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Plots and Pans

Plots and Pans

4.2 17
by Kelly Eileen Hake

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Order dictates Tucker Carmichael’s life—his orders. On a cattle drive, a moment’s hesitation can mean death. The Chisholm Trail is dirty, dangerous, and no place for women. After years at school, Jessalyn Culpepper has come home and is determined to show everyone that a woman can manage everything from cooking to cattle—whether


Order dictates Tucker Carmichael’s life—his orders. On a cattle drive, a moment’s hesitation can mean death. The Chisholm Trail is dirty, dangerous, and no place for women. After years at school, Jessalyn Culpepper has come home and is determined to show everyone that a woman can manage everything from cooking to cattle—whether they like it or not! Tucker tries to manage his partner’s headstrong sister, horrified when she wants to join the cattle drive. But when they need a chuck wagon cook, Jessalyn seems the only solution. Will God stir up love along a trail filled with their Plots and Pans?

Editorial Reviews

Michele Carley

I really enjoyed reading Plots and Pans. I really found the characters to be well-developed and likeable. The pacing was just right and I found it to be an easy read.

The characters in this book are likeable and made me smile a few times. Especially Jessalyn. She’s spunky and quick-witted. Reading her arguments with Tucker made me jealous that she was able to come up with quick comebacks to Tucker’s protests. I’m not that quick! The attraction between these two starts out with adversity and it takes them a while to recognize what’s going on.

Journey Sojourner - Rachelle Sperling

Plots and Pans is a light, humorous, and enjoyable easy read about laying down the need to prove yourself and becoming who you were always meant to become. It’s about faith and family, finding love and coming home.
Christina Schmidt

This was a really good book. I found myself laughing out loud, smiling at Jess' antics and loving the way that the characters grew through the trials they faced. Each of them had to work through their own issues. They weren't perfect characters and so they were very relatable. I definitely recommend this book!
Amy Campbell Blog - Amy Campbell

I thought Plots and Pans was a good, clean, quick, easy and sweet read. At times, there were some humorous scenes and found myself laughing out loud. The middle of the book was a little slow and found myself doing some skimming. But it is worth the read! I would recommend it. 4 stars.
Bethany DeSelms Blog - Bethany DeSelms

A good enjoyable read with likable characters and a decent plot.This was the first book I have read by the author, but am willing to try another book by her in the future.
Book Reviews by Tima - Tima Murrell

What a fun story! The characters were well developed, the romance was sweet, and the plot was enjoyable. The author also brought several heavy topics such as racial tension, women's rights, and death into the story. But she handled each subject with care and grace. I was entertained, but also blessed by reading this book. I'll definitely be adding it to my library.
Feathered Quill - Ellen Feld

Ms. Hake is a strong story teller of this plot line and I would encourage her to continue to embrace the ‘Wild West’ as her inspiration. She knows how to spin a great western.

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Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
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Meet the Author

Kelly Eileen Hake received her first writing contract at the tender age of seventeen and arranged to wait three months until she was able to legally sign it. Since that first contract a decade ago, she’s fulfilled twenty contracts ranging from short stories to novels. In her spare time, she’s attained her BA in English literature and composition, earned her credential to teach English in secondary schools, and went on to complete her MA in writing popular fiction.

Writing for Barbour combines two of Kelly’s great loves—history and reading. A CBA bestselling author and member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she’s been privileged to earn numerous Heartsong Presents Reader’s Choice Awards and is known for her witty, heartwarming historical romances. A newlywed, she and her gourmet-chef husband live in Southern California with their golden lab mix, Midas!

