Saturday, May 11, 2013

Review: Sarah Darlin'

Sarah's ambitions don't stop at being a singer at the Jenny Lind during the early days of San Francisco. Her dreams are to become a famous singer and be the star of polite society. She knows it will be a struggle given her humble beginnings, but this young woman is determined to rise above until the appearance of a certain gentleman, Richard, brings up her past and the secrets buried there. 

I'll be honest and say that it took me a little while to get into this book at first. In the first few chapters the characters seemed a little stereotypical. Sarah is a poor young woman with dreams of becoming a star, and she is also determined to be independent and free despite her adoptive father, whose strict rules which are intended to keep her safe. I had the same problem with Richard at first. He is a bit pompous and arrogant, but shows signs that he is a decent person underneath. His main ambition is to buy back his family home lost to creditors. Some of the side characters initially came off the same way. I was afraid this would continue throughout the whole book, but I found this was not the case. 

Throughout the story the characters deepen considerably. Sarah is forced to reevaluate her dreams and desires many times as different circumstances come up. She goes from the charming and plucky young lady in the first few chapters to a very introspective and careful woman by the end who makes her decisions based on the effect they will have on those she loves. Richard becomes a well developed character as well. His arrogance and unbending plans for the future are forced to adjust as he faces hardship and tough decisions between reclaiming what he lost and starting over. I enjoyed seeing these characters grow and develop during the book. Hickman did a good job of taking characters who initially seemed predictable and developing them into more complex characters readers could relate to and enjoy. 

The romance between Sarah and Richard was planned out very well. I enjoyed the back and forth interplay between them and the way it was woven into the rest of the plot. There are both situational and emotional elements that cause their relationship to be tried many times. Just when readers think everything has worked out, new secrets are revealed, or some problem arises that complicates everything. The romance along with the mystery of who Sarah really is and how her true identity will impact her life created a well rounded plot that will keep readers entertained. 

Sarah Darlin' is available now from Amazon

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