Sunday, February 06, 2011

Review: Marrying Daisy Bellamy by Susan Wiggs

No Hauling Sunday this week :) So instead, I have a review :)

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...
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...
Genre: Contemporary romance, Women's fiction
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.


  1. I'm sorry it didn't turn out so well for you. I would have wanted a lot of drama and angst in this type of story, too. So who did she end up with? LOL

  2. I abhor love triangles. Even worse when it involves a hero returning from supposed death. This is on my do-not buy list. lol!

  3. Wow! It sounds like it was just too much! like the book would have benefited from someone saying "You know what? that might be a bit too much."


    I'm not into triangles either, plus, I always pick the guy who doesn't get the girl and then go all Meh about the book.

  4. You write seriously great reviews, even when you feel only so-so about a book.

    I hate love triangles. It really puts me off a book if there is a love triangle, even if the book is really well written and great in every other way.

  5. It stinks when you've waiting so long for a character's story then it falls flat. I'm ok with love triangles but this one sounds depressing. :(

    I haven't read Wiggs for a very long time. Not since her historicals - Chicago Fire series & the Calhoun series. I did enjoy those but haven't tried her contemps.

  6. Christine - LOL, her first choice, Julian :)

    Tabitha - Did you read this series at all? See, the problem is I wanted Daisy's book... and in the back blurb, it's not mentioned that he comes back from the dead. I had a feeling, but still wanted to check her out.

    Alex - I don't feel like it was too much, Alex. However, I think it the writing was a bit too clinical.

    It sucks about rooting for the wrong guy ^_^;

    Sally - Thanks :P I can't help myself, but also, it's because I want people to understand why it was so-so to me.

    I'm glad I'm finding people who don't enjoy love triangles! :P

    Leslie - I know :( Ah well. I don't think I'll be reading Ms Wiggs for a while now.

    Some of her contemps were great, but yeah, she's bordering the line between romance and women's fiction... I guess that's the risk when you write contemporary romance.

    I haven't read all of her Chicago Fire series... Guess I should :P

  7. *sigh* Susan Wiggs used to be an autobuy but when her writing started reading more as women's fiction, she lost me as a reader. I hate when that happens!

  8. No, I haven't read this series at all. I don't like these type of storylines not to mention I'm not really a fan of women's fiction.

  9. Kristie - I know, but sometimes, her books are more contemporary romance and other times, they are more women fiction :( Ah well, I think this is going to be the last Wiggs for a while.

    I do hate it when it happens as well. Do you think it's age? I feel like many authors "evolve" to women fiction or mainstream fiction... Like Barbara Delinski...

    Tabitha - Yeah, in that case, stay away :P

  10. Who did daisy end up with? I didnt get to read the ending huhuhu

  11. Who did daisy end up with? I didnt get to read the ending huhuhu

  12. Steph30 - She ends with Julian.