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Plots and Pans 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters are great. The ways Jess manages to get into trouble are many--and they are hillarious. And the message was good. We all have deep-seated fears and Jess's fear of abandonment and fear of not being accepted was very understandable. Her father sent her away to a variety of English boarding schools when she was 12. It doesn't sound like he ever gave her a good reason for it, at least not one she could understand. So she acted out in hopes that her father would pay attention and see she was better off at home on their Texas ranch with him and her brother Ed. But that day never came. 7 years passed before she made her way home to Texas. And that was only after her father died and she used her school tuition to pay for her trip home--her brother didn't want her to come home right away. It was funny to me that the one person who understood her was the one she had never met until arriving home--her Aunt Desta. I really enjoyed seeing Jess and Desta's relationship develop and how much in common a former slave had in common with her white niece. It was sweet. I hope this is a start of a series, because I'd like to see Ed meet his perfect match.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read reviews that say the same thing as the review below me about getting a book for free for their honest review. Can somebody please tell me how i can do that too?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MitziAB More than 1 year ago
5 * stars out of 5 I loved this book! A story of parental love, misunderstandings, with siblings - brothers, no less -mixed into the equation. With a touch of humor to offset the angst that comes to young women as they grapple with life questions, I found this to be an amazing novel. I related best to Jessie, and felt her insecurities as clearly as if they were my own. So many times I tend to forget that those characters I read about in the fiction novels are just fiction, and the emotions and thoughts are realistic to life, but the people did not in fact go through those trials in precisely that way. What fun it is to pretend with them though, and to be carried into another country and lifestyle, away from your own troubles.  Kelly Eileen does this very well in this book. Seeing the scenery, hearing the cattle and all that brings everything to life, including heartfelt humor the reader is immersed in it.  I received this book free from Fred at The Book Club Network and Shiloh Run (Barbour) Publishers in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own
4Gazpacho More than 1 year ago
Jessalyn was bold and independent enough to take risks, such as the risk of breaking her neck climbing down stealthily out of dorm room windows to rendezvous with her horse Morning Glory in early mornings or afternoons. She was bold and rebellious enough to eschew four different boarding schools in seven years, and brash and daring enough to board a ship crossing the ocean to American from an English port--alone. She was bold and foolish enough to take a train and eventually a stagecoach, alone, to Texas and the Bar None ranch, her home. To top it off, she was bold and skilled enough on her horse, dressed in split skirts that looked like chaps, a Stetson and common duster and a scarf over her face to approach the ranch and pass for an itinerant hand, given a job, a bunk and a meal by the ranch boss, Tucker Carmichael. Tucker Carmichael was not only the foreman for Carson Culpepper's Bar None ranch, he was part owner. Before his death, Carson charged his son Ed, and Tucker with Jess's care. Tucker took that job to heart, perhaps a bit too much, especially after he had seen her. What happens when spunk and impulsive meets responsible, stubborn and controlling? I loved the author's attention to detail, especially in her description of the round-up, the preparations the women had to make for the drive, and the meals cooked for these events. I could easily picture all of it in my mind from her detailed accounts. It gave this book a unique point of view, from the cook's perspective. Another thing I appreciated about this story is the relationship between Aunt Desta and Jess that developed in the short span of time this book covers. The author skillfully conveys the warmth of understanding between the more mature woman and young Jess, who needs Desta for spiritual guidance as well as her friendship and the sense of family she was deprived of for so many years. It was Desta who ferreted out that under her bold and brash exterior Jess was insecure and in need of stability and a sense of belonging. And it was Desta who realized that Jess's attitude toward God reflected her feelings of anger and abandonment from her father because he sent her away to school. Through the hardships of the cattle drive, Desta played an important role in helping Jess resolve these issues. Thirdly, I enjoyed see the evolving relationship between Jess and Tucker. Both needed to dig deeply inside themselves to find compromises they could live with. Their journey toward a romance was filled with potholes, but endearing nevertheless. I enjoyed how the author used humor to help iron out some of those wrinkles. Overall, this was a fun book to read and I can heartily recommend it. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from NetGalley on behalf of Barbour Publishing, Inc. 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.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
Plots and Pans is historical fiction fun you don't want to miss... Plots and Plans By Kelly Eileen Hake All Jessalyn Culpepper wants is her father to be proud of her and not because she was finished at the various lady's schools she's gone to over the last 7 years.  After all being a "Lady" means sitting side-saddle, napping during the day, and just general foolishness.  She longs to take part in the day-to-day activity of the ranch she loves.  But when Jessalyn finally returns home she doesn't get the homecoming she's been dreaming of.  In fact it is as if everyone she knew is gone. But no one is going to stop her from making a place for herself not even ranch foreman Tucker Carmichael. But nothing is ever easy especially when two people are equally mule-headed.  But sometimes two parts stubborn is just what is necessary to get the job done.   This is a fun book that is easy to  read.  It is the perfect distraction from all the stresses of the day.  Plots and Pans addresses several issues of the day including women's rights and racial prejudice.  But overall this is a feel good book as Jessalyn and Tucker learn to work together and trust in God.  This book is complete in and of itself, but I wouldn't mind a sequel and that to me is a sign that a book is good - the desire to read more about the characters. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Barbour through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.  
