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Posted April 12, 2014
Christian/Inspirational readers often have go-to authors when it comes to great historical romance reads and Tracie Peterson is often at the top of that list. Peterson's 100th novel, A Sensible Arrangement is a well crafted historical romance with a Christian slant that will have readers clamoring for more. It is the first book in the new Lone Star Brides series and brings together two people who have a lot more in common than meets the eye. Weaving two great themes together, a mail order bride and a marriage of convenience, Peterson gives readers a novel that easily become a favorite.
What I liked:
Marty was a heroine that I truly enjoyed. She was a very capable and nurturing woman, with a loving spirit. She had seen tragedy in her life, but was able to withstand and grow. But she needed change. Her husbands death on the ranch was tragic and affected her so deeply that she wanted to leave that life behind. Who wouldn't? She didn't want to be reminded on a daily basis of what she had lost. I thought Peterson did a great job with the character and that she made her easy to relate to and understand.
Jacob is a man who acquired a very upstanding position on a Denver bank, but it requires attending a lot of social functions. His employers feel that he must be married in order to continue in his position. He hasn't had the best of luck when it comes to love and he doesn't want all the entanglements that go with it, so he decides to advertise for a bride. Knowing he wants to return to his love of ranching in Texas one day, he stipulates that he is looking for a Texas bride. I thought Peterson portrayed Jake as a man on mission. He wants to return to Texas, but in order to do that he needs a wife. He doesn't need a lover. I liked how determined he was and that both he and Marty are flawed. Nobody's perfect and it's a good thing too!
I loved all of the historical detail that Peterson weaves into this story. Colorado at the time of this book was up and coming with Denver as a major city and it's opulence and grandeur can easily be seen in Peterson's writing. The circumstances surrounding the repeal of the Silver Act and the political and social climate of the times was very well documented and Peterson uses it to her advantage. The best part of the book for me was the detail and description Peterson gives to the setting and the times. Very well done.
What I didn't like:
Jake was very intense in his desire to return to Texas as a rancher. But I didn't feel like Marty had that same kind of intensity in her own desires. She eventually takes on the task of helping orphans which fills a place in her heart for children and that was a very good way for her to have purpose, but it is not one of the main themes of the novel and comes across as less important. I think more importance on this part of the book would have been nice.
This is a very well written Christian historical romance. There are few authors in this genre that really satisfy the historical elements for me and Peterson is definitely one of the best. I'm glad this is the first novel in a new series, because I enjoyed it very much and look forward to more.
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Posted October 20, 2014
I have read this book as well as all of Tracie Peterson's books and it was just awesome. She brings the characters alive in everything she writes. Her interesting details of history are fascinating and give a very true picture of what is was like during that time.
If you like Christian Historical Fiction you will love all of her books!
Posted September 15, 2014
A sensible Arrangement ( Lone Star Brides #1 )
By: Tracie Peterson
This is my first book to read of Tracie Perterson and it want be my last. I won this book through Goodreads, Tracie Peterson, and Bethany House Publisher. I just want to say , thank you and I really loved it. I had no problems following the story or the characters. When I started reading A Sensible Arrangement I did not want to put it down. Marty Dandridge Olson lives in Texas and lost her husband to an accident. She cannot get over his lost and blames God for him getting killed. She is ready to leave her ranch. She answered an ad in the paper for a lone Star Bride who would be willing to leave Texas and move to Denver. This is to be a sensible arrangement with no love or romance, but he would take care of his bride. Widower Jake Wythe is a bank manger in Denver and the bank wants him to get married again, he will do what the bank wants. He posted the ad, now he only wants a Lone Star bride from Texas. Marty struggles with what to do . She has a hard time getting to Denver.. Yes Marty and Jake does marry and they both agree that it will be in name only, no love or romance. Could you marry someone far away that you had never met before and without love? I also loved the servants in this story. I felt sorry for some of them and then, I laughed at some of them. There is some hardships that takes place in the banks. Marty lies to her family about her marriage and also to her husband. Can this marriage work with lies and no love? Can Marty get alone with the high society ladies of the bank of Denver. What does Jake do when he finds out about Marty's lies, There was to be no lies between them . I really loved A Sensible Arrangement book #1 of the Lone Star Brides. It is an Historical romance and Christian fiction. I am looking forward to reading book #2 A Moment In Time.
