Having read a number of McDaniels books, The Girl With The Broken Heart, tops the rest in sappy cliché moments, but bottoms out on quality only a few chapters in. if you are familiar with any of the author’s other offerings (she has written over 70 books) the track of this story will be a familiar one for you: A troubled girl at the edge of womanhood, a heartthrob love interest from the other side of the tracks who harbors a scandalous secret, a forbidden romance, all of the keystones of McDaniel’s work are here, however unlike her most successful and thrilling outings she does not offer a different twist or perspective on the work leaving this novel feeling formulaic, rushed, and impersonal.
With that said, in her trademark style McDaniel also keeps this story moving like a bullet train. So even if you, like me, aren’t as enthralled by the story it will not take you long to cover that ground. The plot, for better or worse, chugs along beat-by-beat keeping the pages turning and the story moving. I would recommend this book for readers who have trouble committing to overly long or unnecessarily wordy books, or if you are looking for a beach read that you can breeze through in a few afternoons without having to hold intense attention to an overly-convoluted plot. In it’s simplicity, I can see this book appealing to a reader who likes a strictly straightforward type of narrative.
I must add one disclaimer to my review, however, I shared this book with a friend who had grown up around horses and who is an experienced trainer and rider and she absolutely loved it. Having grown up in and around cities the charm of the rural love story heavily invested in horse ownership and ranches that is lost on me. If your teenage daughter or son is especially interested in equestrian this book may be just what the doctor ordered, however otherwise I would recommend checking out some of McDaniel’s more revered work such as Angels Watching Over Me.
CRITICS HAVE SAID
- “The suspense is skillfully paced, and the characters well rendered and appealing. Horse-lovers and romance readers are in for a treat with this poignant yet action-packed page-turner.” —Booklist
“. . . this will be a satisfying read for many. . . . Fans of the previous “Windemere” novels will be excited to see characters from the past.” —SLJ
“A good choice for readers who enjoy a leisurely pace with a hint of mystery.” —VOYA
IF YOU LOVE THIS BOOK, THEN TRY:
Heart to Heart, by Lurlene McDaniel