Since I started blogging, I've generally made it a practice to finish books sent to me for review, and then to write a review that might help the book find an audience, without actually saying I liked books I hated. Recently though, I've adopted a formal policy that you can read by clicking the menu at the top of the blog. In short, if I hate a book, I offer to run a press release in lieu of a review; however if asked to do a review, the reader will have no doubt that I didn't like the book. Rebecca at Glass Roads, from whom I got my complimentary review copy, asked that I write a review.
First of all, I have to confess, I stopped reading on page 43. Another recent decision is that if I get 40-50 pages into a book and I'm not enjoying it, I quit. I have to read what lands on my desk at work; this blog, and the books about which I write are a hobby, and are supposed to be fun. Plowing through 300 pages of stuff I'm not enjoying isn't fun.
My Lady is the story of Jolene and the men in her life. The prologue has her riding on the back of a Harely with Dexter. Next, the story goes back to when she was in high school. She was raised on a ranch and loved it. One day her parents were killed in an accident and even though her ranch-dwelling uncle and aunt wanted her, she ended up in the custody of her grandmother, who boarded her with a family in town. It is there that she meets Dexter, who she learns was her mother's high school sweetheart. Dexter is a hairdresser and a girl dresser. All the girls in town bring their prom dresses to show him, so he can approve. Jolene refuses to join in the ritual, but then he comes to the house and insists. Of course her dress is all wrong and he has one for her that is all right. Dexter also recruits fashion models and tries to recruit her. She refuses. Later, when she is getting married to an Air Force officer Dexter picks out her gown and she agrees to allow the photos to be used commercially. Jolene and her husband move to Germany where shortly they are joined by his brother, who soon marries the single mother next door. I quit reading just as they were about to return to Denver, which is where Dexter was, and Jolene knows that is not a good thing.
When I accepted this book I figured it would be ranch girl learns to live the life of an Air Force wife. At the time I abandoned the book Jolene and her husband were already miserable, but I really had no idea why. I found Dexter to be creepy, but other than that, the characters were very flat. The story was told, it didn't open up in front of me. There were a couple of passages that brought the story into the "Christian fiction" fold, and I thought they were overdone and out of place. They just didn't fit.
Maybe I didn't get far enough into the storyline for it to really develop, but the writing style turned me off enough that I did abandon the book after page 43 and I don't plan to pick it up again.