Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Short Review: The Husband Test by Betina Krahn (3.5 stars, medieval)

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Thoughts After Reading:
Betina Krahn's The Husband Test essentially felt like something I would expect to find as a "classic" medieval romance: a reticent, forceful warrior for a hero who loves the heroine but has trouble showing it, and who struggles to make a place for a wife in his life. A somewhat dutiful and fully competent heroine who chafes at not shown the respect she deserves. Brief love scenes used to conclude - or at least postpone - tension and arguments between the protagonists. A smattering of comedic and sweet moments that exist throughout the book. Prose that can become particularly packed with adverbs and analogies - too eloquent at times, in my opinion. A clear "bad guy," leading up to a tense physical confrontation at the end. Some scenes of adventure. A fair amount of bickering. To summarize: a decent and straightforward historical romance set in times of old, but without anything for me to really get excited about. Krahn does do a few things differently. The heroine starts out as a novice who exasperates the convent leaders with her well-meaning attempts to innovate. Events require her to do more than a little soul-searching as she tries to find a place to belong, and the couple does not marry until about halfway into the story. I also thought the author did a nice job of treating a religious topic with respect while still allowing for humor, and ultimately for the heroine to find happiness in the arms of a man. Still, I found much of the romance to be formulaic as a whole and had to force myself to keep reading towards the end. The Husband Test was - unfortunately - not a memorable read for me.

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