Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep

DNF @ p.132

I feel really bad about not liking this book and tried to push myself through it, but it was not right for me on a whole myriad of levels. First, I read this as a secular reader and not as a reader of christian fiction. I do enjoy christian fiction on occasion-- especially historical romances-- and some of my favorite authors are Abigal Wilson, Deeanne Gist, and Francine Rivers. I thought I had read and liked something by Michelle Griep before, which was why I snapped up this book, but I guess I confused her with a similarly named author. Michelle Griep is new to me.

Second, I feel like the blurb doesn't do a great job portraying what this book is about. The title made me think I was getting a swell Gothic romance and that's corroborated by the blurb, which really pushes that the heroine is an opera star on the run. I thought we'd actually get to see her on the run but no, she's already in hiding when we meet her and the opera thing is hardly dwelled on. That was a huge disappointment to me, because I'm a BIG fan of music and opera, and so the opera singer angle was the hook that really made me want to read this.

Third, there's no chemistry between hero and heroine. She has more chemistry with the villain who's hunting the escapee hero, Javert-style. The escape from prison is pretty anticlimactic and I didn't really find the hero attractive at all. He's mean and grouchy and not in a fun or an interesting way. I know christian romances are "clean" but it's possible to have a clean romance with chemistry. Phyllis A. Whitney's Gothic novels do, and so did Deeanne Gist's TIFFANY GIRL.

Fourth, the writing style is very chatty. In the heroine's POV, it's narrated in first person, and the language feels very anachronistically modern; the author doesn't really have the Victorian cadences down, so it feels really weird. The hero's POV is narrated in the third person, which probably makes it easier, but even then, that chatty element is still there. It feels overly casual and I don't really feel like the pacing of the story is all that good because it feels very dull to me.

Maybe I'm not the right audience for the book but it wasn't the religious elements of the book that didn't appeal to me, but the "feel" of the writing style with how it represented the time it was supposed to take place in and the ease with which I could envision the hero and heroine ending up together. I do read a lot of historical romance, clean and unclean, and this fell quite short.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!  

1 out of 5 stars

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