I won this book from Goodreads and was not required to give a positive review. This is my review and I have given it.
Posted August 7, 2014
5 Stars ***** our of 5
Texans and Coloradans, country bumpkins and slick city dwellers feature in this enjoyable, humorous novel. It showed to me how different the two cultures are, what a difference in their values and viewpoints. Tracie does a great job of bringing the characters to life, and the situations they find themselves in are very true plausible, as are the ways they are handled. Although I did not find Marty to be particularly loveable, as she seemed very spoiled and all she wanted was to get out of Texas, and would do all manner of things to achieve it, but through the help of those around her she did grow up and mature. This is the first book in the Lone Star Brides series and if you do not like to be left hanging on a cliff at the end of a book, I would suggest you wait to read this until her next novel comes out. But you do want to read this, so please put it on your TBR pile.
I received this Ebook from Christen E. Krumm at Litfuse Publicity Group Publising and NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own
Posted May 7, 2014
A good read --
Tracie wrote a very entertaining book, it starts out with some excitement then calms down and has you pulling for Marty and Jake to have more than a "in name only" marriage. Most people have kept a secret, told what they call a "white lie", or stretched/twisted the truth but have you really thought what not trusting the person you are hiding this information from can do to your relationship? As Tracie does with Marty, the longer you keep this information the more damage it "could" do. I like the way Marty stands up against her "society friends" too.
Posted April 29, 2014
Tracie Peterson in her new book “A Sensible Arrangement” Book One in the Lone Star Brides series published by Bethany House Publishers takes us into the lives of Marty Dandridge Olson and Jake Wythe.
From the back cover: Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past.
Answering an advertisement for a “Lone Star bride,” she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn’t know.
Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her.
Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.
When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake’s yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty’s dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.
What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways…
and dreams and secrets collide?
Texas, Denver and Mail Order Brides, these are the ingredients for a wonderful read. Marty just wants out of Texas, Jake just needs to fulfill the work requirements of the bank so their marriage is what is known as a marriage of convenience. However when God gets involved nothing goes as planned–at least not their plans, His plans work out quite well. Both Marty and Jake have their issues and they both have to deal with them in order to really enjoy their present and move into the future together. “A Sensible Arrangement” is a wonderful romance and the history is perfectly accurate giving a picture of simpler, slower times. Ms. Peterson is an amazing writer and she has given us a great story with plenty of believable characters that we root for to win. I liked this book and look forward to the next one in this series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Posted April 28, 2014
I read several of Tracie Peterson's books a while back and thoroughly enjoyed them. When I saw that she was releasing A Sensible Arrangement (her 100th book!!!) this month, I was excited to start a new series with her.
Two of my favorite story lines in historical fiction are mail order bride and marriage of convenience stories. Combine the two, and double the fun! From the beginning, I liked Marty. She's feisty and has a serious streak of independence. It wasn't clear until much later why she would be interested in leaving her family in Texas and become a mail order bride, but once we finally learned the reason, it made sense. Marty has a terrible problem with lying. While I often wanted to shake her and force the truth out, I actually liked that her vice was something that most people have dealt with but generally overlook. I thought it made her more relatable and showed how a seemingly insignificant sin can have such far-reaching consequences.
I enjoyed getting to know Jake as well. He was intent on being a good husband—even if romance wouldn't be part of the equation. He definitely had a lot going on at work, and that part of history was definitely interesting! As Jake and Marty became closer friends, their relationship developed more. I just wish we could have seen more of that!
