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"Starving Hearts" by Janine Mendenhall

As a fan of Regency fiction, I was drawn to this book not only by the setting but also by the first line of the back cover. "Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage." This was definitely a unique concept - I have never read anything from this period that dealt with a woman's physical assault or how it might affect her. If handled with grace, what a great story that could be! My expectations were almost immediately dashed, however, when I discovered that this is not actually what the story is about. From the beginning Annette has no fears of an arranged marriage or even meeting men; in fact, she is plotting how to escape from her chaperon to have one-on-one conversations with gentlemen at a party in the very first chapter.

I was also dismayed at the inconsistent behavior of our main characters. For example, when we first hear of the chaperon it seems as though Lucy is one of the biggest annoyances in Annette's life and we are set up to dislike her, yet a few scenes later we find Annette actually views Lucy as a close friend. This kind of thing happened multiple times throughout the novel and made the characters seem unresolved and waffling.

I found a few historical inaccuracies in the text, and more than a few grammatical errors. It bothered me that the Lord's name was taken in vain, and that a minor character prayed by name to a voodoo god. I did read the book all the way through, and I can say it was full of twists and turns. It was clear that the author is a dedicated Christian who desires to use her writing to glorify God. I wish her well as she grows in craft and experience.

Starving Hearts Janine Mendenhall

I received my copy of the book from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for this honest review. All opinions are my own. If you would like to read what other people are saying about "Starving Hearts," click here.

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