winged reviews
Adult, Review / January 10, 2012
The Kissing Tree by Prudence BiceThe Kissing Tree
Author: Prudence Bice
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Date: December 2011
262 pages
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Historical Fiction
Buy the BookGoodreads

Five years ago Georgiana stole a kiss from Ridge Carson under the community “kissing tree” the day before she moved away. Now eighteen, she finally returns to Colorado to live with her grandfather and help him with the cooking and cleaning on his ranch. Though she was taught how to be a proper young lady and flourish in New York’s high society, her heart never stopped yearning for home—or her childhood crush.

But when she unexpectedly finds herself facing the grown-up Ridge, with his Wild West ways, all her proper training begins to unravel. Now she isn’t sure she can fall for his improper cowboy style.

This light-hearted and charming love story will bring a smile to your face from page one.

I was drawn to the synopsis of this historical romance because I was in the mood for something sweet. I loved the idea of ending up with your childhood crush, because it’s one of those idealistic concepts that is great in theory but almost never works out. I’m also a big fan of the happy ending and this book delivered on all these counts.

Georgiana was a lovely heroine and she was so down to earth. She was definitely a woman of her time, with all the proper manners and priorities, but she also managed to be spunky and independent. Ridge was charming, ruggedly handsome and head over heels for Georgiana. The chemistry between them was palpable and my favourite moments between them where when Ridge teased Georgiana, who reacted flustered but pleased.

Georgie did have a tough choice to make between the man she thought she should marry (Dawson, her handsome, well-bred suitor from New York), and the one who simply just had her heart. Although you knew it was always going to be Ridge, I liked how the author managed this without making Dawson unlikable. In fact, liked him because he was just as equally head over heels for Georgiana, not someone that she was arranged to marry or felt entitled to her. I have to admit, part of me wished that Georgie could’ve picked them both.

Other great characters included Georgie’s grandfather, with his Irish charm. Her grandfather was Ridge’s number one fan and I liked the subtle meddling he did from time to time. Georgie’s best friend Samantha was also great, and a wonderful example of real female friendship. I liked how she welcomed Georgie back with open arms, and was always supportive of her choices and opportunities, not jealous of them. It was nice that Dawson and Samantha’s story line was wrapped up the way it was, even though it was all a bit too neat.

I enjoyed the writing and the tone the author created. Everything was described in such great detail that it felt like I was really in that time period. When I read the book, I imagined them all speaking with thick, Southern American accents, which may or may not have been due to the copious amounts of Hart of Dixie I had been watching at the time. That said, it all enhanced the story for me and made it feel more real.

Despite all this, I thought the story was slow in parts. There was some shifting of narration and flashbacks, which I felt wasn’t handled too smoothly. Also, there was some action towards the end which I thought was an interesting twist, but it was so different from the tone of the rest of the book, that it felt disconnected. The ending was sweet, but as I mentioned previously, it was almost too neatly wrapped up and slightly predictable.

Otherwise, I still enjoyed the read. If anyone is looking for some light, feel-good romance, then this is definitely one to pick up. Prudence Bice is also an author to watch, because even though the story fell a little short, her writing and the way she developed the setting and characters was great.

3 Stars

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