What to do with a house full of teenage girls, along with impressionable younger ones, especially in the 1850s Texas America? Do what Henry Buckmeyer, the patriarch of the Buckmeyers do in "Daughters of the Heart" by Caryl McAdoo. Ground them for life! No, I'm just kidding, but to Gwendolyn, Cecilia and Bonnie, that might as well be. Their father had imposed a strict no courting until your 18 rule, and then no marriage until he approves. Simple enough in our times, but back then, you're considered an old maid towards spinsterhood if you're 18 and not a beau in sight. So what will the girls do? They love their father, but can they endure this "beau - fast" with their ranging hormones?
"Daughters of the Heart" is the 5th book of the "Texas Romance" series by Ms. McAdoo. Don't worry, you can read it as a stand alone. I find the description interesting and I've looked forward to reading this, even though I've yet to read any of Ms. McAdoo's works, including the other "Texas Romance" novels. Unfortunately, this book falls short of my expectations. Trust me, I want to love this book. I want to find it so captivating that I can't wait to read all the other novels in the series. I mean what not to love? It has romance (several), beautiful girls, handsome boys, love triangles, adventure and an historical faith novel too! It has all the markings of a novel I would love. However, it is not the case. I find it lacking in depth and character development throughout the writing. It doesn't make sense to me how easily it was written for Cecelia to fall in love and the emotional indifference that I feel with Gwen. None of the beaus stuck out to me and that goes with majority of the characters as well. The "adventure" with the villain(s) also felt unrealistic, or rather it doesn't tie in well with how the plot moved along. I guess it just felt "choppy" to me with in-cohesiveness throughout.
One thing I did enjoy and had kept me reading is the familial relationship between Henry and his children, between him and May, his second wife and the sibling rivalries. You feel the love of Henry and the girls, and how every one of them is "Daddy's little girl". In that aspect, it was a redeeming factor for me.
Paperback Released date: August 28, 2015
Digital Released date: September 1, 2015
Caryl McAdoo has graciously provided a giveaway in celebration of the release of "Daughters of the Heart":
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