Title: Desert Willow
Author: Patricia Beal
Narrator: Maryann Carlson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Audio Release Date: April 15, 2020
Audio Publisher: Iron Stream Media dba LPC Books
Length: 9hrs 12 min
About the Book:
After a failed engagement, Captain Andrew Lee James has focused on building a career in the Army he loves. That commitment includes helping a feisty, out-of-work ballerina whose devotion to her grandmother’s dying wish immediately grabs his heart. She’s the one, but will he be able to win the heart of a woman who has vowed to never be involved with a soldier?
College graduate Clara Malone swore to never love anyone in the military again but when her dying grandmother asks her to deliver a love letter to the general who broke her heart decades ago, she agrees and finds herself escorted by a handsome Army captain whose kindness challenges her beliefs. Surrounded by desert willows that shower her path with pretty pink flowers and sing with the buzzing of hummingbirds, Clara enjoys the wild beauty of El Paso—and her time with Andrew—more than expected.
Can she deliver her grandmother’s last love letter without losing her heart to a man who represents everything she fears?
I really enjoyed Patricia Beal’s debut novel A Season to Dance, so I was excited to pick this one up. I like that the author is willing to go to places that might make people a little uncomfortable, but she does it to create real characters with real issues, so that the redemption experienced comes across as more genuine and maybe even relatable. For my own personal taste the romance developed too quickly and was too heavily based on physical chemistry, but I know others might not be bothered so much. As the story progressed I entered into a love-hate relationship with both Clara and Andrew. Initially I felt that Andrew was “too good” but without going into too much detail, that changed. Clara was harder to figure out, but I started to appreciate her more as I learned more about her story and she grew as a person.
I was unfortunately not a huge fan of the narrator in this case. The pacing was off and her character voices were too similar so it was difficult to keep track of the dialogue and new paragraphs. The narration sounded more like a read-a-loud instead of someone who was aware of the story and would match their energy and tone to fit the content. If I was to recommend this book to a friend I would be much more likely to recommend the print or e-book version for this reason.
*I received a copy of this audiobook through JustRead Tours. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.