A Romance to Read

Grays Hill By Barbara T. Cerny
The Blurb
After her father committed suicide rather than face his mounting gambling debts, Oksana Wallingford knows she will have to work in order to keep food on the table and her younger brother, the new baron, in school. When her best friend finds her a position as the nanny of his brother’s children, it is the opportunity Oksana needs. But what she didn’t contend with was Rafe, the recently widowed Duke of Essex and her new employer.
Oksana and Rafe’s personalities are like oil and water. However, what begins as mutual hate slowly begins to change into something more. But what future can they have when Rafe has sworn off marriage for good?
As the mismatched pair struggles to come to terms with one another, a disaster that throws everything into question strikes them both.
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Grays Hill

First of all, historical romance is a genre that everyone of us has read at some junction of life or the other. This makes it a very hard genre to write in and for that alone I do congratulate the author.
This is a beautiful book worth reading. However, it does have its faults. At some point in time Oksana becomes a type of character who is too perfect. Frankly, she is a Mary Sue, a person who never seems to do any mistakes. This actually  becomes a distraction from the main plot itself. However, if you wish for only a strong human being when you read and not a strong character, then again Oksana is someone you would love (even I grew to love her, even though I cannot praise the writing behind her).
I think one of the faults the author makes is in creating the historical setting. She fails to create an atmosphere that feels like the time in which she bases off her story. The language seems a tad bit too modernist for a work set in such times. This means that the reader might often find himself distracted from the story.
The romance itself is good. The characters have great chemistry together. However, some sequences do seem like a gimmick which sometimes gives us pages and pages of story material that does not really relate to the plot directly and does not increase their chemistry in any way. 
This is a good book but, it is plagued by many little faults. A lot of people would relate to Oksana as she is a plus sized woman who is not ashamed of her body which in turn makes her a great character (Oh how I wish that it had been more of an permanent flaw and she should have been beautiful along with the weight in the end).
The author is brilliant and even though, I cannot rate her very highly for this book itself. I would ask you to watch out, in the next few years, this could be the author who hits up your bestseller lists. Give this a read if you love romance. 
Meet the Author
Barbara T. Cerny grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado. She served twenty-two years in the US Army Reserves, retiring a Lieutenant Colonel in 2007. She is an information technology specialist and supervisor. Barb writes historical romances good for late teen and adults. She puts a lot of history and adventure into her work. Words are her passion, they do matter.
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7 thoughts on “A Romance to Read

  1. I think you are ‘a very angry indian chick’. You have found fault with everything in the book. I am amazed. An author’s creativity is born of her imagination. I don’t think its a reviewer’s role to take charge of how the story flows. Wouldn’t it be better if you just say whether it works for you or not instead of advising her how she should have written the book?

    • The problem is not with the flow, there are problems in the books and I have highlighted them. I do not take away credit from the author’s imagination but, that is not a reason to create characters that are inherently weak.
      I am not advising the author to change her ways but, saying where the book becomes weak is also something a reviewer must do.
      I am not being angry for the sake of being angry, but, the book could be a lot better if the characters showcased some flaws and development. Now, you might disagree with my views but, I am not forcing her to change the book, I am just telling her the faults I noticed

      And people do judge the work based on the criteria of characters, plots and story, so pointing out the faults I saw is a part of my opinion.

  2. I do not look at this as a negative review as Aditisaha said “This is a beautiful book worth reading.” She advertises herself as an angry Indian chick so you know going into it you’ll see the “angry chick” manifest itself in some way or another. All books have faults – some are glaring and some are more subtle. Aditisaha thinks I should have left Oksana as a fat girl. Part of her journey to finding herself was weight loss – something I have dealt with myself as have many others. All my heroines deal with weight problems and body issues as no “real” woman is thin, beautiful, and perfect without a lot of hard work and then she still will miss the mark. Fat or skinny, Oksana Wallington is a lovely soul and that is what I believe makes her a character people enjoy. Did I make her too perfect? Probably – she has a body flaw, not a personality flaw. I have grown in my craft as I write more, trying to make my characters more lifelike. Read Shield of the Palidine if you want a heroine with personality flaws. Elise is a spoiled rotten snot. A reviewer who gave SotP 5-stars said, “[her] complaining and whining about everything makes me wanna push her off the cliff and *tadah*-end of story”. When a writer gets emotion from a reader, he or she has succeeded. Aditisaha has every right to express her opinion and call out the flaws of the story as long as she continues to call me brilliant! 🙂

    • I should probably explain myself why I thought that she should have remained as a fat girl. This was a protagonist that I could personally relate to, however, I am tired of this stereotype of fat loss making you more beautiful or better. So, it makes me feel kind of bad as a reader (that did not affect the review)
      And yes Oksana not doing any mistakes makes her a tad too perfect for my liking 🙂

      But, frankly speaking you are probably the first author who has shown a fat protagonist whose whole story did not deal with her weight. You ma’am have some major balls (a thing that I could not say in the review because i try not to curse)

  3. Aditisaha, I am laughing so hard right now! After 22 years in the US Army, I did grow a set and have been told that many times in my career. On this blog tour, Jaibala Rao asked me how much does the Army influenced my writing. I guess I now have something to add to my answer – it gave me some major balls! 🙂

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