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Monday, August 29, 2016

Book Review: The Betrothed by Vivi Holt

The Betrothed by Vivi Holt
Book 7 in the Cutter’s Creek Series
ARC, e-Book, 204 pages
Black Lab Press
August 8, 2016
Heat Rating:

Genre: Historical Fiction, Western, Romance, Regency

Source: Received from Author for Beta and Review
Lady Charlotte Beaufort of Beaufort Manor, England, is accustomed to the finer things in life. She’s used to everything going her way. But it’s all about to change.

When her parents force her into an engagement with the Duke of Notherington, a man she barely knows, she runs away – traveling aboard a steamer to the New World.

Harry Brown, a silversmith’s apprentice from Greyburn, doesn’t stand a chance with the beautiful Charlotte. Then he runs afoul of the local thug, and he and his sister have to leave town. When Charlotte and Harry cross paths, the attraction is undeniable – but can they overcome generations of social barriers to admit their true feelings for one another?

Take a journey from the beautiful Lakes District of England to untamed Cutter's Creek, Montana Territory, where the rules of love are made to be broken.
This book started out as a bit of confusion for me at first: I didn’t realize that this starts out as a Regency in England, then makes its way to New York with immigrants, and then crosses the frontier en route to becoming a Western. This is something that I haven’t experienced previously, the mixing of two seemingly very different subgenres of historical romance. I will say that the two genres do not overlap, but rather seamlessly morph into the next thanks to the added stop in New York which doesn’t really fit either genre except within the greater arc of westward movement. Let me say that I did not love the Regency part of this novel as much as the Western. I strongly feel that Holt’s strength lies in her handling of the frontier life and I was ready to move away from England and get there fairly quickly.

While this story really follows the movements of three characters, Harry, Charlotte, and Camilla, it is really a story of change and evolution for Charlotte. From beginning to end she transforms from a high-society debutante who is destined to wed a duke to a frontierswoman capable of holding her own. Ordinarily this might not be so believable, however Holt has created a period of transition with the stopover in New York. It is here that Charlotte had a true introduction to the harsh realities of life, is brought very low, and then begins to see what she must do to survive in this new life she has opted for. You see the interplay of the perceptions of the life she grew up living and the new reality required on the frontier, not only from Charlotte’s perspective but that of Harry too. It was refreshing to see a heroine who has her damsel in distress moments but then can grow from that into her own person. Sure she makes plenty of mistakes along the way, but that is what made her feel the most realistic. Of the three characters I felt that Camilla could have used a bit more crafting. I know that she wasn’t the main crux of the story relationship-wise, but she is present right there with Harry and Charlotte throughout the whole thing. Unlike the other two, I didn’t feel that I was able to get to know her quite as well.

When we finally arrive in Cutter’s Creek I was very excited to see some familiar faces, from Holt’s prior contribution to the series, The Strong One. It was a striking moment for me when I made the familial connections.

Overall I found this to be a strong contribution to the Cutter’s Creek series, however I found that her prior outing, The Strong One, was a more solidly crafted piece.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book:

Also by Vivi Holt:

Mail Order Bride: Christy

Mail Order Bride: Ramona

Mail Order Bride: Katie
[My Review]

Of Peaks and Prairies (Paradise Valley #1)
[My Review]

Other Books in the Cutter’s Creek Series:
The Cutter’s Creek series is a loosely interconnected series of novellas that all take place in Cutter’s Creek, Montana, each written by a different author.

The Healing Touch by Kit Morgan (Book 1)

The Strong One by Vivi Holt (Book 2)
[My Review]

New Beginnings by Annie Boone (Book 3)

A Lily Blooms by Kari Trumbo (Book 4)

A Penny Shines by Kari Trumbo (Book 5)

Becoming a Family by Annie Boone (Book 6)

Find Vivi Holt: Amazon Page | Facebook | Twitter


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