There were several things that weren't resolved, but I'm assuming that the next book will take care of some of that. And I, for one, am looking forward to reading it! A Sensible Arrangement is another great read from Tracie Peterson! [4 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House through Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Posted April 26, 2014
A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson is a most delightful book and one that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Marty Olson answers an ad for a “Lone
Star Bride” and leaves her Texas home to travel to Denver to marry Jake Wythe. Jake is a banker and his boss insists that his top employees be married. Both Marty and Jake have been married before and this marriage is to be one of convenience only. After the wedding, Marty is almost overwhelmed with all the demands of Denver high society. Jake hates the society scene as much as Marty but to keep his boss happy and maybe even to keep his job, they have to put on a happy face and attend all the society functions. The state of the economy threatens Jake’s job and this causes him to think even more about returning to ranching in Texas. Even though Marty dislikes all the things she is expected to do as a member of high society, she does not want to return to Texas. Will all the demands of high society and the problems with the economy draw the couple together or will the marriage remain one of convenience?
In this one hundredth book by Tracie Peterson, she did an excellent job in the writing of all elements of the book just as she did in the first ninety-nine. Marty and Jake were so well written that I could not help but care for them. By the end of the book I felt as if they were lifetime friends. There were several different plot lines going on in the story but Tracie tied them all together in a very satisfactory way. This story is filled with history, politics, banking business, mystery, romance, and even a failed stage coach robbery. There were several times that I would laugh at what was happening but the funniest situation was when Marty told Jake her greatest desire. At the beginning of the book, Marty felt as if God had deserted her but through the help of her household servants, she accepted God’s forgiveness and love. In spite of all the problems, the story had a wonderful ending. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
I highly recommend this book to everyone that likes an historical novel filled with romance and set in the American West at the end of the 19th century.
Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Posted April 21, 2014
A fun and a bit serious story, Tracie L. Peterson certainly can write a great tale of excitement, drama, romantic mystery, and shadowy incidents, mixed with dreams of being somewhere else in time and geography. There is an old adage of “be careful for what one wishes for” throughout the message of this book.
Widowed and childless Marty Olson wanted to escape from memories of tragically losing her beloved husband, and leave Texas forever where she owns and lives on a ranch. Jake Wythe, a Denver banker, singed around the edges one last time from romance, places a newspaper ad for a Texas woman to marry in name only. Jake is in need of a wife to satisfy the bank board members determined notion that his promotion puts him in a higher level of Denver society. Marty answers the ad on complete acceptance of Jake’s terms. Unknown to Marty, Jake, a native Texan longs to return to the Lone Star state and run a ranch.
Marty is quite adept at telling little fibs that create larger problems that spin into a web of hurt and misunderstanding for loved ones and new friends. She does not tell her sister and family the truth about going to Colorado – only that she plans to visit friends. This time, a lie of omission. Shades of Annie Oakley! Marty takes a stage coach into Denver and becomes a pistol-packing damsel to save the lives of the passengers and drivers from a stage robbery. Our heroine soon becomes the talk and news sensation of Denver and awes the society she has joined as Mrs. Jacob Wythe. The character quality in Marty’s habit was disturbing to me, however I surmised Ms. Peterson had sensible reasons for this flaw. We will find Marty’s redeeming qualities in other area of her character concerning orphans.
Much is going on with the newlyweds – will love blossom now that Marty and Jake are secretly attracted to one another? How does Marty, married to a rich banker, handle being included with society wives and living a lie as a new bride? Is Jake suspected as being part of the scheme of missing funds at the bank? The stories developing around the household servants are entertaining and humor provoking. It seems the only real friend Marty has in Denver is Alice, her lady’s maid. But, what does Alice have to do with information about the missing funds? Why was she attacked to be robbed of something she knew nothing about?
The plot continues to thicken. Marty becomes anguished over Jake’s intentions of returning to Texas and how she can keep the truth of her ranch from him. We learn throughout the story that God is in control. The truth will out, but what happens? There are some loose ends in the story, however I believe there is purpose in this gifted writers tactics. Ms. Tracie Peterson has successfully written many books, of which The Sensible Arrangement is my first read. You have made an impression on my reading tastes, Ms. Peterson, I anticipate reading the next book in this series as well as the many others you have written. Your faith in our heavenly Father and His love for you brightly shine through your pen hand. You are indeed blessed.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.
