Ah, the 2012 Self-Published Reading Challenge. Once again, I've read more than I've blogged. I am actually pretty close to meeting my goal of 10 books and I hope to get to at least 15. Meanwhile, I've only blogged about five. Not cool, I know. This review originally appeared on Indie Jane but I'm reposting it here because this is a great book and my fantastic review of it (ahem) deserves to be posted all over the interwebz.
Review: My Dear SophyYou know that feeling when you get a really good box of chocolates and you eat your way through all your favorites and collapse in a satisfied, sugar-induced coma? That’s a great feeling! But even better is the feeling you get when you think you’ve eaten all your favorites (sadness) and all that are left are yucky nougats (sadness squared) but you can’t resist looking in the box one more time just in case you missed a good one…and gasp! There it is! One of your favorites (the dark chocolate covered almonds in my case) and you kind of cry a little bit inside, but it’s a happy, “oh yay I get to savor this one more time” kind of cry. Oh, that only happens to me? Awkward. Well, try to imagine such a feeling—the savoring of the unexpected reward—and you will get the idea what it’s like to read My Dear Sophy by Kimberly Truesdale. My Dear Sophy is the story of Sophia Wentworth, she is the older sister of Frederick Wentworth (my second favorite Austen hero!) and she is one of the best characters in Austen’s Persuasion. She and her husband, Admiral Croft, have one of the best (if not the best) marriages in all of Austen. Take a moment and think about it. We are, of course, hoping for happy marriages for all those heroes and heroines, but pre-existing happy unions in Austen? There are not a lot. So when I heard that Kimberly Truesdale was writing a…well I guess it’s a prequel, but trust me it’s not in the icky George Lucas style of prequels…featuring Sophia Wentworth and Captain Conrad Croft, I was extremely excited. And nervous. Admiral and Mrs. Croft are so in love in Persuasion, but it’s a warm, comfortable, jolly sort of love and I was afraid they wouldn’t translate well into a passionate love story. I was wrong. Sophia Wentworth is the eldest child of the town doctor in sleepy little Milverton. Her daily existence consists of keeping her father and brothers together as a cohesive and harmonious (fail, Sophy, fail, but it’s not your fault. They’re teen boys, they cannot be reasoned with) family after the death of her mother and in hearing all the little gossip and drama of her small town and helping out where she can. And kinda sorta crushing on the new rector. Mr. Hollingsworth seems like he would be a great match for Sophy. He’s young, attractive, smart, able to offer her a secure future but then… Cue Hottie Naval Captain! ….Captain Conrad Croft returns to Milverton after fourteen years to visit his family. He and Sophy just seem to get one another. Sophy feels like she’s being really seen for the first time, Connie is entranced by her comfortable manner, and her smiles, and by her way of always offering comfort and encouragement. There’s witty verbal repartee over a rock skipping contest…there’s Connie with his collar undone and his sleeves rolled up in the hot, hot, heat of the summer… I actually texted Nancy (my Indie Jane partner in crime) the following during my read of My Dear Sophy: The path to true love doesn’t always run smoothly, and in this case it is mostly the fault of the key players themselves. Oh, and the annoying (okay, not really) Mr. Hollingsworth who was actually pretty much perfect for the Sophy at the start of the book. It was really hard to hate him even though I wanted to because I really detest love triangles. In this case, however, the love triangle was very realistic and made sense. Mr. Hollingsworth could offer Sophy a steady, settled, and probably pretty happy life in her hometown near her family. Connie, if he ever gets around to admitting to himself that a) he’s desperately in love with her, and b) all of his ideas about not having a wife on board a ship wouldn’t matter if he had the right woman by his side…can offer Sophy an unsettled, sometimes hard life, but one filled with adventure and love. Also, as a side note! Teenage Frederick Wentworth! I mean, yeah he’s fifteen, but he’s still kind of hot, though a bit of a brat, and you know, fifteen…so on second thought, forget I said anything. To sum up: Very sweet, quick, and comfortable read with flashes of gooey puddle inducing hotness. (JUST KISS HER ALREADY CONNIE!!!! … Ahem). I can’t wait for more of Connie and Sophy’s adventures! Five out of five stars