BOOK REVIEW: The Cold Wife – by Ruth Ann Nordin

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Title: The Cold Wife
(Virginia Historicals #2)
Author: Ruth Ann Nordin
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
First published: February 27th 2010
Finished reading: March 4th 2015
Pages: 304
Rating 2

“You don’t understand how the real world works, Junior! You think it’s all dinner parties and business meetings? It’s survival of the fittest. You have to be tough and do whatever it takes to make it if you’re going to be successful.”

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When my friend gave me a copy of The Cold Wife by Ruth Ann Nordin, I wasn’t sure what to think of it. I always enjoy reading historical fiction novels as long as they don’t involve too much romance and are faithful to the period the story is set in… But reading the blurb and reviews at goodreads made me fear this one wouldn’t be of my taste. Unfortunately, my suspicions turned out to be correct. Flat characters, slow pace, descriptions that didn’t feel right for the 1894 setting… I’m afraid I cannot name a lot of positive points of this second novel in the Virginia Historical series. The general idea of a woman opposing an arranged marriage is without doubt an interesting topic, but the execution in The Cold Wife is unfortunately nothing but poor. The main character Carrie and her reactions are not believable and the way she interacts with her brother is almost childish. To be honest, the husband Justin wasn’t really believable either. I couldn’t connect to the prose and the story in general was almost boring. I’m still asking myself why I’ve even bothered to finish it… I guess I was hoping things would improve at some point, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case.

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When Carrie’s father suddenly had to face bankrupcy, he didn’t want to leave his only daughter without a comfortable home. At the age of 24 Carrie Allen is old enough to be married, and her father decides to arrange for a marriage with the wealthy Justin Monroe. Although Justin is her brother’s friend, Carrie doesn’t care for him and she definitely doesn’t want to know anything about an arranged marriage. She wants to take care of her own life and decides to fight the union… But Carrie ends up being married to Justin anyway. Justin didn’t realize before Carrie didn’t want him as her husband and he offers her a deal: if after a month she still feels their marriage is wrong, he offers her an annulment. What Carrie doesn’t know is that Justin has been in love with her since he was fourteen, and he is determined to win her over… But Carrie is stubborn and refuses to believe that an arranged marriage could work.  Can he win her over on time?

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As you might have guessed from my previous comments, I would definitely not recommend reading The Cold Wife. The initial idea behind the novel is interesting, but it’s poorly executed with weak prose, flat characters and a storyline that is unbelievable in general. Such a shame, since this novel could have been so much more!

WWW Wednesdays #29 – March 4th

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

thecoldwifeI’ve just started The Cold Wife by Ruth Ann Nordin yesterday, so I cannot say too much about the story yet. I didn’t realize this one is actually a sequel, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed it won’t be a problem. It’s supposed to be a historical fiction and romance novel, but I am afraid this one will end up being too much of a cheesy romance for me to handle… I guess I will find out soon enough when I have more free time to read.

 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

nakedindeaththehitchhikersguidethroughgalaxyI’ve finished Naked In Death by J.D. Robb yesterday and I must say the plot is definitely interesting. It is a crime/mystery novel set in the future, and that makes it stand out from other novels in that genre. I liked the main characters Eve and Roarke, although I’m not a fan of the romance scenes… A full review will be posted later this week. I also finished The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams a few days ago, but unfortunately I didn’t like that one that much. I know a lot of people seem to love this classic, but I just couldn’t get into the story. Maybe a case of not-for-me?

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

gardensofthemoonirobotI’m going to keep repeating myself and keep Gardens Of The Moon by Steven Erikson as my next read… Maybe I should just kick myself and finally read it, because this one has been on the top of my TBR pile for way too long now.  Although I might read I, Robot by Isaac Asimov first…