Posted April 19, 2014
A Sensible Arrangement is the first book that I have read by Tracie Peterson. I found it to be an easy and smooth read, with interesting characters.
Jake and Marty agree to a marriage of convenience early on in the book and Marty travels from Texas to Colorado as a mail-order bride. There’s a little bit of tension between the two as they get to know each other, but otherwise, they fall into a fairly easygoing friendship. We follow Marty as she learns her duties in high society and tries to find a way to be useful. We watch Jake as he works as a bank manager in very stressful financial times.
Marty was a complicated heroine. I liked her, but there things that really bothered me about her, too. She struggles with a very large personality flaw…she lies. She has a real problem understanding that lies and lies by omission are damaging to others. Marty also has big anger problems toward God. The dialogue between Marty and her ladies maid, Alice, is a wonderful explanation of why bad things happen and what role God plays in that. The author handled this so well. There is also some mystery and danger in this book, especially toward the end.
I have to admit that I expected the book to tie all of the loose ends up, but it didn’t. I feel that this must be in preparation for the next book in the series. I definitely plan to read the rest of the series and I still felt satisfied at the end of the story. Even though there are some questions left unanswered, it is not a cliff hanger ending and I appreciate that!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
Posted April 16, 2014
This was my first novel by Tracie Peterson and A Sensible Arrangement is exactly what you would expect it to be - sweet, refreshing and very down to earth. This book focuses mainly on the two characters of Marty (Martha Dandridge) who, mourning the death of her husband, wants to make a clean start from her ranching life in Texas. She agrees to become the mail order bride of Jacob Wythe, a banker from Colorado with both agreeing to the premise that it will be a marriage of convenience, nothing more.
While this book is rich in faith and a Christian based romance novel, there are a few hints of dishonesty and secrecy. However, the reasons that lie within the reasons Marty's keeps these secrets isn't vindictive or spiteful. Just as God forgave our trespasses, the author weaves much prayer and scripture into this book. She truly struggles with the decision that sometimes people facing a crossroads might encounter. The author does a wonderful job of keeping this story on track and it flows quite nicely. It's a fairly quick, simple read within no drawn out plots and does not have the twists and turns one might expect.
Just as Jake and Marty begin to grow a fondness for each other and reevaluate their marriage being one of convenience, you will grow a fondness for the story, the characters, the wonderment of life back in these days.
*Disclaimer: I received this book for an honest review from Bethany House, a division of the Baker Publishing Group and was not required to write a positive review. Any reflection of such is my own
and this review is an honest reflection of such
Posted April 15, 2014
I had the compelling feeling through out this book to keep turning the pages, find out what is going to happen. Then when I was looking for all the answers, the book ended….what? Well I shouldn’t have feared there is another book coming in June that continues the story. Now that I have reassured you and I and we will find out more. I fully urge you to pick this amazing historical read, I had the feeling that history has repeated itself so many times, with the economy in highs and lows.
We meet the high society of Denver, and never would I want to be one of them. This is also a mail-order bride story, two people who have been hurt in the past by love, and want a rather loveless marriage of convenience. So Marty Dandridge Olson and Banker Jake Wythe get married, so different, but entertaining. What a surprise Marty is in for when she arrives at her new home. She wants to be friends with the servants, and that is totally unacceptable.
Love how she shows her compassion and hires an indigent young woman with no experience. Also how she is rewarded by her actions by God, and this woman has a hand on leading her back to Him. There is some danger that seems to come with Alice, and somehow it all comes back to all involved. You will never know what are going to happen next, and your going to love how Marty speaks her mind at the snob ladies group.
Don’t miss this one, and your going to be putting A Moment in Time on your TBR list for more about Marty and Wayatt and of course Alice.
I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
Posted April 15, 2014
I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of mail-order marriages. It must have taken these women a lot of courage to not only agree to marry a man, sight-unseen, but also move far away from their homes and families to do so. This book caught my attention because that’s how Marty and Jake discover each other; I was glad to learn more about this practice, even if it was only discussed a bit in the book.