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
A zany historical romance! This zany historical romance is one that makes the reader laugh but also has some tearjerker moments that will cause you to look inward. I honestly chose Plots And Pans partly because of the crazy title and mostly because it made me laugh when I read the back cover blurb. The story was exactly what I was looking for, a lighthearted historical romance with a dash of introspection. This story had quite a few twists and turns. Just when you think everything Jessalyn and Tucker are getting things figured out something happens and there is a misunderstanding and tempers flare. I liked how both of them made mistakes, nailed each other with some hilarious zingers, and yet when it came down to it both of them were warmhearted and kind, even if sparks seriously flew when they were together. In many ways Plots And Pans is a hilarious battle of the sexes, she thinks she should do whatever she wants no matter how dangerous and he is a bit smothering with his protectiveness. Kelly Eileen Hake knows her craft well. Realistic characters, a great storyline, and cowboys! What else could you possibly need in a story? (I received a copy of this book from Shiloh Run Press through The Book Club Network for my honest review. All opinions are my own.)
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
In Plots and Pans we meet Jessalyn Culpepper getting into one scrape or another in the beginning. Her father had sent her away when she was 12, from their Texas ranch to Britain, where her late mother was from, so that she could learn to be a lady. More than that though, her father sent her away because he thought that was the only way he could protect her from the dangers of the cattle ranch. However, Jessalyn just doesn’t fit in nor does she want to, so for the next seven years she is kicked out of one school after another. By the time she is ready for her father to send for her to come home, she receives some devastating news from her brother, Ed, who tells her just to stay in England till he can come fetch her. More than ready to come home, she decides to come home without letting anyone know she is on her way. When she finally gets to her beloved ranch she has many surprises in store for her. Relations she was not aware of, and her brother is not there to greet her. Instead it is Tucker Carmichael, the ranch foreman and part owner. He is set to protect her no matter what, and she is set to prove herself worthy no matter what. Those two butting heads can be quite comical to watch as their love story unfolds. There is another side romance story also blossoming. I really felt for Jessalyn and why she tried so hard to prove herself worthy. Her father, out of his love and what he thought was best at the time, sent her far away and never came back to bring her home. Then when she meets Tucker, he treats her like a child and I think at least in the beginning did not think she belonged on the ranch. I was rooting for her all the way. I received this book from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.
Robbi44 More than 1 year ago
Plots and Pans is the delightful and inspirational story of Jessalyn Culpepper’s journey home. She desperately needed to physically make the journey back to her childhood home and be embraced by her family. She spiritually was looking for “home” to satisfy her soul’s deepest longings. Emotionally, Jess needed to find “home” by learning to trust others. Finally, her heart sought “home” to complete her. The inner action between the characters illustrated everyone’s need to find “home” through God’s love. I would recommend this story as it will encourage every reader to find their “home.” I received this free book from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
homeschoolmom24 More than 1 year ago
About the Book: Order dictates Tucker Carmichael’s life— his orders. On a cattle drive, a moment’s hesitation can mean death. The Chisholm Trail is dirty, dangerous, and no place for women. After years at school, Jessalyn Culpepper has come home and is determined to show everyone that a woman can manage everything from cooking to cattle—whether they like it or not! Tucker tries to manage his partner’s headstrong sister, horrified when she wants to join the cattle drive. But when they need a chuck wagon cook, Jessalyn seems the only solution. Will God stir up love along a trail filled with their Plots and Pans? About the Author: Kelly Eileen Hake is a reader favorite of Barbour's Heartsong Presents series, where she has released several books. A credentialed Secondary English teacher in California, she is pursing her MA in Writing Popular Fiction. Known for her own style of witty, heartwarming historical romance, Kelly is currently writing the Prairie Promises trilogy, her first full-length novels. She has been writing since she could hold a pen and was first published at the tender age of eighteen. My Review: As a young girl, Jessalyn was sent away to a girls boarding school. Now an adult she is expected to go back to her past life at home before school. But sometimes things just don't go the way they are expected to go. Soon Jess receives a letter informing her of her father's death, heartbroken from the time she has lost with him, she begins to plan her trip back home. Her brother decides its in her best interest not to come back, but Jess has other plans. Tucker has worked at the Bar None Ranch for quite a while now, and when he hears that his partner's sister is headed back home, he has mixed feelings. There are so many men on the ranch it isn't the best place for a woman. The plot line has many twists and turns, this book isn't your typical wild west story. Jessalyn soon realizes that these "men" aren't going to allow her in on any of the work to be done. She is so head strong that I don't they will even be able to stop her. **Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from Book Fun.
