Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Ring and a Promise

Lois Richer
Love Inspired Contemporary Romance
Steeple Hill Books - June, 2009

A Ring and a Promise is another in Lois Richer’s Love Inspired “Weddings by Woodwards” series. Richer is a craftsman. The characters in A Ring and a Promise are real, but the events pressing in on them aren’t all that earth shaking. Nice little stories certainly have their place; but by the time I reached the last page, I felt that my investment in the read hadn’t yielded much.

The lead character in this outing is Abby Franklin who is a jewelry designer for Weddings by Woodward. It seems to me the company is too small to have a fulltime jewelry designer. (Or is it just me?) Too many romance novels ask their readers to indulge stretches in logic.

The male lead is Donovan Woodward, the man Abby planned to marry; but who, for no apparent reason, left her in the lurch five years before the story opens. Now he’s returned to the family business with a godchild in tow; and it is Abby’s growing feelings for this godchild that overcome her anger and disappointment over Donovan’s unexplained exit.

Where have I encountered this metric before?

Too many recent romance novels ask some unsuspecting kid to rekindle an earlier romance or spark a new one. By the same token, too many romance novels are populated by widows and widowers suffering from the flames and arrows of incomprehensible fate and failed relationships. Our romance novel landscape is overpopulated by “take-two” situations: “Maybe we’ll get it right this time.” I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that some author is now hard at work on a fifth-time-around romance between two octogenarians who have met in some picturesque seaside old folks home. “It’s never too late, baby. Pass the Levitra.”

In this second time around for me and Lois Richer, the Weddings by Woodwards premise for a series seems a bit wanting. However, with some 35 titles to her credit, Richer’s writing has clearly found an audience among Christian readers. With that kind of a track record, I obviously need to give the lady a take three or even a take four.

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