There is a lot of financial discussion and terminology in this book, mostly due to Jake’s work as a banker and the economically-distressed time in which the city of Denver finds itself. I skimmed through these parts, reading only enough to get the gist that finances were bad and everybody was at risk.
I’d like to point out how much this book focuses on God and his hand in bad things that happen to people. I have read other Christian fiction books that have very little mention of religion or God. This one is different and actually brings up many good theological arguments. This book won’t just preach at you; you’ll find yourself examining your thoughts on God and how he expresses his love for us.
Many aspects lent itself to my enjoyment of this book. I liked reading about Marty’s travels to Denver, the wardrobe that she has created for her, the time she spends with the society mavens, as well as all of the dealings involving the workings of Jake’s house and the help.
I am thrilled to see that the next book in the series is forthcoming and that it involves Alice, Marty’s maid and confidant. As I was finishing this book, I yearned to continue the story and it seems my wish is already granted. I hope to bring you a review of that installment soon.
I was given a free copy of this book in order to provide a review. This did not influence my opinion in any way. All thoughts are my own.
Posted April 11, 2014
Denver, Colorado 1892
"Texas-born man now living in Colorado, working as a banker, wishes to correspond with a Lone Star lady. Seeking potential wife who would display the virtues, sensibilities, and wisdom of a strong Texas woman. Must be willing to leave Texas for Colorado."
Martha "Marty" Olsen answered the classified ad in the Dallas Daily Times Herald because she was desperate to leave Texas. After her husband of ten years was gored by a bull on their ranch she wanted nothing to do with Texas or ranching. Marrying a total stranger and moving to Colorado seemed to be the best solution. Now if she could only absolve her anger at God. Will she ever be able to forgive Him for the death of her husband? And will she be able to live with the arrangement she made with her new husband, or does she want more?
"You mean do they know about our sensible arrangement? This marriage of convenience?"
Jacob "Jake" Wythe needed a wife for appearances sake as required by his job at the Denver Bank but, after two failed relationships, he didn't want to risk his heart. The only way to avoid the entanglement of his heart was to find a wife that agreed to a marriage of convenience, a sensible arrangement. The only requirement was that she be a lady of Texas because as soon as he set aside enough funds he intended to return to Texas and do what was in his heart--buy a ranch. When the threat of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act being repealed is brought to light and the very livelihood of the people is threatened, it begins to weigh heavily on Jake's heart. What hurts even more is the betrayal of the wife he has come to love. Will they survive the oncoming depression. And will God heal the very relationship he brought together?
This is my first book by Tracie Peterson and I must say there are many things I love about it. It starts out in Texas in 1892 and very soon moves to Denver, Colorado. The story flows in such a way that usually only comes from a seasoned writer and she is a very seasoned writer (This is her one hundredth book!). The attention to detail and the research that obviously went into writing this book, really draws you in and holds your attention. It's like you're there and you can see the entire scenes played out in your mind. I love the entire plot and feel that If one aspect were left out the story wouldn't have held together as well. Something I believe Tracie Peterson is very good at is holding a story together from beginning to end.
I also loved the characters. Marty was a strong woman that could take care of herself and anyone else for that matter. She could shoot with the best of them and drive a team of horses without batting an eye. I love strong heroines in stories so it's safe to say I loved Marty. She also had a lot of anger at God because of her husband's death and it was interesting to see her wrestle with her own mind and heart when it came to working through her anger.
Jake had his own form of demons chasing him. He had been hurt badly by his wife and because of this he worked harder to guard his heart. His job at the bank was a huge burden, too, and the heartlessness of his employers weighed heavily on him. He had also turned from God, not as severely as Marty but enough that he had to find his way back.
My favorite character was Alice Chesterfield, a seventeen year-old girl hire by Marty to be her ladies' maid. She is the very one that helped Marty work through her anger the most. The faith and wisdom she displayed at such a young age was remarkable and I loved the personal talks she had with Marty. She was an inspiring character and I hope to see more of her.
