Friday, October 25, 2013

Review: The Miner's Lady by Tracie Peterson

About the book:

The Miner's Lady by Tracie Peterson
Land of Shining Water: Book 3
Bethany House

When Chantel Panetta's younger sister claims to be in love with Orlando Calarco, Chantel knows there is no hope. The Panettas and Calarcos have been sworn enemies for decades, and young love cannot heal the deep wounds between the two iron-mining families. Yet, unable to resist Isabella's pleas, Chantel agrees to help her sister spend time with Orlando. . .only to have a run-in with Dante, Orlando's brother. The older, more handsome one.

Chantel can't deny the attraction that flares when she's with Dante. But when a tragedy occurs at the mine, is there any hope that the hatred that has simmered between these two families might be resolved? Or will Chantel's hope for love be buried amidst decades of misunderstanding?

My review:

            I’ve come to expect only the best from Tracie Peterson and The Miner’s Lady was no exception. A Romeo and Juliet style family feud between two Italian immigrant families is the backdrop for Peterson’s newest novel. What’s not to love?

Chantel Panetta returns from a trip Italy to find that her sister Isabella is in love and plans to marry Orlando Calarco. This would be a joyous occasion if it weren’t for one small detail. The Panettas and Calarcos are in the middle of an intense, hateful family feud. Isabella and Orlando believe their love is exactly what is needed to heal the rift between their families but Chantel is less than certain. Matters only get worse Orlando’s maddening older brother Dante demands the pair stop seeing each other. After Mr. Panetta survives a mining accident he believes God is calling him to end the feud but Mr. Calarco refuses and things quickly spiral out of control.

This story had me hooked form the very first chapter and after that I couldn’t be stopped. Chantel is a charming heroine who is willing to make great sacrifices to secure her sister’s happiness and to do what she feels is right in the eyes of God. The interactions and romance between her and Dante are enjoyable and sweet without suffering from insta-love. Dante spends much of the book torn between loyalty to his father and the ridiculousness of the quarrel between these two families. However, as he starts to let go of his dislike for the Panettas and spends time in their company his true personality shines. I loved his sense of humor and how sweet he was with his grandmother. Speaking of Nonna Barbato, she has got to be, hands down, my favorite character. She has spunk, sass and a no nonsense attitude that really made me love her more every time she was on the page.
The only thing I didn’t care for was secondary storyline involving Marco Panetta and the owner of a local saloon that never panned out and ended up seeming rather pointless to me. I enjoyed Marco story but it just never seemed to fit in with the rest of the book.

The lessons of forgiveness and love were very well done without seeming pushy and the characters were fleshed out excellently. I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend this read.  

***I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own***