Sunday, February 10, 2013

Review of "Love in the Balance" by Regina Jennings

Rating: 3 Stars
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Review: Anyone who read "Sixty Acres and a Bride" will recognize some familiar faces in Regina Jennings' new novel, "Love in the Balance."  While the book was a fairly quick read, I had difficulty connecting to the main characters, Molly in particular.  Throughout much of the novel, Molly is self-centered, haughty, and too focused on status and wealth.  Her decisions ultimately lead her down a path of heartache and scandal, which Jennings uses to soften Molly's character. Towards the end of the novel, Molly is more likable, but her change does not occur soon enough for me to form a connection. 

Bailey remains devoted to Molly despite her choices and the pain that they cause.  He commits himself to finding a way to provide Molly with the lifestyle she desires, while she remains fickle in her commitment to Bailey. I often wondered why Bailey allowed Molly to string him along, and why he was so drawn to her. Unfortunately, my irritation with the characters hindered my enjoyment of the novel and kept me from engaging fully.

Jennings throws in a few unexpected twists to veer the plot off of the path of predictability. The novel progresses steadily, and there are plenty of reasons to question whether the love between Molly and Bailey will ever come to fruition.  Jennings gives life to the Texas setting, this time focusing on town life more than ranch life. "Love in the Balance" didn't strike the perfect balance for me, but Jennings is a talented author; so it may prove to be perfectly in balance for other readers.

I received a complimentary e-copy of this novel from NetGalley, courtesy of Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Summary from Bethany House: Handsome Cowboy or Debonair Tycoon. How's a Girl to Choose?
Molly Lovelace dreams of a life without cares in Lockhart, Texas. She also dreams of handsome wrangler Bailey Garner, her ardent but inconsistent beau. The problem is, with Bailey's poor prospects, she just can't fit the two dreams together. 
Then mysterious stranger Edward Pierrepont sweeps into town--and her life--and for the first time Molly wonders if she's met the man who can give her everything. But he won't be in Lockhart long and while it certainly seems like he talks about their glorious future together, she can't quite get Bailey out of her mind. 
What's a girl to do with all these decisions when love is in the balance?

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