Mrs. Landry the housekeeper and Mr. Brighton the butler were a highlight of the book for me. Their sparring made me laugh and I looked forward to each time their paths crossed because I knew it was going to be interesting. They were the one spot of humor in the book and, I think, the perfect element to keep a reader entertained on a less serious level. The spiritual content is perfectly balanced. It deals with forgiveness and the characters' condition of the heart. Alice's conversations with Marty are so amazing and so well written it will inspire you to deepen your relationship with God, too. You can't ask for more in a book. A Sensible Arrangement is a total package. Everything you need to be thoroughly entertained all wrapped up in one neat little package. It's the first book in the Lone Star Brides series and it can be read alone, but you will definitely want to read the next book in the series to learn even more about the characters in this book. I'm a huge historical fiction fan and this book more that satisfies my craving for an historical romance I can sink my teeth into. I couldn't put it down and I am not-so-patiently waiting for book two. This book could rival any book by Janet Oke, only with a stronger emphasis on the romantic aspect, and that's saying a lot. Tracie Peterson is now one of my go-to authors. If you like historical romance and you want a story that will pull you in and hold you until the end, you'll love A Sensible Arrangement!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this books from the publisher for my honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone. I received no monetary compensation for this review.
Posted April 7, 2014
Whenever I hear the name Tracie Peterson, I know I am in for a great novel, that will completely captivate me heart and soul. There is something about the unique way she writes so well that you are simply not just reading her novels, she takes you along for the ride and you become part of the story along with her amazing characters you can't help but love. In her latest series, The Lone Star Brides Series, she picks up on one of my favorite topics dealing with life in the west, mail order brides.
In the novel A Sensible Arrangement, Marty Dandrige Olson is looking for a way to escape her life in Texas. Since losing her husband to being gored by a long horn she is struggling with how to move forward in her life without him and without God. Blaming God for not answering any of her prayers, she answers an ad for a banker in Denver searching for the same thing as she is. A marriage without the possibility of love. One simply of convenience and in name only. Seems like Jake Wythe would be the answer to a prayer but Marty has all but abandoned any notion of God or prayer in her life.
Leaving behind all her worldly good, she takes a stagecoach to Denver believing it is more suitable for women traveling alone without a chaperone, at least that what she has been told. Now traveling in the company of other women, her stagecoach is attacked by bank robbers. Rather than become a victim of circumstances, Marty pulls the pistol she always keeps handy and aids the drivers in putting a stop to the robbery. When the stage comes to a full stop, Marty learns that neither the driver or shotgun are fit to drive the stage into town. Without help they will surely die, so Marty does what anyone would do, and drives the stage into town. She not only saves the lives of the two men on the stage, but also becomes the talk of the town.
Fearing this won't lead to a good impression on Jake Wythe as a women of good character, she fears she will be rejected and sent back to Texas. But Jake sees something more in Marty than just a good candidate for a banker's wife. He sees her heart of compassion and softness without any fear of what others may think of her. Fortunately for both of them, theirs will simply be a marriage in name only and he won't have to worry about where his heart may take him instead. But it seems like God has other plans in store not only for Marty and Jake, but for those who are surrounded by their good natures as well.
I received A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions are strictly my own. I love this book because it took me back to a much simpler time in a sense, where Marty is struggling with coming to terms with leaving behind her cattle ranching days for a life of leisure as a banker's wife, being waited on hand and foot wanting for nothing. Jake on the other hand, would gladly give up the life in Denver for his own cattle ranch. He's doing all he can to save up for his own, when rumors of an economic fallout begin to rock the social world in Denver. Will Jake and Marty be able to come to terms with a new future of compromise or will they both be faced with holding back secrets that they know will hurt the other if they should ever come to light? You'll have to see how these two work to make their differences work together and I for one can't wait for the next novel in this series. Warning: a bit of a cliff hanger ending but one I would easily give a 5 out of 5 stars for!
Posted April 3, 2014
I thought that this was a really good book by Tracie Peterson. I really liked the story and the characters Marty and Jake. Marty is a widowed ranch wife and a strong no-nonsense kind of woman. Jake is a rancher at heart. He is also widowed and is now in a business that he just isn't happy with. His dream is to one day buy his own ranch and go back to his beloved Texas. Jake and Marty meet and make an arrangement that will benefit both of them. It will get Marty away from the harsh ranching life and help Jake look more presentable to his colleagues by being married.
