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The Bluebonnet Battle–feuding families

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The Bluebonnet Battle

by Carolyn Brown

I expected a romance with conflict between two feuding families. What I got in The Bluebonnet Battle was a very mean-spirited tale. There were clearly two sides. Matilda is an angry woman who excels in manipulating others to get what she wants. The other side is headed up by Liddy who has certainly been wronged but is vindictive and unforgiving. In fact, one of her friends suggests to Liddy that she pray for Matilda explaining that it might not change Matilda but it might take the anger out of Liddy’s heart. Liddy responds with a venomous, disgusting, unkind prayer that causes her adult niece Ruth Ann who acts like a Greek chorus in this book to giggle. It is hard to like any of these characters.

Fortunately, Nick, Matilda’s son, and Amelia, Ruth Ann’s daughter, slowly overcome family hurdles to form a relationship. By the time you get to this point in the story, you will be so tired of how the feud plays out through vegan versus Southern cooking featuring lemon meringue and lemon chess pies, along with who controls the local funeral dinners, that you will be glad for romance in any form. There is actually some motivation revealed for why Matilda is the way she is, but the explanation is too little and too late. The townspeople are closed to outsiders and small-minded. Nick and Amelia develop into nice people, but my favorite of the bunch is Uncle Harry, Matilda’s much older brother; he is the only character I would like to know. If a romance’s plot is character driven, it shouldn’t be replete with bitter characters.

I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to Montlake for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3/5

Category: General Fiction (Adult), Romance

Notes: 1. Includes recipes.
2. Contains profanity, even in church where the characters immediately, but rather insincerely, ask God’s forgiveness.
3. Several older and presumably wiser characters suggest to Nick and Amelia that the only way to know a person (with the goal of having a good marriage) is to live together first. That is advice that may be popular in some circles, but is one with which I take issue.
4. Perhaps a minor detail to some, but the flowers on the cover are not bluebonnets.

Publication: March 8, 2022—Mountlake

Memorable Lines:

When I heard Matilda was coming back to town, I figured we’d have to weather some storms. I just didn’t think we would have a class-five tornado two days after she arrived.

Compared to this thing between her aunt and Nick’s mother, the Hatfield and McCoy feud looked like a kindergarten playground fight.

Matilda’s whisper went right along with the look in her eyes—so toxic that a hazmat team wouldn’t have come near her.


  1. Carla says:

    This was the first Carolyn Brown book with such mean characters that I read. I was really confused as it was not her usual style. I liked the romance but not the feuding nonsense. Great, forthright review, Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      I am glad we agree on that. I had another book by her in my queue that I was approved for at the same time. I went into it with a little trepidation, but fortunately it had a totally different atmosphere. I hope to post my review for it next week.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. WendyW says:

    Nice review, Linda. I’ve found Carolyn Brown books to be hit or miss for me lately.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lghiggins says:

      Interesting. I checked and I have read 4 other books by Carolyn Brown. None of them left me with the negative impression that this one did. If it had been my first book by her, I would not have read more. I’m glad I have several positive reads from her.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha, I love your comment about the vegan verses Southern cooking feud! Thanks for the honest review Linda, I look forward to hearing what you think of the other book by the same author~

    Liked by 2 people

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