I’m not sure that my review is quite fair – taken from the fact that I jumped into Book 4 without reading 1-3. I didn’t see that fact when I choose it. One of the selling points for the book is that this story can stand alone, but I am not sure I agree.
The first parts of the story feels like being invited to dinner with a friend. You arrive at the diner thinking that you will be able to really have a cozy chat, but find out that they invited 15 family members and a few townspeople with them. You get the feeling that the food is going to be amazing, and you will have a bit of time with your friend, but you have to spend a few minutes getting to know the history of each person at the very large table.
On the plus side, I feel like I learned enough that I’d like to go back and read books 1-3, but if this wasn’t a review book, I don’t think I would have read it straight through without starting with book one.
I did enjoy Willow’s journey. I have read a few books about the first women photographers, so this was an interesting take on a woman portrait painter. I would call this story a historical romance, but not necessarily a Historical Fiction. I don’t quite believe that these characters would have existed in that time. I like the historical fiction that makes me feel as if I’m looking through a journal of a woman who wrote daily entries. Really seeing how her life played out, and how she lived day by day. I am finding within my own reading preference, that I no longer enjoy books where the whole starting and ending points are in discovering a single man in town and then marrying him. Isn’t there romance and life and leisure and adventure outside of flirting?
So, like I said above, I thought I’d be walking along side this Female Portrait Painter, but her whole family showed up and mostly, we hug out at a soda fountain eating pecan fudge and flirting on dates. You pretty much know from the first chapter where it is going – but I DID enjoy the ride.