30 June 2015

Blinded by Love by Melissa Jagears - Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

The Convenient Bride Collection from Barbour (2015)

The Convenient Bride Collection (Barbour, July 2015)
Blinded by Love by Melissa Jagears

Five Stars *****

One of the things I loved about this novella was that Melissa featured a "mature" romance with older hero and heroine.

Melissa Jagears' novella, Blinded by Love, is a refreshingly unique piece of Christian historical fiction. Her heroine, Margaret, is forty-seven!!! Shocking in Christian romance for a heroine to be this old. I've been told for the CBA market that I couldn't make my leading ladies over thirty five! So when I read Margaret's age I sent up a "Huzzah!!!"

The hero, Neil, is a prominent, wealthy, and handsome man. He's also losing his eyesight. He and Margaret have been friends, or "debating partners" if you will, for some time. Margaret is very tall (taller than me even! She's 5'11" and I'm 5'9") and she describes herself as plain enough that she could pass as a man if she cut her hair and tall and boxy--nothing feminine about her. Yet it soon becomes clear that her sister who received all the good looks, and her family are dysfunctional--not just that, I'd say they are clearly toxic. Neil is an intelligent man and compassionate. You'll love reading about their romance!!!

Bibliotherapy: For those who have thought love might never find them, this is a great later-in-life marriage story (sort of like rooting for Father Tim in the Mitford Series!). Also a good read for those who are loyal even to people who deserve no loyalty--those in toxic relationships. And Neil's disability is relatable to those not only losing their eyesight but losing other faculties such as mobility or hearing. Also, Margaret and Neil are both "socially awkward" and I think Melissa Jagears may be giving a slight wink at them possibly tending toward what I would call residual Asperger's--someone who has overcome the issues to a large part but still has some difficulties. I hesitate to even put it that way as it may not have been her intent. But for those overcoming mild ASD, this may be a good bibliotherapy read. It's a delightful novella, regardless!

Disclaimer: I read the book through NetGalley's program and am under no compulsion to post a positive review.

Giveaway: We're giving away a copy of Melissa's new novel, A Bride at Last, this week, in paperback, and also another giveaway of either her new novel OR this Convenient Brides novella collection -- Readers choice of format ebook or paperback. You can enter three times this week by leaving a comment on each blog post.

Question: How old is "too old" for a hero and heroine? Would you purchase a full length novel if you knew the heroine was over forty? Why or why not?

66 comments:

  1. I would love too read this book! It looks absolutely interesting. I love Romantic books
    oh.hello.hiya@gmail.com

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    1. How old is too old , Danie? I love novella collections, too!

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  2. What a splendid review, CARRIE! An over 40 romance? Usually a secondary character, but not the heroine. Good for Melissa!

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    1. Ha! I didn't set out to do it, she was just 47. :)

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    2. LOVE what Melissa said DIANA! Her character just SIMPLY WAS 47--she's so real to Melissa she can just know that. Love it!!! And TY my supremo reviewer for your kind words!!!

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  3. It would depend on the time period, I won't purchase any novels depicting a divorce heroine or hero, to close to home including bad memories of my parents divorce.

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    1. She's a spinster. Getting a divorced character through a Christian publisher is probably harder than an older one.

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    2. JUANITA, I totally "get" that. There are certain things I WON'T read and many are because as a psychologist I just saw too much of something!! Blessings!

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  4. What a wonderful review Carrie. Yes I would buy a full lenght novel with an over 40 heroine. I believe people of all gaes deserve a chance or in most cases a second chance at love. I am looking forward to reading this. I have been reading novellas recently because it's great to have more than one story in the book and really enjoying them.
    Deanne
    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

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    1. I have fallen in love with reading (and writing them as you know!) novellas because I don't have to spend multiple evenings on one book. I get off track and lose momentum. Maybe that will change later. We'll see. You have GOT to read this great book!!!

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  5. I would not mind because that's my age group now. That was really hard to write just now. Hehe!!!
    jennydtipton at gmail dot com

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    1. When it's your age, it certainly doesn't feel that old, does it?

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    2. I'm glad to have brought a smile to your face Carrie! :)

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    3. Actually Melissa I kept thinking man these people are so old and then I'm like wait that's how old I am! Ahhhh!

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  6. I would absolutely read a novel with an over 40 heroine! If anything, age adds character & experience, which makes the heroine more interesting! Thanks for sharing your review!!
    rw620 AT aol DOT com

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    1. Hey Robin, TY! I think there is a huge audience for this age group and I wonder if our sweet author MELISSA will continue to write some forty-somethings stories!

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  7. You are never "too old" for anything!! And I will be 45 this year so I think a heroine or hero over 40 is wonderful....I haven't found too many books written in this age bracket, but I think it's wonderful for someone to find love in their older years!! I think it would be a more mature love since you know what you want out of a mate and won't compromise (at least for me anyway). And absolutely YES, I would purchase a book like this! Romance is just as wonderful & sweet no matter your age!
    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

    See I remembered my email this time...haha!!