weatherlover1 More than 1 year ago
Jessalyn was a handful as a teen and her father sent her away to England to become a lady. But no school could take the cowgirl out of her. When her father dies she heads home to her brother to take her rightful place on the ranch. Tucker was just a young ranch hand when Jessalyn left. Now he is part owner and very much in charge. When Jessalyn shows up unexpectedly  and with her brother gone it’s up to Tucker to keep her safe and out of trouble until he returns.       Plots and Pans is kind of sad due to Jessalyn being sent away and her not getting to see her dad again. She is a woman with a backbone and everyone keeps trying to put her in a box and all she wants is to be herself. What I liked: Jessalyn was a likeable character. I felt bad for her yet she pushed forward and kept trying to get her brother and Tucker to except her. Tucker and Jessalyn had some fun interaction’s and the chemistry between them was enjoyable. What I did not like: The author did an odd thing. When the characters switched who was telling the story at the start of a new chapter they would overlap the scene. It was done a lot and after a while it got annoying to be honest. It was just over done and took away from the book at times. I also found the title was a little misleading.      Overall this was an okay book. The book seemed to drag on at times and the overlapping between chapters made it less enjoyable than I had hoped for. It was still a good story though. I have read books from this author before so I was surprised at her style in this book.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Kelly Eileen Hake conjures up a tasty tale of the wide open range and rustic romance in her latest novel, Plots and Pans. Tucker Carmichael is set in his ways and determined to carry on the legacy and continued success of the Bar None Ranch. The period is the 1800’s and the setting is cattle farming at its finest on the open ranges of frontier Texas. The story opens with the passing of Bar None Ranch’s patriarch, Simon Culpepper. Once Tucker learns he is one of the heir apparents (Culpepper’s only son, Edward, the other), Tucker hunkers down and embraces his newfound responsibilities. All things considered, he’s succeeding in his new position of authority. However, the one thing Tucker wasn’t ready to accept was the return of Simon’s only daughter Jessalyn. Seven years prior to Simon’s passing, Jessalyn’s father made the difficult decision to ship her off to the finery and tutelage of proper English lady lessons. Difficult as the decision was, after his wife passed, it became clear to Simon that the rough edges and exposure to ranch life was no place to raise his daughter into becoming a proper lady. While Jessalyn may have been a lady by all definitions of the term, one thing Simon overlooked in his decision was the fact that his ‘lady’ was also a natural born cowgirl at heart. To say the apple cart was turned on its side with the return of Jessalyn is an understatement. Not only does Jessalyn have to cope with the grief of the passing of her father, but she also needs to embrace the notion she has an aunt she never knew existed. Couple these facts with her reintroduction to the overly cantankerous Tucker Carmichael and Jessalyn has her own set of challenges ahead when it comes to re-establishing her rightful place in her Bar None Ranch home. Jessalyn has never been one to back down. Persistent to dig in for the long haul and prove to Carmichael she belongs is perhaps one of her greatest feats yet.  Ms. Hake takes the reader back to a time long before strip malls and fast food restaurants. She patiently paints a tale with an abundance of allure and life on the open range. She secures the backdrop beautifully within the first dozen pages or so and accomplishes reader engagement in so doing. It is easy for the reader to feel as though he or she has entered a good old fashioned western with the right balance of drama, romance and the roughness and hard times long before modern medicines and comforts. She adeptly captures the essence of what it meant to face the consequences of having nothing more than gut instincts and common sense to survive. If I could make one constructive criticism, however, it would be Ms. Hake’s propensity to write too much character thought. It takes away from the flow of the story. I’m not sure if this was intentional or simply Ms. Hake’s writing style, but I found myself purposely reading over the italicized thoughts. Ms. Hake’s scenes are capable, in my opinion, of getting the intent across to the reader without adding affirmation (or clarification) with the added thoughts. They are a distraction. That said, I would read previous (and future) works by Ms. Hake. She is a strong story teller of this plot line and I would encourage her to continue to embrace the ‘Wild West’ as her inspiration. She knows how to spin a great western. Quill says: Saddle up your pony and ride along the trail of Plots and Pans. It’s a terrific rendition of life and adventure on the wide open range.
Karen02KD More than 1 year ago
What would you do if you were Jessalyn Culpepper and your mother was dead and your father had taken you from the world of your beloved Texas ranch and placed you in a fine young ladies’ boarding school in England? You are desperate to go home, but all your schemes accomplish is getting you kicked out of one “fine young ladies” school after another. Finally, one day Jessalyn received work that her father has passed away. She immediately begins to make her was, only accompanied by her horse, back to the ranch. When she reaches home, she finds her brother on a business trip. He had left Tucker Charmichael in charge. Tucker is not only the ranch manager but also a co-heir of the ranch. Jessalyn remembers him as someone who is partially responsible for getting her banished to England. Can Jessalyn reclaim what she feels to be rightfully hers? Can she accept members of her family whom she did know existed? This was an entertaining read with the characters of Jessalyn and her aunt being particularly interesting to me. As a side plot, we get a peak into what the life of a slave child was like whose father was the white master of the plantation. This was a refreshing addition to most of the normal Western fiction. There is a nice resolution to this by the end of the story. I received this from NetGalley in exchange for my opinion.
