Yes, most definitely. While the story was good enough, we, the readers never hear the hero tell his wife that he loves her. He has his epiphany (I love her!) while he is away from her and, wanting to tell her as soon as possible, hacks his way through the forest, escapes the clutches of ruffians, rides to his castle with all possible haste, runs up the stairs to their chamber and then...not much! He tells her that his life is nothing without her, they kiss passionately and then, as the door closes on their bed chamber, we are told they whisper love words to each other (or something to that effect). WHAT???!!! That's it??? No declaration of love, no telling her why she is beloved, no promises??
The heroine tells her hero several times that she loves him and while it is clear that he loves her as well (looks at her adoringly, calls her "my love," sweeps her up into his arms, etc) he never says those three little words so we can hear. That is something I must have in a romance novel. I kept waiting for it, thinking, surely after this crisis or that tender moment, he will tell her he loves her. But, it never happened. And that is why, despite other things that I enjoyed about the story, it ultimately fell flat for me.
It was lovely.
Ms. Barber did a strong job with all the characters -- distinct voices, good accents, believable emotions. If pressed, I would say I enjoyed her performance of Aurelie the most. Although the voice was a little girlish, Aurelie is a very young woman so it worked.
I was hoping to really enjoy this author. I tried the first Virgin River book but did not find it to my liking. Then, when I saw that she had written some historical romances (which I love), I checked out the reviews on Amazon. The reviews for this book were so strong I thought I'd give it a whirl, but no go. Sigh.
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