Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Reader's Opinion: Cera's Place by Elizabeth McKenna

The Book 
 
San Francisco saloon owner Cera Cassidy offers redemption to any woman looking for honest work. At Cera's Place, men can get a decent hot meal with a whiskey, but if they want anything more, they have to take their desires elsewhere. One summer night, a distraught Chinese girl bursts through the swinging doors with a shocking tale of murder, kidnapping, and prostitution. Outraged, Cera vows to set things right.

Jake Tanner, a scarred ex-soldier haunted by the horrors of the Civil War, is on a mission to fulfill a friend's dying wish. The trail has brought him to Cera's door. Captivated by her Irish beauty, he wants to join her fight - but will she let him?

Elizabeth McKenna's debut novel is a fast-paced adventure filled with memorable characters that will leave you wanting more. Get lost in a time gone by and fall in love today!
 
A Reader's Opinion
 
I'll just say right off that I really liked Jake Tanner. I felt more connected with him than I did any other character, though surprisingly, my second favorite was Ginger--a sassy and direct girl working for Cera whose personality blended nicely with Jake's. The secondary characters were all well-developed and had distinct personalities, so I never had to wonder who was doing what.  Ginger just might deserve her own story.
 
I wanted to reach into the book and comfort Jake myself. His haunted past wasn't too overdone--just enough for the reader to feel sympathetic, but he's also a strong enough person to be chivalrous and think of others before himself.
 
The author paints a vivid picture of San Francisco during the time period--from the slums to the posh areas. In fact, the author painted such a good picture that the description of the jail had me cringing my nose!

As for content, the only thing I had a tough time with was the unexpected and sudden physical relationship between Cera and Jake. It was well-written and I knew it would likely come, but it seemed to just happen--I wasn't expecting it at that point in the story and felt perhaps it could have been eased into a bit more. There is another scene with hands and pants that I felt added nothing to the book. 

Overall, I would recommend Cera's Place to readers who enjoy historical romance and don't mind the sexual content. 


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