The Road to Eden's Ridge
The Road to Eden’s Ridge is another in a long string of average books I’ve read lately. They have all left me feeling like I’ve been missing a spark of something from the story. This one was… nice. Nice descriptions, pleasant characters, and an okay story – but not a lot of passion.
Lindsey Briggs decides at the last possible moment that she really does not want to marry her fiancee, Herschel Philip Bosley the Third. Mementos she finds on her wedding day cause Lindsey to remember her old dreams of singing and writing country music. Lindsey decides to move to Nashville and try to make her dreams come true. She begins to find success, but her “friendship” with country music legend Ben McBride’s lawyer sends her running home where she discovers a big secret about her past.
If you’re a country music fan, there’s not much doubt that you’ll enjoy the beginning of Lindsey’s road to fame and fortune. The authors – M.L. Rose is the pseudonym for Myra McLary and Linda Weeks – have a nice prose style that is very evocative of the book’s setting, so much so that I particularly enjoyed the parts of the book set in Nashville. Indeed, I’d have liked even more detail of the country music institutions written about in the book.
While the setting stands out, the characters are more ho-hum. Lindsey is a perfectly nice person. She’s not drop-dead gorgeous, but she’s friendly, a hard worker, loves her grandma Sarah, and misses her aunt Lily. A generally nice person, there’s nothing about her that makes Lindsey stand out, and considering the strong personalities of most of the women in country music, it seemed a shame. That bit of editorializing aside, Rose’s book lacks characters of much interest.
Michael James is Ben McBride’s lawyer and the man with whom Lindsey becomes great “friends.” They meet at the same time Ben and Lindsey meet. Although Michael is taken with Lindsey, he’s seeing somebody else, so they decide to be friends. Like Lindsey, Michael is also a nice guy, but again, he doesn’t particularly stand out.
With two nice but unspectacular characters, it’s not surprising that their friendship and subsequent romance is sweet yet lacks spark. And Lindsey not only takes too long to realize what she wants, her reasons for holding back don’t make much sense. Finally, the big secret Lindsey discovers isn’t really a surprise; longtime romance readers will see it coming a mile away. Still, the story behind it was more interesting than just about everything else in the book, aside from the Nashville ambience.
Grading a book like this one isn’t easy; there’s nothing offensive about it, but nothing to really grab the reader either. In fact, the general theme of my review is “nice.” The writing is nice and gentle, the characters are nice, and the relationships are nice. If that’s enough for you, be my guest and give this one a try. As for me, and I suspect, most of you, The Road to Eden’s Ridge is just a little too nice; I’d prefer a drop of spice, thank you very much.