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    1. Hey TRIXI, I love your enthusiasm!!! Never too old for anything! Makes me want to keep working on my stories with an older hero and heroine! TY for sharing!!!

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  8. How old is too old? Hummmmmmmmm, I would say the older I get, the old the heroine/hero can be! I've never thought about it, so evidently it doesn't matter to me.
    susanlulu(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Yeah, even as a teenager, I didn't care how old the people were, I just wanted a good romance, I imagine them how I want anyway. :)

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    2. HAHA SUSAN!!! I think I feel that way, too--the older I get the older the hero and heroine can be. Hugs!

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  9. Love when authors get together to write a book of stories.

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    1. I love books about young and old doesn't matter to me love to read it all the same.

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    2. Barbour put out a request to agents for stories about Brides of Convenience. I submitted to this collection too, but like probably over a hundred other authors, my story never made it in! :( But I am VERY glad that MELISSA's did and it is lovely and unique!

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  10. As one who found love and married at 33, it is wonderful to hear that a story has been written about us 'older' people...lol. I look forward to reading this one and would love to win!

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    1. I was almost 30 and on my third engagement when I married the love of my life, BETTI! Best wishes!!!

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  11. I would absolutely read a book about mature love, being mature and all myself! 2 different friends married for the first time, in their forties. They were waiting for husbands that were faithful to the Lord.

    missionwife at hotmail dot com

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    1. Wow, that is a great testimony Melody!!! I'd love to hear more about their stories!!! Thanks for coming by!

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  12. O wow this book sounds Awesome !!! There is no age limit for some one to be a hero or heroine they can be any age !! Thanks and Blessings DanaGirl

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    1. Hey DANA it is a GREAT book!!! Thanks for your input!!!

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  13. The age factor is not as important to me as the quality of the story . . . . or maybe it's because I have been married for over 20 years that love seems ageless. I would love to win a copy of the "Convenient Brides"; I have already read and enjoyed "A Bride at Last". rmaney(at)firstarpchurch(dot)org

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    1. This is a SUPER collection REBECCA! Thanks for your thoughts--We've been married 27 years and I wonder what it would be like if I was only just now meeting my husband! Blessings!

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  14. Well, 47 sounds young to me. Good grief :) Would love a chance to win this youngster's story! :)

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  15. I think it's great that the heroine in this novella is 47. I'm assuming the "hero" is around this age or older as well. I think it would be fun to read a story about "senior citizens" falling in love; perhaps they were high school sweethearts and are reuniting after many years of being married to others and now are widowed. Real life is like that sometimes, why not in books? There needn't be an age limit on love.

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    1. We had wonderful neighbors in Charleston, PAM, who that was exactly their story. I have a novella that will release in 2016 with Forget Me Not Press, that has a similar theme but it is also a "Job"-like story of a woman who has lost almost everything.

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  16. No age is too old. I don't need my heroines or heroes as youngsters.

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    1. MARY, my upcoming release Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter is my only story with a teenager in it. But at that time, in 18th century, a girl of her age was considered a young woman. She has quite the adventure as she tries to survive. I loved writing her, but she will be my last youngster I write unless I do some Young Adult books.

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  17. There is no such thing as too old to be a hero or heroine. They can be any age Ü

    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. CINDI, your sentiments seem to be the consensus here on OWG - There is no such things as too old to be hero or heroine!

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  18. I think anyone over forty is a hero and a great person for a hero because their wisdom of being that age. Remember the old detective shows like Matlock, Quincy MD, Murder she wrote and so many more. I used to love watching those shows and trying to guess who did it.

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    1. Loved those shows, TAMMY, it just seems that in a romance we've been told that readers want an under-35 romance happening!

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  19. No age limit on the hero or heroine in my book. I think characters over forty in a story would bring about many positive features....experience and wisdom to name two!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Another consensus, MELANIE, that the older H/H would bring a deeper level to the story line. I think that is what happened here in MELISSA's lovely novella!

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  20. I don't think there is an age limit for a hero/heroine. I am in my 50s and love to read about characters in my age group.
    susanmsj at msn dot com

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    1. Had you ever thought about how the market wants the romances to be younger love, though, Susan In general. I think there may be a huge market for those experiencing more mature romance!

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  21. I agree with posts about age doesn't matter. As I get older I enjoy older H & h more than I read about college kids.

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    1. LOVE your name CHARLYN!!! So pretty! That is good to know! I am starting to feel the same way!

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  22. Beautiful review, Carrie - thank you!!

    There is no age limit for me when it comes to book heroes and heroines - I feel it is important to read about, and become more aware of, the challenges and issues of all ages and peoples.