Janine_S More than 1 year ago
“Plots and Pans” by Kelly Eileen Hake is a book that was an emotional roller coaster for too many times I cried broken up with laughing out loud. Because I always rate higher when I believe that a book rate a half star, which is why this book rated 5 stars. I would give this book a solid 4.5 stars if I could for there were a few things that weren't addressed and I will explain that later though. I really did enjoy the book without a doubt, for it touched on issues that would be complex for the time, and I enjoyed the way it was handled. Racial issues at the times where a tricky thing, and frankly I loved how it was handled. There is actually two romances going on in the story that we thankfully get to see through for the most part. There is one romance where the reader must use their imagination to think about what happens from the end of the book. The other romance between Jessalyn and Tucker is full antagonism, eating of shoe leather (at times I could almost taste the dusty leather myself) and humor. At one point I was surprised that Jessalyn didn't do something physical to Tucker when he stuck his foot so far in his mouth that it was nearly touching his stomach. This romance was different than a lot of romances for there was no acknowledging of an attraction even to themselves, though others, such as the reader, could see sparks flying at times. Tucker is a man who is working hard to make sure that everything around him is as safe as possible for all those around him. He tries to control everything he can and really hates when things go outside of his comfort level of uncontrollable. He knows that there are always things that are out of his control on the ranch and he has learn to live with those but anything else, he then tries even harder to fight for control. He is a kind hearted man that is for sure, who is willing to allow drifters who are willing to do work in exchange for room and board in the bunkhouse. Also he has a flaw that I could see some of my friends relating to since he didn't seem to function without his coffee, and everyone around him knew it too. Jessalyn is a woman who only wants to be home and to feel useful and wanted. She doesn't always think things through, but at the same time she knows when to back down and when to push forward. Her heart is soft and tender, who is willing to put up with things if there was something good that would come out of it for someone else that she cares about. She is a hard worker, has a quick wit, and comfortable with who she is. Pretty much this story deals with just a very basic human need, and that is to belong somewhere and to be wanted. This is something that a couple of the characters are feeling, for completely different reasons that is for sure. The whole story moved at a pretty quick pace that is for sure, with the different feelings that the three main characters have, the struggles of trying to feel as if they belong, and wanted. There is no villain, and this is where I have an issue with the book. The conflict is that a character or two have feelings of guilt, that is deep seeded, that is never resolved. The readers are not shown if they ever accepted what happened to cause the guilt. And if they did, the readers never saw how that changed their views about different things. It is this guilt that has made the character or characters the way he/she is and why he/she acts that way. I thought that this guilt was something that should have been resolved by the end of the story. I was slightly disappointed by the end of the story for it seemed so rushed almost as if either Ms. Hake or her editor thought that they hit the word limit, so they had to rush the end. I so completely enjoyed this story and was disappointed with that ending. The two issues are easy to overlook for me, since the rest of the book was really good. I hope all who read this book enjoy it as much as I did.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
I thought Plots and Pans was a good, clean, quick, easy and sweet read. At times, there were some humorous scenes and found myself laughing out loud. The middle of the book was a little slow and found myself doing some skimming. But it is worth the read! I would recommend it. 4 stars.
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
4 STARS I like the cover it fits with Jessalyn personality. I like the characters, the plot, not to preachy just how prayer helps in lots of ways. Like the secondary characters too. Clean read. I was expecting more of the story to be on the cattle drive part of the story. Wanted a little more to their courtship besides fighting. Maybe more long walks and discussions ect. Love how Jessalyn accepted her Aunt and welcomed her into the family. She just wanted to be loved and accepted. Did not matter the color of her skin. Jessalyn has been away from home for seven years. She has been sent over to England to become a lady. She just wants to be free and be back home in Texas. She did not like her answers to prayers so stopped praying. She is feisty, brave and sometimes jumps into things before she realizes the dangers. Tucker is the ranch foreman. He does not want to see Jess hurt and takes his responsibility too heart to protect her. He is a hard worker. Is afraid of Jess getting hurt and causing lots of trouble. It touches a little on troubles of slavery and acceptance of blacks after the civil war. A little about what woman were expected to be and do for their safety. About ranch life and being on a cattle drives and the problems. The setting for most of the book is Bar None Ranch 1872- 79. Full of laughter, drama and action I would read more from Kelly Eileen Hake in the future. I was given this ebook to read and in exchange asked to give honest review of it by Netgalley and Barbour books. publication: April 1st 2014 by Shiloh Run Press Barbour Publishing, Inc. 320 pages ISBN 9781620299586