Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: A Reason to Believe

A Reason to Believe
Maureen McKade
Historical Western Romance
Forrester Brothers/Book 2
Berkley/August 7, 2007

From the back cover ~

How do you pick up the pieces of a shattered life?

To escape her angry father, Dulcie McDaniel got pregnant - but lost her husband in a fatal accident. Penniless, she returned home with her little girl - only to have her world shattered once again. Lonely and filled with regrets, Dulcie struggles to provide a decent life for her daughter. Then a handsome stranger arrives...

Dulcie, usually shunned by proper folks, is suspicious of Rye Forrester, a drifter offering to work for his keep. But after he helps harvest the crops, her feelings toward the handsome stranger turn in to a consuming mutual passion. Although Rye wears the brand of an army deserter, Dulcie is thrilled to be with such a good man. But Rye has his own secrets. He can't understand why his late friend cheated on such a beautiful wife - or how he can now ask Dulcie's forgiveness for his part in her husband's death. Love is one thing - acceptance and forgiveness another. When their tragic pasts catch up with them, these two wounded souls must fight for the love that will keep them together for a lifetime...

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, A Reason to Live, and finally got around to reading Rye Forrester's story. Unfortunately, it wasn't as engaging as Creede's story. The writing was still good but the plot moved too slowly and I didn't feel that "click" of connection with the hero and the heroine.

Dulcie McDaniel is a young mother with little prospects for a happy life. Her one ray of hope is her four year old daughter, Madeline. Her father has just been buried and with her husband having been dead for months, all responsibility for the family farm falls to Dulcie. She has so much weight on her shoulders it's a wonder she could stand up. She has to get her crop in if she and her daughter have a chance of surviving the winter. I don't know what she would have done if Rye hadn't shown up and offered to help. Realistically, there was no way she could have done it by herself and there wasn't anyone else offering to help.

Rye Forrester carries a load of guilt. He's on a mission to make amends and hopefully relieve some of that guilt. On the surface he's a decent man but he has his share of ghosts. He hasn't had an easy life, growing up in an orphanage, then joining the army. I didn't get any sense of who he really was. He called himself a drifter and that's pretty much what he was. He didn't look towards the future and much of the time acted like he didn't really care what the future held for him. He was a hard worker and while he did come to care for Dulcie I couldn't help but wonder how much of that lay in the guilt he felt regarding her husband's death.

Together, Dulcie and Rye have many obstacles to overcome. In a town where most of the townfolks shun Dulcie, some thinking she little better than a whore, it's no wonder she keeps to herself. The bright spot in Dulcie's life also becomes a bright spot in Rye's life. I liked how the relationship of Rye and Dulcie also included Madeline. There was no way she could not be included and still have their love story work. Along with Madeline is another child that Rye helps. An orphan boy who was taken in by a local family out of obligation rather than compassion. Seeing how these four develop into a family was one of the better part of the book.

The difficulties continue to mount, life in rural Texas if tough but it felt like Rye and Dulcie would never get a break. Just for a second, when things are going well, BAM, they're hit with another crisis. I wish they would have had more happiness but instead it all came at the end when everything is resolved as best it could be and Rye and Dulcie create a new family. The ending came too quick and too neat after all the turmoil that preceded it.

So, I do have the next book on the tbr pile and I do want to read it, if only to see what happened to the remaining Forrester brother. I just don't think I'll be reading it anytime soon.

Rating: C+

Books in this trilogy ~

A Reason to Live
A Reason to Believe
A Reason to Sin


  1. I graded this one higher than you did - but honestly it had everything to do with Dulcie's characterization. I found it really, incredibly brave and gutsy by the author. But yeah, this one didn't light my world on fire either. Mostly because I felt the sub plot regarding her father's death was "unnecessary." Detracted too much (I think) from the over-all emotional angst of the romance.

    And I too still have the third book in my TBR pile! ARGH!!!! I really should finally get around to reading it this year for the TBR Challenge, if only to finally wrap the whole trilogy up.

  2. I have one of her book, because everyone raved about it, but I don't know if I picked the wrong one ^_^; I either have the first or third...

    Not a fan of western, so if this one didn't work for you, I won't be picking it up ^_^;

  3. I loved the first one, but the next two wrte meh and disappointing compared to it.

  4. Wendy ~ Yes, remove father's death drama, more room for the romance.

    Nath ~ I hope it's the 1st one you have - that one is really good. I think you could overlook the western feel of it and just concentrate on the hero & heroine.

    Lori ~ yeah, the 1st is hard to live up to. I'll wait a while before reading the last one.

  5. Leslie, the summary of the book sounds so good! It's a shame when the book doesn't live up to what we expect from there. I think I'll look up the first book in this trilogy though, since everyone seems to really like that one. :)

  6. Hils ~ Oh, definitely read the first book. It's very good & different from your usual western.