    "Blinded By Love" has a wonderful storyline, I can't wait to read it!! I relate to Cheryl's comments - the age 47 is quite the "youngster" compared to that of mine. As Julie Lessman commented re: the romance between the older couple in her San Fran series: "why should young people have all the fun", lol ??

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    1. Thanks so much, BONNIE! Yes, this book is lovely!!! I'm a decade older than this heroine, Bonnie, and in some books when the author has referred to a character of my age as "old" or an "older woman" it makes me feel....blah, old, why am I reading this??? I love Julie's comment haha!!!

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  23. I'm 61, and I believe with age comes wisdom. Some of the most fun books I've read are those that have the main male and female characters over 40. Some even in their 50s and 60s.

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    1. I wish that were always the case, Gail, and I agree that in general that is what happens. I think one of the reasons I LOVE The Mitford Series is because of the mature characters!

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  24. I get tired of reading about 20 somethings. I recently read a book where I just about couldn't stand it, the girl was so irritating. So much so, that I deleted the memory of the book out of my brain! :-)

    There's much to enjoy in life and be excited about the older you get-- and we still make plenty of crazy mistakes/decisions. :)

    I would love to read this story!

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    1. I have written many of mine as young heroines, mostly after being "advised" not to write over-35 heroines. BUT I have been asked to write a story for Forget-me-not Press and I have a more "mature" heroine in it, so I'm looking forward to finally getting this story out that I've had in my head for a long time and on more computers than I can count!

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  25. Thanks Carrie, you've certainly intrigued us all with these characters! Can't wait to read it! I'll read romance between any ages... If it's exciting and there is chemistry between them, who cares! Although getting close to a 'mature' age myself (definitely not 'mature' yet, lol) I'm not sure I'd enjoy a teenage romance as much. :)

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    1. NOELA you will love this collection!!! And what is super is you can read one at a time, one per night! Which works out perfect for me! Thanks! Hugs!!!

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  26. As someone who just got married for the first time at the age of 41, I would certainly buy a novel with an older or 'mature' heroine! I look forward to reading Margaret's story.

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    1. Oh come back and SHARE with us PATTY!!! You are really teasing this writer with coming by here and leaving that comment!!! I hope you'll come back and divulge more!!!

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  27. Oh what a subject. I sure don't think there should be an age that is too old for a love store. Older folks can fall in love just as young people do. And can have have exciting lives, romantic and interesting as youngsters. Believe me I've been there. When I married my Joe i was in my 40's and he was 16 years older. He was a good looking cowboy type and very romantic. We diid everything the younger people in our town did. (Not bad things of course. LOL) The romance was there just as if we were younger. And, the romance was still there as long as GOD gave us. Our marriage was wonderful for 20 years until GOD called him home after having cancer. I think the Publisher's are very wrong to put an age on the main characters. The romance and story is what counts. We had a very active life and enjoyed every minute that GOD gave us. I've known a lot of older couples who would have very interesting stories. Maturity is a blessing not something to look down on. And, I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't more over 40 women buying their books than youngsters. And, I'll just add to me you are all youngsters. LOL GOD bless you all. Maxie
    > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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  28. Carrie, I love reading your reviews! These novella collections are so wonderful.

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  29. I don't think there should be an age limit on heroes and heroines. Sometimes some of the best stories about finding love is from men and women in their later years. Some have been with someone for a long time and tragically lose them. I love it when they find a new love and begin a new chapter in their Lives. Your book sounds like a great story of people finding love when they weren't sure they could love again. After being married for thirteen years and then getting divorced I thought I would find something better. Funny thing was my better thing was the man I had divorced. He loved me unconditionally and prayed we would her back together. We had two boys when we divorced and when we remarried we had another baby when I was 43 years old. There is love out there at any age. Thanks to my husband showing me unconditional love , we have been married 32 years and still act like newly weds. Loyalty and unconditional can happen. I am proof of that. I would love to read your story and see how your characters deal with trust, loyalty, forgiveness and finding love in their later years.

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    1. So happy for the both of you! God is good all the time and all the time God is good!

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  30. When I am reading a good book, romance or otherwise, I don't usually focus on age. That being said, I am over 40, but still feel like I am in my early 30's. I mean, what is over 40 supposed to feel like? Maybe I'm oblivious and this IS what 45 is supposed to feel like.

    I have and will read books ranging from YA to octogenarians. If they are written well and their message speaks to multi-generations, I will read them. It is fun to wax nostalgia with a good YA book while having something to look forward to with books written about our older generations. One of the best romance books I have ever read which brought be to tears (of joy and sadness) was a true story about a couple who had been married for over 70 years. I wish I could remember the title. I guess I am showing my age. :)

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    1. Email: tlhcoupon(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  31. I think it is great that the heroine is older.

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