Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Book Review: The Pretender: A Blackguard in Disguise by Ta'Mara Hanscom

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Title: The Pretender: A Blackguard in Disguise

Author: Ta'Mara Hanscom

Series: The Caselli Family #1

Genre: Historical

Audience: Young Adult/Adult


My Jean-Marc’s uncle was married to an English woman, and she told us once, a very long time ago, that in this world there are men of two kinds. The one, the knight, is the man possessing only strength and quality of moral character. He will never ask a lady to compromise her honor for less than a vow, and never, ever will he consider another once he has captured her heart. A knight keeps his vow, even when it hurts, and the honor of a knight is a thing a country is built upon. A knight comes along only seldom these days.

Now, a blackguard is a man who can be found quite easily, for it is an easy thing to be a blackguard. He attempts to trick the young ladies into taking him home and caring for him, making them believe their honor can be given away as a mere trifle, offering no vow, and making only human demands. The blackguard is to be avoided at all costs, for to settle for someone like him is to settle for something less than ideal.

In the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, Tillie Caselli promises to marry Noah Hansen. Theirs’ was a love intended to last, and their promises were never to be broken. But when there’s an illusion of unfaithfulness, the result is an error in judgment—an error that changes the course of lives.

Epic romance, global adventure, ethnic passion, and Christian values inspire this new series.

**2.5 stars**

The Pretender: A Blackguard in Disguise by Ta'Mara Hanscom was not what I expected. It was rather slow-paced where I was thinking there would be lots of action and excitement. However, it did have some redeeming qualities.

Mostly, this book follows the life of seventeen-year-old Tillie Caselli and various other members of the Caselli family. School trips. Unexpected escapades. Elopements. Heartbreak. Weddings. Babies. Prom. Graduation. Family life - with a bit a drama sprinkled in here and there.

Though the story did seem to drag a little, I still was interested in how The Pretender was going to turn out. I was a little bothered by how far-fetched and absurd Tillie and Noah's romance was. And not to mention, reckless and fool-hardy! Their actions send kind of a dangerous message, I think ... that instant, thoughtless romances are true love and bad boys change completely in order to win a Christian girl's heart. It was a little disconcerting for me - especially since the underlying theme of the book seems to be that Noah and Tillie are "meant for each other".

Nevertheless, there were redeeming qualities, as I mentioned above. Some good thoughts and little lessons sprinkled throughout. Sometimes novels centered on family life can be really nice and sweet, if you take the time for them. Perhaps some affection grows for the characters as you journey through daily life with them. I quite enjoyed the last part of The Pretender. Beautiful weddings and sweet babies! ^_^ I really actually like how Noah's story ended up ... It was crazy, unique, sacrificial, and slowly became something tender and beautiful. Though maybe that's all going to change in the next book in this series ...
It was interesting to see the connection between certain characters and events. There was a tad bit of mystery/suspense swirling through the pages of this book.

Overall, this book wasn't so much for me. But I'm still wondering about the characters. So who knows? Maybe someday I will pick up the second book in the series and see what happens next for Noah and the Caselli family.

I received a copy of The Pretender from the Litfuse Blogger Program in exchange for my honest review.

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