Especially around the holidays, I love a good, sweet, easy romance with family values and a cozy theme – like knitting. Terri DuLong’s Secrets on Cedar Key had it all – except it wasn’t very good. Maybe I couldn’t handle the dozens of characters because I haven’t read the earlier books in the series. Or maybe I didn’t relate well to the main character (she’s a little older than I am). I think the main problem was that the book was disjointed, wordy, and didn’t flow well at times.
DuLong used a lot of pages describing things that didn’t move the plot forward. And even if I forgave that, sometimes I was left hanging after a plot point wasn’t followed through: We hear about Marin planning and making a cassoulet for her beau… but then we don’t hear about the actual dinner where they eat it. We hear about numerous other dinners that are irrelevant, but not the cassoulet dinner, even though its preparation was described, and then described some more. Another example is when Marin’s stepdaughter is having a baby. The nurse comes in with dialogue, including saying that the doctor will give an epidural. Well, the labor and delivery is described, and no epidural was given. So why mention the epidural in the first place?
Secrets of Cedar Key drove me crazy with so much description of irrelevant people, places and things. If the story was told in half the words, I could have enjoyed Marin’s new romantic relationship, the expansion of the yarn shop, the changes in her family, and the quirkiness of the other Cedar Key residents. As it stands, I can’t recommend it.
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