Friday, October 12, 2012

Review: If I Wait For You by Jane Goodger

If I Wait for You by Jane Goodger
Everyone in New Bedford, Massachusetts believes Sara Dawes murdered her own parents. A price is on her head and someone has tried to kill her—not for revenge but to keep her quiet. Fearing for her life, Sara begs the stern and too-handsome-for-his-own-good Captain West Mitchell to allow her to go with him when he leaves port. She wants only to be safe.

West Mitchell wants nothing to do with Sara, but when she nearly dies in his arms, he has no choice but to take her aboard his ship. He quickly realizes he’s made a terrible mistake. The girl he thought would be a hindrance is finding a way into his heart—a heart he’d already promised to another.

When West finally realizes he cannot live without Sara, it may already be too late…
I originally picked up If I Wait For You by Jane Goodger because the settings looked particularly interesting. Part of the story takes place in a whaling ship and the other in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and of course that made this historical romance different enough to draw me like a magnet.

Captain West Mitchell takes Sara Dawes aboard his ship as his make-believe wife after she almost dies in his arms. She's sister to his third mate and has been forced to flee New Bedford, Massachusetts after having been wrongly accused of murdering her parents and setting fire to their home. Since West is already engaged and an honorable man, he figures sharing his cabin with Sara won't be a hardship. That changes quickly when sharing close quarters and Sara’s beauty unexpectedly trigger dishonorable thoughts. In the meantime, Sara can't believe that she's sharing space with a man she has admired for years, but no matter all the day dreaming, she knows that he's only keeping her aboard his ship on sufferance, and that his heart will never belong to her. Or will it?

This is one of those romances that takes years to reach the happy ever after and a final resolution to all the different threads -- a whole three years. I love the sexual tension that Goodger uses to build up the relationship between Sara and West while they are on the whaling ship. Sara's relationship with the crew, the whaling details, and the adventures they all share are part of what makes this a wonderful read. Later, the story moves to New Bedford where we meet Sara again after she has become part of society, and where the mystery of her parent's murders are finally solved.

The romance and main characters did not quite win me over, though. There's a push and pull that, although great at the beginning, goes on for way too long. West and Sara both play a game where neither will admit to themselves, never mind to each other, that they love the other when it's plainly obvious that they do. West becomes frustrating during their shared voyage, while Sara is frustrating in the extreme once West returns to New Bedford and the two are reunited after a few years apart. During those years apart Sara supposedly grew up, unfortunately her actions rarely show maturity and she uses West's younger brother in a way that was tough to appreciate.

If I Wait For You by Jane Goodger is an enjoyable historical romance with an excellent setting. It also has that 'old style' historical atmosphere with wonderful details that I so enjoy (particular to this story: the whaling and seafaring life details), a sea voyage with a great crew as secondary characters, and excellent sexual tension that is used to build up intimacy between the protagonists. However, at times the main characters are not necessarily sympathetic and the plot devices utilized to drive the romance somewhat overdone, making this a mixed bag read for me.

As a side note, If I Wait For You is self-published, so expect a few of those pesky editing errors along the way. It is also the prequel to Jared's romance, *Gifts from the Sea, a backlist release by Goodger that is currently out of print. However, per the author, look for a release in ebook format in the future. Jared is West's older brother and one of the most intriguing secondary characters appearing in this book. I’m looking forward to reading his romance.

Category: Historical Romance
Series: None (related books)*
Publisher/Release Date: Self-published/July 26, 2011
Grade: B-

Visit Jane Goodger here.

14 comments:

  1. Aww, I was really excited until you said it takes three years, that is just too much for me since I get the feeling a lot of things will happen to keep these two from being together.

    Thanks for the review though, and the cover is really beautiful

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    1. Alex, actually the three years do NOT make the type of difference in this story that you think it might. Let me explain: Sara and West are in a ship together for months and their initial romance is developed there, then they’re separated and she goes to New Bedford while he continues sailing. BUT, the story ends when they separate and immediately picks up when they reunite. We find out what happened throughout those years as they tell each other but it basically proves a certain maturity of character and strength of feelings that might otherwise be deemed superficial or based on lust. :D

      I love the cover for this book!

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  2. Yes, three years is a lot of time to reach a HEA. There is no way that a romance can go back and forth that long without more angst than I'd like to read about. It's a shame because I love out of the ordinary romance settings.

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    1. Brie, the romance doesn’t go back and forth throughout the years (please read my answer to Alex). The romance is focused on the H/H throughout the whole book and it’s basically split in two sections: Part 1 -- Ship, Part 2-- New Bedford. One picks up immediately after the other even though years pass between events, and continue to the end. It is well done, so that aspect of the novel did not bother me at all. :D

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  3. Hilcia, this book seems to be great to read in a rainy afternoon by the fireplace lolol (I have it pictured in my mind already).
    I'll try to get it when i can. Thanks! :)
    Sonia

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    1. Sonia, yes! Funny you should mention it, I read in just such a day. *g* FYI, this ebook is priced at 0.99 cents at the moment. A great buy in my opinion.

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    2. Hi! Well, I meant when I had the time for it I'd get it, but if you say that price it would help too...where does it cost so?
      ****

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    3. Sonia I purchased the book at amazon for that price. You might want to check Ms Goodger's website to check availability elsewhere.

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    4. Yes, I got that amazon would be the place and I don't have a kindle which is annoying in these cases...
      So I went to look in Smashwords, where I've purchased a book before and was able to pay with pay pal. I got it there already, that price too. Will read the book in december (I know, I know, but I have lists!)
      Thank you for the recommendation :)

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    5. Oh yay! I will forward to your review, and we'll compare thoughts. :D

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  4. LOL, unlike Alex, I like the sound of three years! There's just been too many fast romances lately that one that takes time actually sounds really appealing! It feels a bit saga-ish too :P

    I actually quite enjoy Ms Goodger's writing. I find it quite refreshing and unique. I wasn't aware of this release, so I'm glad to see your review, Hils! Thanks! It's just too bad that in this case, it seemed the back and forth dragged on too long...

    If you want to read another book by this author, I strongly recommends When There is Hope :) That's the one that made me fall in love with Ms Goodger :)

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    1. Nath I've had this book in my tbr for a long while now. I loved the cover and the premise. It does have that old fashion sagaish feel but with an updated touch. I think its the sea voyage etc and the fact that there is instant attraction but love takes time.

      Thanks for the recommendation. I will look it up.

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  5. Hilcia, sorry I've been away for long, but time seems to vanish in a second...
    So, here I am again. I'm just finishing this book and it is everything you've aid in your post...I enjoyed it and now I'm curious about West's brothers too! I hope Jared's book can be released soon!
    ****

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you read it and enjoyed it too. I have remember to keep looking for Jared's story... if you see it, please let me know, and I will let you know too. I don't want to miss the ebook release!

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