Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Miner's Lady by Tracie Peterson: A Book Review

The Miner’s Lady by Tracie Peterson

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?

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Tracie Peterson fan. Her ability to intertwine historical elements with fiction is always surprising. The Miner’s Lady, book three in the Land of Shining Water series, is no exception. I was a bit concerned with the storyline as the beginning played out a bit like Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet – the Panetta’s and Calarco’s are Italian even! – but the story did become its own.
I will say that I struggled with the Italian background of these two families. Ms. Peterson’s signature accents and character-specific colloquialisms didn’t quite strike the same cord as her previous two – The Icecutter’s Daughter and  The Quarryman’s Bride.
The easy-read novel did have a few twists I wasn’t anticipating that literally made me gasp aloud as I read – Ms. Peterson definitely has a knack for adding adventure to a genre that is generally even-keeled.
I loved Chantel: strong, opinionated, passionate and Orlando: stubborn, firm, caring – and their slow burning attraction. The author’s way with words always add to moments both tender and tough.
And, can we talk about the cover for a moment. This series has the most striking cover art! That rustic coal shack nestled beneath a brilliant sky – makes the coal mining town of Ely seem like quite the destination.
Overall, the Land of Shining Water has not disappointed but my favorite, by far, is still The Icecutter’s Daughter… I’m not sure if this is just a story that’s dear to my heart or if the cold Minnesota winter seemed so like my own here in Wisconsin, but nonetheless, Tracie Peterson's latest series should find their way to your To-Be-Read pile.

***With special thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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