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Friday, December 5, 2008

Arpetta Honor

Arpetta Honor by Annette Snyder
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 books
Review by Snapdragon

Lorenz Arpetta’s life seemed perfect. A prominent attorney, married to a beautiful girl from the well known Ousterhause family, his advantaged life stood a far cry from his childhood as impoverished living on the streets of Italy. Who knew the years would turn to hiding secrets of a family name?

Married and widowed at a young age wasn’t Jane’s idea of success though her life held that path. Assuming responsibility of service, she tucked disappointment of lost dreams behind. Who knew her feelings for Lorenz would flare to such unrequited heights?

With confidentialities of the Ousterhause name kept, Lorenz vows to honor his pledge regardless of consequence.

With Jane’s admirable promise, the reputation of Arpetta Manor remains intact.

As Lorenz and Jane struggle with restriction, will they find that admiration and strength are enough to survive tragedy and bring a love alive?

The disaster of dust on the wedding day kicks off Snyder’s fast paced contemporary romance, Arpetta Honor. Handsome Lorenz Arpetta, an eminent New York attorney, is proud – even thrilled – to be marrying the lovely, if temperamental Olivia Ousterhause. He accepts her over-reaction to dust in a small side room, and similar things, with acceptance and even the suggestion of subtle, barely self-acknowledged humor. The depth of this main character created by Snyder is terrific, and as we go forward in the story, we realize that Arpetta’s self-awareness, and his own grasp of ‘honor’ is indeed pivotal to the story. And, Olivia’s own wonderful, flamboyant and illogical issues are simply fun to read and completely engaging. They can be both funny and sad, and give us a believable image of Olivia, right from the start. Crazy as she seems, Olivia’s past, her memories, as well as her suspicions all play a role in moving the plot forward.

The start of a parallel love story, with the marriage of Jane Kay to Tupper throws an unpredictable twist into the plot, immediately. For Jane, finances are the big issue…until her involvement with the Arpetta family gives her a whole new perspective. Jane often seems distant from her own relationships – until he ‘important’ one. She is the one character most full of surprises; although in this story, the depth and development of the various characters steals the show. Dialogue is frequently exciting. This is more than a love story, but a story very devoted to compassion, as well.

Sadly, editing let slide (perhaps for literary effect, but intrusive nonetheless,) several grammatical issues, including sentences without verbs, and more than one instance of slow back-story. Although these don’t reduce the wonderful quality of the story’s content, they do have a distracting effect. Snyder’s ability to engage readers and deliver an unpredictable tale, even when utilizing a couple less-than-admirable main characters is impressive.