Caldwell, Christi. Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride. [United States]: Christi Caldwell, 2013. ISBN-13: 9781944240080. $11.90 USD.
Christi Caldwell is an incredibly prolific self-published author, and despite reading one book from her last year, I was not able at the time to read more of her work until now. And going back to her earliest published full-length novel, her promise as a storyteller is evident, although it is obvious she was still getting to grips with the more technical side of the trade, as there are copious punctuation errors and some typos and misusage of words.
But this does not detract from what is an otherwise pleasurable read, which offers up a generous mix of both the humorous and the heart-wrenching. The interactions between the characters present a number of moments that will have you laughing out loud, while also grip your emotions when it comes to the tougher stuff, such as the Drake’s experience dealing with what we know today to be PTSD. And while you may not always approve of everything the hero does, you can at least understand where he’s coming from, even if he is a bit misguided. And despite seeming very naive at the beginning, we do see Emmaline grow throughout the story, and she provides the anchor and support that Drake needs.
My one complaint as far as the trajectory of the story is concerned is the focus depicting sex scenes in some detail in the latter part of the book, as there are several, almost back-to-back. and after the initial one, they don’t seem to add much to the growth of the relationship. Even if it is true that newly wed people spend the initial, say, months of their marriage in bed, I feel this is something that might have been handled with more subtlety. However, it is still a charming read, both for newcomers to Caldwell’s work and to those who have tried several of her books already.