I am new to this author and this series on the Friessen family, so unlike other readers who already feel that they are a part of the 'family', I am only just beginning to appreciate the the individual 'heroes' whose personal story lines I have yet to read. I do like this author's writing style in 'The Price To Love'. I like the intense emotions that came through to me from Candy, the wife who was not able to give her husband a child. That was a four-star read.
THIS follow up on that story line however, didn't quite deliver the same intense emotions. It would have, if the focus had remained on Candy and Neil after the lies and secrets came out in the way that it did. The first part of the book did give the reader the emotions and angst following on from the mistakes that Neil had made in the surrogacy story line in 'The Price To Love'. So much potential in this one to be as emotional a read as the first book, but then the author split the story line between this couple and Neil's mother falling ill. In diverting the emotional crisis that was blowing up between Neil and Candy to the rest of the family's response to their ill mother, the emotional angst that rightly belonged to the surrogacy plot line from the first book was diffused.
Candy deserved a more extended time period to deal with her SUDDEN discovery of certain secrets and truths that had once again devastated her. And Neil? Neil should have been made to 'wait out' his wife's response to the secrets and lies that he had told her. The resolution of their crisis was resolved too quickly in this book because a big part of it was given over to his mother's 'sudden illness'. It took precedence over Candy's 'sudden discovery' of secrets within her marriage. I felt that the title of a 'vow of love' should have remained focused on this couple rather than on the entire Friessen family. There was so much potential to be had for more angst and more emotional expressions of betrayal that was surely Candy's due. Neil got what he wanted in the end - his son. He achieved his wish by being careless of his wife's feelings. While he did experience some anxious moments when secrets and lies blew up, those anxious moments didn't last long enough. His mother's illness as it happened, WHEN it happened, paved the way for Candy to forgive him - too easily. In that sense, this was not the follow up that I had anticipated after reading the surrogacy plot line in the first book. It could have been so much more. More of what Neil had to do, to regain Candy's trust. More of what he would have done to deserve that trust. As it was, the crisis was all done and dusted too quickly. I didn't mind reading about the other family members or about Becky's illness and recovery, but not when it 'robbed' Candy AND the reader of the much-deserved reparation period that should have been forthcoming from Neil.
I shall be reading about the other Friessen heroes and their wives. Looking forward to that.