I enjoyed taking the journey with Marty to finding God again. There are a couple of things I would have liked to have been done differently. There was one situation that was pretty big and was talked about a lot. I would have liked more of a closure with the subject. It had this big build up like a big reveal was going to be made, then it was just like ok well this is what happened. It felt almost as if it was swept under the rug so to speak. The other thing I would've liked done differently was the ending. I wanted more detail. There was a lot that still could've happened or been wrapped up a little better. Overall I really liked this book. I thought it had a good Christian message and I liked the way that Tracie incorporated in bible versus to fit the story. If you are looking for a good Historical Christian romance, then I would recommend this book.
Posted April 3, 2014
Didn’t care for it. (2 ½ stars)
This is the first book I’ve read by Tracie Peterson and I’m sorry to say that I was quite disappointed. I have often heard how wonderful her books are, but I didn’t enjoy this one very much.
The story begins with Marty planning to leave for Colorado to be a mail-order bride. It started out slow and there wasn’t much to hold my interest. Thankfully it picked up about half way through and I was able to finish it. There seemed to be a lot of wasted detail and pages. This story could have been told as a novella and been excellent.
I found Marty very annoying, with her constant lying and commenting about how easy her new life was. She didn’t seem very likeable to me. The only thing I remotely identified with was her opinion of the upper crust society she was thrust into. My favorite part of the whole book was when she finally stood up to them.
I didn’t much care for Jake, either. We don’t see much from his point of view and he seemed to be a very flat character. I knew more about the servants than him. There wasn’t much to endear him to me. Yes, he was kind to Marty, but shortly into the book, he starts talking about his hopes and dreams, and doesn’t even notice that Marty wasn’t happy with them. This happens several times and he just ignores her comments and concerns.
This book is filled with descriptions and is well written, I must give Ms. Peterson that, but that seems to be all it is. There is very little dialogue between Marty and Jake, through they marry very early in the book. Of course, they come to love each other, but I have no idea how! How do you love someone that you never talk to or spend time with? It seems to be a mostly physical attraction on both sides, since all the comments are about their appearance and how attractive they are, or some other such thing.
I must say, that Ms. Peterson really drove home how lies can affect your life. I did appreciate that and there are several discussions about God, which were well done and didn’t seem the least bit stilted. Though, I did find their faith rather shallow.
I would recommend this book if you area huge fan of the author, otherwise I would suggest skipping it.
I received this book from Bethany House Publishing for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.
Posted April 2, 2014
I had some problems with the theology in this book. At one point Alice says that Jesus is a part of God which really isn't true as Jesus is God; this is a form of modalism. I also had trouble with them accepting Jesus as their Savior since we are wretched sinners and cannot do this; instead Christ gives it us salvation as a gift. I also had problems with Marty thinking that she needed to do something to earn God's favor. This is really the same problem as the last one as God's favor cannot be won by us rather God gives us His favor because of His Son.
Setting aside the theological problems, the plot was okay. I would have liked to know more about the characters lives prior to them meeting. It would have been nice to have more background information about how life went on prior to their engagement. I think it would have made it easier to connect with them. I was disappointed with the ending of the book as well because it really cut the story abruptly. I felt the author was trying to make the ending of the book based on the spiritual well-being of the characters rather than where the story would have naturally ended had it been a story for the sake of a story rather than a story for the sake of the religious aspect. The whole book did not seem like it was about the religious aspect, but the last quarter of the book did seem that way. Also, it would have made more sense for the couple to communicate more. The lack of communication between the couple was really quite amazing. Perhaps it was common then for couples not to communicate very much, but it seemed like their lack of communicating was extreme. Regardless, I did enjoy the story and do wonder what will happen to Marty, Jake, the orphans, and Alice. I would read the second book in the series to find out what happened.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
Posted July 21, 2014
No text was provided for this review.
Posted November 16, 2014
No text was provided for this review.