Debut author Erica Vetsch nailed her first book, people. Nailed it. I really enjoyed reading this one....so much so, we're going to have a giveaway! (Just leave a comment in the comment section with your email address to be entered.)
First, a bit about the book from the back cover:
Jonathan Kennabrae is furious when his grandfather informs him that his future has been decided. He will marry Melissa Brooke or lose his inheritance. Jonathan has invested years of his life in Kennabrae Shipping, but heaven help him if Grandfather decides to take it all away for this.
Melissa, too, is devastated when her parents make their announcement. As little more than a bargaining chip in her father's business maneuvers, she feels her secure world slipping away. Engaged to marry a man she has never met--someone "considerably older" than herself? What have her parents done?
Can Jonathan and Melissa find a way out of this loveless marriage, or must they find a way forward together?
You have to love the immediate conflict and high tension from a premise like this. What a great title to capture that conflict. But that's not all that's great. Erica's writing is succinct and tight, with every scene moves the plot forward....very little fluff. But there are some lighthearted moments that make you smile....and the first kiss is so swoon-worthy it certainly won't disappoint. Hel-lo Jonathan! Big *sigh* for all you romantics out there. :)
One thing Erica did particularly well was her use of metaphor. Often she drew from nautical terms for scenes with Jonathan, whose life was immersed in shipping. She always found verbiage to fit the mood of the scene so well.
Donning the therapist cap for a moment...Erica's book covers some intense topics like women's suffrage and arranged marriages and parental expectations. During a time where women were expected to be seen, not heard....certainly not to make a fuss about a marriage or about the right to vote. I think Erica captured young Melissa's plight very well...getting us into her head and heart and how she feels.
Her main characters face the problem of staying true to themselves while trying to be obedient to their parental authority. The pang of disappointment many of us have as adults when we realize our parents aren't perfect...but are, in fact, flawed (sometimes severely so). Because of this, I think just about anyone reading this book could relate to the predicament the characters find themselves in. (Maybe not about an arranged marriage....but we all have received pressures to do things we don't want to do in various forms.) There does come a critical juncture where you have to do what you know is right, to follow your beliefs and live out your faith. Jonathan and Melissa both face to this to a degree. (But you'll have to read it to find out how it all works out for them!)
It's a page-turner...one for the book shelf. So don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing!
Click over to Erica's blog, On the Write Path, for some great posts about writing. Definitely want to follow her if you aren't already.