My rating: 2 of 5 genies
Genre: Inspirational/Christian, Historical, Fiction, Romance
Published: August 1, 2009
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Source: Library Loan
Purchase At: TheBookDepository.com or Amazon.com
Gooding, Texas, is about to gain a double blessing--a veterinarian and a doctor. But when siblings Enoch and Taylor Bestman arrive, the discovery that Taylor is a lady doctor has the town up in arms. Especially Karl Van der Vort, the town blacksmith, who becomes the first patient...against his will.
Though hesitant to believe in Taylor's doctoring skills, Karl finds himself oddly protective of this surprising woman who dares to drive about town on her own, wearing the color red, for heaven's sake Taylor, on the other hand, wants only to prove that doctoring is her life's calling, despite the town's opposition. The result? Pride meets attraction head-on, and sparks begin to fly.
'That Certain Spark' was interesting and NOT in a good way. Interesting like cafeteria meat that you pick with a fork wondering what exactly it is or supposed to be. It was weird for me and you have no idea how it burns me to say that! I love a lot of books by Hake, like 'Fancy Pants' and 'Bittersweet' to name a few, and while I am being honest let me say that not all her books have been easy to get into. Fudge! They have been even impossible at times, but I found that perseverance in those cases proved worth it at the end. Eventually something would happen.
I felt that way about this book too, but that didn't happen. I liked the cover, a picture of Taylor, it was quirky and looked to have everything to do with the story. And yet even though Taylor was a protagonist I never did feel like she was the MAIN focus. It felt like a crowd had been forced into this book, there were just too many people! I can see why Hake did it, and on many occasions I grumble at not being properly entertained, just not on this one.
Sometimes things didn't even check out. Realistically speaking Enoch's courtship with Mercy bordered on lust and was just that, unrealistic. If we are going to have a Lust-relationship be clear about it! Do not mask it as love because barely two weeks together does not a happy marriage make. Who seriously marries a vet who just moved into town 2 weeks ago! Who in their right mind!? He could be a killer who stuffs children into pig carcasses! Didn't think about that, huh Mercy? And Taylor's brother wasn't a guy, he was a pansy. Their relationship was very forced to me, Hake tried too hard to make them seem like twins, insisting that they had a 'connection'. Well the proof is in the pudding and I tasted water.
They were too unrelated for my liking. Sure Enoch stuck up for his sister, but it didn't feel authentic, it felt like someone was going 'Oh, you have to go do something. People are staring and you ARE her twin,' every time someone was rude or tried to get her to leave. Their being related did nothing for me.
Furthermore the love interest for Taylor sucked as well! At the beginning he seemed flipping American then all of a sudden he's... Dutch? What now! At least his brother was spouting German or Danish from the start, not halfway through like Karl. It was as if he up and decided to be German, and throwing random phrases around does not make him that! Why is it that most authors think ignoring a person's heritage is okay? They come from unique backgrounds, all of them do and lumping them into a mold of job, occupation or type based on romantic interest does not tell me about that person! Does that character miss where he came from? Believe it or not but that guy has history in whatever country you're botching to make him look worldly, authors.
I absolutely hated that. Also Karl reminded me of Frankenstein's monster: hulking, bumbling and unaware. He was fine going around defending Taylor, not completely on her side yet but thinking she was hot and doing it just because. Yeah, thanks pal. I didn't think Hake devoted enough time to those two at all because there were no butterflies when I gave up halfway through the book and checked out the ending, I was just like 'Not worth it!' and dropped the book altogether. It was all split between Enoch and his family troubles (which by the way were just ridiculous) and 10 other town people including Karl and his brother. They all had opinions and I'm sure I didn't need to be exposed to all of them. I get that they are important to the town and somewhat to the story, but these people have HAD their stories, why force them into this one? Detain them!
How Hake expected me to devote attention to Taylor when Enoch had so much drama going on is beyond me, it was just too much! I am very disappointed and despite the 2 genie rating I give this novel I will keep reading Hake's work, because she isn't a bad author, this is just a bad book.
2 genies: I wanted to like this, I really did, but too much was left under-developed.
There was far more worse than good.