Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Shorts: Five Umbrellas for Healing Hearts by Taryn Kincaid

Want a quick Saturday afternoon read? Taryn Kincaid's got just the thing, and this gothic novella is practically begging for a rainy day, crackling fire, and cup of strong English tea.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars. It is darn near impossible to write a complex, emotionally satisfying love story with a real conflict in a mere 74 pages, but somehow Kincaid pulls it off, and for that alone, I have to salute her. If you enjoy slightly gothic regencies, like Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series or Samantha James's or Shirley Karr's work, you will enjoy this tale of a young woman confronting the man she spent most of her life idolizing, but now blames for the death of her twin brother. With vivid details of the sea swept landscape and impoverished manor house, I felt like I had slipped into a delicious Victorian tale. I can only hope that the Bronte fairy dust extends to Kincaid attempting a full-length historical. If I have a quibble with this tale, it's that it really deserved to be a full-length novel. With an angst-ridden conflict, Dickens-esque villain, tortured hero, and beautifully wrought prose, this had more than enough material to carry a book, and as such, it felt like heroine's rapid shift from hating hero to remembering why she once loved him to forgiving him was a bit rushed. Kincaid made it work, but I would have loved to see this play out on a larger scale. Heroine's anger was a force to be reckoned with, and the description of her emotional state was exceptionally well-done. If Kincaid continues to grow her craft, I predict that she will be formidable addition to the historical aisle with her unique gothic-tinged voice and vivid descriptive writing.

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