Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Book Review: Three Sisters Inn Trilogy

Hide in Plain Sight by Marta Perry
A Christmas to Die For by Marta Perry
Buried Sins by Marta Perry

Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
Year: 2007

Category:  Romantic Suspense

As I said in my TSS post this was a bunch of fluffy books that I won't re-read but they were what I needed or could cope with this week (first week back after the break).

The books tell the story of three sisters: Andrea, Rachel and Caroline. Hide in Plain Sight focuses on Andrea, who comes to Lancaster County after Rachel has been in a hit and run accident. Rachel and the girls grandmother are trying to turn the grandmothers house into an inn. Andrea is skeptical to the enterprise but is forced to help out as Rachel has broken both legs. To make matters even worse she comes into conflict with Cal, the handsome carpenter who rents the barn from her grandmother, and someone seems to be intent on stopping the inn from opening.

A Christmas to Die For focuses on Rachel. A handsome stranger shows up at the inn. Turns out he has inherited the property neighboring the inn. The property belonged to the man's grandfather who died under mysterious circumstances. Circumstances he is hell bent on finding out, even if it means ruin for Rachel and her family. To make matters worse someone seems to want to kill Rachel.

The final book Buried Sins follows the youngest sister, Caroline. Caroline has always been the rebellious younger sister, who runs away from her problems. When her husband dies and someone threatens her, she runs back to Lancaster County to be with her sisters. But is her husband really dead? And why does the local Police Chief Zachary Burkhalter dislike her so?

My biggest problem with these books wasn't the predictability of them (I mean one does expect that from romance books :D) but rather the in your face religiousness. I don't mean that the characters were religious, that I have no problem with, I mean one of my favourite heroines is an Episcopalian Priest, but the way their religion was presented, especially in the first and last book.

In both these books it was presented as if you couldn't possibly be a good person if you weren't Christian. Chief Burkhalter doesn't want Caroline near his daughter because he thinks she is trouble. Fine. Except then he goes on to emphasise that any woman he loves MUST be Christian, not share his values, but be Christian. I get this a lot on a message board where I post occasionally and although I might not be the best person in the world I do think I am a fairly decent human being, as are many of my family and friends, even those who aren't professing Christians. It just grates.

In Hide in Plain Sight I also found Andreas praying to be jarring from a purely stylistic point of view. It was almost as if Perry had been writing and then gone "gosh, it has been 7 pages since I mentioned God, must mention God" and then she had Andrea pray. Maybe I find the talking to God praying to be a bit uncomfortable. Or...

This was better done in the middle book where for example Perry showed Rachel's beliefs by having her help out at church. Maybe it is more natural around Christmas, but I also felt that Perry didn't fall prey to the "oh dear, must throw in God" device as often. And I did find Caroline's lukewarm belief and her movement towards belief to be a lot more believable. 

On the whole they were actually quite suspenseful and with a romantic-ish end. They were okay reads but I won't be re-reading them.

Copyright ©2014 Zee from Notes from the North. This post was originally posted by Zee from Notes from the North. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

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