Monday, January 6, 2014

Review: Mansfield Ranch by Jenni James

Mansfield Ranch by Jenni James 

December 2013, 192 pages. ****--4 Stars

Blurb: Does true love really prevail?

All Lilly Price has ever known is living in the shadow of her widely successful foster family. But when a twist of fate deals Lilly the hand of Harrison Crawford, the most popular guy in Bloomfield, NM, everything flips upside down.

Sean Benally is a hard worker, he’s funny, he’s generous, and he’s kind. He’s also the most amazing guy Lilly has ever known. And she's totally fallen in love with him. But he’s her foster brother...

Now she must choose between the unavailable love of her life—or the guy who promises to be available forever. 

Does true love really prevail?

My Review: I know this is a modern version of Mansfield Park, yet I also got the feeling that Cinderella was lurking in the story. I haven't ever read the "real" version, much to my surprise, so I'm not sure how much of it follows along with the true storyline, however, even just from reading the synopsis, I could see definite parallels.

One thing that I really enjoyed was Lilly's character. She is feisty, speaks her mind, and tries so hard to be good, yet she cannot stand up for herself when it really matters. Her foster family walks all over her and takes advantage of her, seriously treating her like Cinderella, and she takes it, because if she doesn't, she is punished. I know it sounds funny that I liked that, but those characteristics make her seem like a real teenager. I really liked her personality. I also liked how she was willing to do whatever she needed to in order to help her family--family is very important to her. She was very accepting of her situation.

I couldn't stand Harrison. What part of NO don't you understand, Harrison?! Seriously. Julia, his sister, seemed so nice, yet sometimes appearances can be deceiving. I just couldn't make up my mind if his changes were for real or just an act.

Sean was such an awesome best friend and foster brother. Lilly really lucked out in that department.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story, especially the CLEAN content.

Content: kissing; no language or violence. Clean.

About the Author:
Jenni James 
I never knew what I was missing when my mom first gave me a collection of Jane Austen's works for Christmas. I believe I was fourteen at the time. One glance at the title Pride and Prejudice and I vowed I would never read the book. But, to be nice I placed it on my 'favorites' shelf; and there it sat for approximately two and a half years. Every month or so Mom would ask me if I had read it yet, and guiltily I would reply, "No. One day I will."
Then low and behold, the summer I was sixteen I had completely exhausted EVERY book I owned and almost all of my siblings' books, as well. (There were 5 siblings--not an easy feat I tell you!) With a desperate case of boredom and hair-pulling-cabin-fever anxiety, I finally, grudgingly brought down the book. I went ahead and started with Pride and Prejudice, just to prove to myself it wasn't worth the time.
One and a half days later, I finished. Sleep deprived, hungry and exhausted, but I finished! It was officially the first book I couldn't put down! It was SO amazing! Afterwards, I devoured every one of Jane Austen's novels, and I haven't stopped since.
Now, as my own daughter gets closer to this wonderfully draining attempt at teenhood, I wanted to share the same stories with her, but in a way she can relate to. I began to rewrite (More like channel) Pride & Popularity in the middle of March and was finished in just 6 weeks! All 25 chapters. It was such an amazing experience. Before I had even begun the long editing process new characters started to talk to me and hound me into writing their stories too.
I have 7 rambunctious kiddos and live in sunny New Mexico. When I'm not chasing my kids around the house, I'm dreaming of new amazing stories to write!


  1. Aww... I'm so glad you loved the book! Thank you for the review. :)