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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

BOOKS UNDER REVIEW

NEW MONTH'S DRAWINGS: Leave a comment on any or all blog posts this month for your chance to win one of my books or A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer. New to the list this month: The 365 Day Fun Bible Fact Book. Remember, one person out of every fifteen comments will receive a copy of one of my books. Check the sidebar for details.

Winners of books in May: Julie Jarnagin; Cathy Shouse; and Terry Palmer. Will Rbooth43 please identify herself to me?

Books to bring to your attention this month:

A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House, ISBN: 978-0-7642-0755-6)
I once gave a writing prompt for my writers group to come up with a couple with diametrically opposed occupations/world views. Think environmentalist and big oil. It's one way to look at the conflict essential for any good romance.

Karen Witemeyer starts with that premise in her debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride. Hannah Richards is a dressmaker who believes beauty is God's gift to us. When she sets up shop in Coventry, Texas, she crosses swords with Jericho "J.T." Tucker, a livery owner who believes fashion=vanity: a sin. When Hannah's first customer is Jericho's sister, the reader knows the going will be rough for the couple before they find true love.

I couldn't wait to read Hannah and Jericho's story as soon as I read the opening lines:

"Red? Have you no shame, Auntie Vic? You can't be buried in a scarlet gown."
"It's cerise, Nan."

Buried in a red dress? That would raise eyebrows even today. Subtleties of red, scarlet, cerise? I don't know them--but Hannah does. I couldn't wait to know more.

Hannah not only makes beautiful clothes, but she also practices an exercise regimen that would shame many of us today. The author weaves the exercises effortlessly into the time period (1881) and into the story.

Check out Karen's story. You'll find it's tailor-made for you.

A Hopeful heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Bethany House, ISBN: 978-0-7642-0509-5)
What would you do if you wanted to marry a rancher but didn’t know a cow from a bull? Why, attend Mrs. Wyatt’s Herdsman School, of course.

Not that Tressa Neill was given a choice. When her only family refused to give her a dowry, they sent her west to Barnett, Kansas, instead. Local rancher Abel Samms wants nothing to do with an eastern girl. He’s already had his heart broken once and for now, he has his hands full finding the rustlers who keep stealing his cattle to the point where he can’t afford to continue ranching.

Kim Sawyer brings her trademark heartwarming style to this entertaining tail. As a city girl myself, I loved the glimpse into how to brand a calf, milk a cow, and assist at a birthing. Each student at the school has a unique personality. A twist at the end regarding the “bad guy” caught me totally by surprise—something that rarely happens any more.

Check out A Hopeful Heart for a well-told prairie romance with its own unique flavor.

3 comments:

Barb said...

Ahh! Both books sound wonderful. I love western historicals.

Darlene Franklin said...

Barb, they were both wonderful. And after judging BOTY, I know I wouldn't say that about everything. Both were quite unique, too.

lotus82 said...

This one sounds great.

~Steph
soklad@hotmail.com