necessary scenes to include. Too handy and prepared that I didn't think those scenes were that important to the plot and could have been easily dismissed.
I enjoyed the friendship that developed between the women, I don't think they became best friends despite the professions of real care for each other but it was good to see the slow development of that while they were forced to be so close together in the journey and how much they endured. In a way, this was my favorite thing about the book.
At the same time, I think the author intended too many things for such a short story altogether. The friendship and relationships were done well enough but all personal development I felt was necessary wasn't exploited as deeply as I think it should. I understand why but it was something I anticipated.
If I think about the whole story, I can't say I didn't like it. I did like it and enjoyed reading it. But I admit I thought it would be more emotional, more heartfelt and epic. The story isn't bad, I do think it's readable and I would re-read again if I ever had the time, but it wasn't as memorable as that.
Still, if one compares to many other things out there, it's a good effort and story.
Grade: 7/10


  1. I actually almost did this one for my tbr challenge! But I started it and the plot made me so uncomfortable I didn't get very far.

    I recommend The Wives of Bowie Stone and The Promise of Jenny Jones.

    1. Hello! Thank you for commenting :)
      Coincidences do seem to exist then. Uncomfortable why?
      I have the Promise... to read. The other one I'll try to get. Thank you for the recommendations!

    2. Just so much unhappiness.... all those poor women. I know it'll end well, but...

    3. I understand that. I think the author tried for a very light and almost comic tone here. When I say almost I mean it because I don't consider this funny but...
      The heroes were too perfect for each heroine and the end seemed silly...
      I hoped for more emotional input, like with Silver Lining.

  2. This was my first read by Osborne so I have a bit of an emotional attachment to it. It's also the book I recommend by her for readers who can't seem to get past her more "rough" heroines. In that respect, this one is a bit of an outlier in the Osborne canon.

    Of my favorites, The Promise of Jenny Jones (although it was a second-half read for me) Foxfire Bride and Prairie Moon were all really good. I was less enamored with Shotgun Wedding, A Stranger's Wife and....Silver Linings, but I recognize I'm not the norm with that last book.

    If you can find it (and that's a big if) - I also really liked The Seduction of Samantha Kincade. I know Osborne has retired from writing, but how I wish she would put some of these older titles out in digital, assuming the rights have reverted back to her.

    I've still got many of her others buried in my TBR. I've been scared to read them - mostly because I know she's no longer writing. I really need to get over myself and pull them out. I've heard nothing but good things about The Brides of Bowie Stone and that's one I have languishing.

    1. I have The Promise of Jenny Jones and Foxfire Bride to be read one day.
      Her books are hard to find yes...not only hers but many authors from the same time as hers...sometimes I find them used or in exchange sites but it's difficult.
      I understand being scared to read them...then they're read and the unexpected thrill is gone...