Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! You may not think you know me, but I have a feeling we are very much alike. I am the woman in the long skirt and bulky sweater sitting cross-legged on the library carpet reading the hardback vintage classics one can only find on the bottom shelf, back row. You will also find me searching through the online catalogs of publishing companies and chatting with authors on forums. I love the smell of fresh paper in a new book, and the smell of dust on a vintage classic. I love the classics, Christian fiction, short story collections, and those unique finds that keep me up until the early hours of morning when I finally fall asleep with the book still open on my chest. I am, however, a careful reader. I notice missing details, glaring plot flaws, and characters who suddenly have drastic personality changes halfway through the novel and I do not hesitate to discuss these issues in my reviews. I am honest and believe I am fair so please don't take my criticism personally and don't hesitate to contact me about your next book. I also enjoy a good, long chat with other readers and often learn from these experiences. Comments are always welcome. You will find more about me in the right hand column and more about what I look for in books in the left. I hope you enjoy your time here! --Darla Sue

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Book Review: Baroness by Susan May Warren

Baroness by Susan May Warren
Summerside Press
Minneapolis, 2012
ISBN-10: 160936631X
ISBN-13: 978-1690366315

Rosie Worth is a flapper in Paris, or at least she's trying to be with her deep red lips and cheeks, kohl-lined eyes, and dark, bobbed hair. She is the daughter of the infamous Jinx Worth, a woman aptly named, for Rosie's mother now lives under the shadow of the mystery of her murdered husband, shipping baron Foster Worth, and the disappearance of her soldier son, Rosie's beloved brother. Rosie is struggling with the scandals that haunt her family, and desperately to fit in with her seductively wild Parisian crowd of friends while coping with the pain of rejection during her search for love and acceptance.

Rosie's cousin, Lilly Joy Hoyt Stewart, is forced to leave her childhood home, a ranch in Montana, and join her cousin in Paris. Lilly is reluctant to paint her face and cut her long braids into the fashionable bob. Lilly's heart is in the American Northwest with the open fields and one of the last remaining buffalo herds rescued and protected by her family. She is anti-rebellious, refusing to change with the times.

Buffalo herd in Colorado. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

Hard Lessons

At the beginning of the novel, Lilly and Rosie are in France, but their behavior with some of the men they meet, behavior that could be perceived as risky and inappropriate, soon attracts the attentions of their parents and guardian and they are forced to return to New York. They quickly devise a plan to escape to continue their adventures, a plan that involves an act of betrayal from one of the cousins that will emotionally separate the two women who need each other more than they realize.

Eventually, Lilly and Rosie are both on the run--Rosie is running from her past while Lilly is trying to return to Montana.. Through their travels, they are exposed to environments that are very different from their somewhat sheltered childhoods. Their hearts are broken, and healed, and broken again by family, friends, gangsters, daredevil pilots, flappers, and baseball players, and Rosie and Lilly grow to realize that they were not quite prepared for the adventures they were seeking.


The two women are separated early in the novel and live very different lives. In fact, at times, Baroness seems like two separate novels--the women experience many painful moments alone and spend years where they do not communicate at all, and their stories do not reconnect until the end. However, the tension builds smoothly in both stories to a conclusion that reunites the women with events that are both shocking and painful.

In the end, Lilly and Rosie learn important lessons in trust, faith, and the wisdom of following the advice of their parents and trusting their faith in God, but for one of these women, this knowledge comes too late. We leave her in a cliffhanger ending that is a bit frustrating, but hopefully will be resolved in the next novel in Susan May Warren's Daughters of Fortune series.

Susan May Warren

Susan May Warren is a former missionary who now writes full time from her family home in Minnesota.Warren, a talented and prolific writer, has a Mass Communications degree from the University of Minnesota.

Susan May Warren has 17 novels with Tyndale, Steeple Hill, Barbour Publishing and Summerside Press. Baroness is the second in Warren's Daughters of Fortune three book series, which began with Heiress, published in 2011 by Summerside Press.

Warren is also an award-winning novelist. Her novel Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Writers Book of the Year in 2003 and was also a Christy Award finalist that same year, which was quite an accomplishment considering it was her first book. She then wrote a thriller, In Sheep's Clothing, which was also a Christy Award finalist in 2006, and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award.

  • Warren, Susan May. Baroness. Summerside Press. New York: 2012.
I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group. However, I was not asked or required to write a positive review. The opinions I express are my own and in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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