Disclaimer: I've received Marrying Daisy Bellamy as an eARC from NetGalley
*Warning: This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk*
Marrying Daisy Bellamy by Susan Wiggs
published by Mira (Harlequin) in January 2011
There are days on Willow Lake...Genre: Contemporary romance, Women's fiction
Daisy Bellamy has struggled for years to choose between two men - one honorable and steady, one wild and untethered. And then, one fateful day, the decision is made for her.
When the wind is so still and the water so calm...
Now busy with a thriving business on Willow Lake, Daisy knows she should be happy with the life she's chosen for herself and her son. But she still aches for the one thing she can't have.
You can almost hear your heart beat...
Until the man once lost to her reappears, resurrected by a promise of love. And now the choice Daisy thought was behind her is the hardest one she'll ever face...
Series: Lakeshore Chronicles, Book #8
The Story: Daisy Bellamy's story has been ongoing since book #1 of the series. Daisy was a teenager when she got pregnant and chose to keep the baby and be a single mother. It's also at that time that she met Julian Gastineaux, her cousin's brother-in-law and also a thrill-seeker who enrolled in the Army to become a pilot one day. There was a definite connection between the two, but something they never explore beyond friendship because of circumstances. Add in Logan O'Donnell, the baby's father who sobered up and who's been a great father to Charlie, and Daisy found herself in a love triangle. As they've all grown and matured, this love triangle intensified and now is time for Daisy to make a choice... Julian.
Unfortunately, few weeks after Daisy and Julian get engaged, Julian is deployed, reported missing... and ultimately, dead. Shocked, dazed and heart-broken, Daisy accepts Logan's proposal - to become a real family. She needs an anchor and must think of Charlie's future.
However, Julian is not dead... and returns for Daisy... Only, Daisy is a married woman to another man who is on the verge of celebrating her one-year anniversary. What is she to do?
My Opinion: I'm really not a fan of love triangles, especially not those where a party comes back from the dead ^_^; So to be honest, this probably affected my opinion of the book greatly. In truth, the only reason why I did pick up this book was because I've been looking forward to Daisy's story for a long time and even knowing I'd probably not enjoy it very much, I wanted to read it.
For me, this book was okay. I wished Ms Wiggs had not utilized this plot trope to resolve the love triangle. I mean, it was clear who Daisy loved, but I guess it needed to be more dramatic. I admired Daisy, because she wanted to keep her wedding vows. She married Logan and the three of them had finally become a family and it would be unfair for Logan if she went back to Julian. I also understood Logan's anxiety and at the same time, I pitied Julian. I felt the strongest about Julian, because he lost Daisy and couldn't do a thing to win her back. So you have three characters who are trying to continue life as it was, but the problem is that everything has changed. You cannot ignore Julian's return, nobody can... Perhaps if he'd return 5 years or 10 years later, yes... but his disappearance wasn't long enough for Daisy and Logan's relationship to really survive... especially when both are not passionate about each other. I mean, after Julian's disappearance, it's clear why Daisy accepted Logan's proposal. It was for their family to be together and yes, she loved him...but I don't think it was wildly as her husband, but more as the father of her son. She settled and under the circumstances, I'm not blaming her, but still, she settled.
So you have the love triangle again and in the end, it is once again resolved - same way as the first time. I liked the fact that Daisy and Logan were very civilized about it. I think to be fair with everyone, this was the logical choice. However, I did expect the whole thing - Julian's return, Daisy's confusion, Logan's anxieties - to be more angsty and it wasn't for me ^_^; and I think it has to do with the writing. Ms Wigg's writing style has changed over the course of this series or even before. It has become something between contemporary romance and women's fiction and her narrative style has become more passive. I don't think the strong emotions came across well in Marrying Daisy Bellamy. We all saw how each character coped and their mistakes and thoughts, but at the end, it didn't grip me. I didn't feel torn for Daisy.
My Grade: Overall, this book is a D for me. I really wished I've enjoyed this book more and if it had reached me, if I had been emotionally involved, I'm sure I would have... but I wasn't. Perhaps it's the writing style or just my aversion to love triangles, I don't know. However, I'm sure that many don't have the same aversion as me and will enjoy this book.