A Sweet Misfortune: A Novel

A Sweet Misfortune: A Novel

by Maggie Brendan


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Rachel Matthews isn't one to rely on others to take care of her. Destitute and alone, she still wants to make her own way and her own money—even if she's forced into the life of a dance hall girl. Horrified by her circumstances, Rachel's brother sends a friend—the widely admired cattle baron John McIntyre—to rescue her, then sets off to earn enough money to buy back the family ranch. But when months pass without her brother's return, Rachel isn't sure she can take one more day in John McIntyre's home—especially once she discovers that he's the one who holds the deed to her family's ranch.

Sparks fly between this spunky, independent heroine and the ruggedly handsome hero as they navigate the snarled terrain of pride, greed, faith, and love in Maggie Brendan's delightful series set in the Old West.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800722654
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/02/2016
Series: Virtues and Vices of the Old West Series , #2
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 624,121
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Maggie Brendan is the CBA bestselling author of the Heart of the West series and The Blue Willow Brides series, as well as The Trouble with Patience and A Sweet Misfortune. Her books have received the Book Buyers Best Award from the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America and the Laurel Wreath Award. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, Georgia Romance Writers, and Author's Guild, Maggie lives in Georgia.

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A Sweet Misfortune (Virtues and Vices of the Old West Book #2): A Novel 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
lolly-pops More than 1 year ago
A SWEET MISFORTUNE is a historical romance by Maggie Brendan. The Trouble with Patience is the first book in the series, and I didn't read that, but had no problems understanding what was going on in A SWEET MISFORTUNE. Rachel and John are probably mortal enemies. Her brother wanted her rescued and she wanted to be rescued but she didn't want John to do it. Everything he does is wrong, never mind that he saved her family farm and paid her family's debts. John's grandma goes out of her way to befriend Rachel and offer her gainful employment. I wasn't exactly endeared to Rachel or John. I tried, but couldn't grow to care about these characters. Rachel is strong and spunky, so why couldn't she rescue herself? She is gifted with all she puts her hand to and good with accounting so why... Anyway, lots of questions. Lots of telling and little showing keeps the reader distant. This is an Old West story, with cowboys and occasional action. It was interesting to see how two mortal enemies could grow to care for each other. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
CrystalCaudill More than 1 year ago
A Sweet Misfortune is the second in Maggie Brendan's Virtues and Vices of the Old West series. However, this could easily be read as a stand alone book. Mrs. Brendan does a wonderful job of weaving the timeless story of finding one's true desires with memorable characters that you can relate to. While not a fact paced, action packed novel, it is a sweet romance that keeps you turning the pages. While Rachel is indeed a spunky, independent heroine, she also is subdued and deals realistically with the challenges of being a former dance hall girl and sudden dependence on a family she can never repay. John is a take action man whose ambition for more land and wealth leads him to overlook the biggest opportunity in front of him. There are many times you want to smack him on the forehead and ask him, "Really?" Even so, he is a sweet, caring man who makes a wonderful hero. The secondary characters are great in their roles. You instantly fall in love with Grams and grind your teeth in aggravation at Beatrice. I recommend picking up a copy and reading A Sweet Misfortune.
BookLover16 More than 1 year ago
This is probably my favorite book by Maggie Brendan. I have to admit the cover is what first drew my attention. It's gorgeous! Don't you agree? The storyline was unique and thoroughly Western and the romance between the characters was clean and entertaining. The one letdown I felt with this book was that the middle and ending of the book were slightly slow. But it was still lively enough to keep my attention. There wasn't really any suspense or big adventure and I think that's why it felt slow. I was never on the edge of my seat waiting for a scene to unfold. My favorite books are the fast-paced ones and so while this book did not meet my expectations in that aspect it made up for it with its uniqueness and engaging characters.
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
When most people think of cowboys they think of Texas. Not me! I think of Montana. Maggie Brendan's Virtues and Vices of the Old West series has been a true delight so far because it has great characters and interesting storylines but more importantly it is set in the Montana Territory. A Sweet Misfortune is the second book in the series and in it we meet Rachel Matthews who finds herself dancing in a saloon just to survive. Her parents are deceased and her only brother has headed west to seek fortune to buy back their family's ranch. Unbeknownst to Rachel her brother has written his friend and current owner of the Matthews family ranch, John McIntyre, and asked him to rescue his sister from the saloon and watch out for her until he returns. John's idea of rescuing leaves Rachel crazy mad. Not only does this bully now own her family's land but he also thinks he can tell Rachel what to do. The sparks are flying and someone is bound to get burned. The redeeming factor and calming force is John's beloved grandmother. Rachel can't help but fall in love with her. The theme of virtues and vices is a clever one. Ms. Brendan explores how we look at people from the outside while discounting how they came to be in the situation. She also allows us to contemplate our own greed by pondering how much is enough. I enjoyed this novel on many levels. It is a light read so you can enjoy it on a lazy afternoon or even during times of multiple interruptions. I found it refreshing to have only the main storyline to concentrate on and a limited number of characters to get to know. Even though it is part of a multi-book series it is a stand-alone story and can be read without needing to read the other books. If you are looking for a fun light romance set in the Old West then I recommend taking a chance on this one. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
cherishedbyalecia More than 1 year ago
I decided to read this one because I read the first (troble with patience) But know even though they’re in a series you won’t be post if you don’t start at the beginning…although I recommend reading both. This was a good book…I will say it wasn’t a “I can’t put it done” book but I enjoyed reading it I got this free from Revell publishing in exchange for my honest review https://cherishedbyalecia.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/a-sweet-misfortune/?preview=true
tmurrell2 More than 1 year ago
Rachel is left alone in town when her brother, Preston, heads out to find gold. The siblings lost their farm and Preston's friend John buys the land and agrees to sell it back to Preston if he can raise the money in a certain amount of time. When Preston learns that Rachel is working as a dance hall girl to earn money, he writes to John and asks for his help. At first Rachel is furious with John's interference in her life. But she soon learns to love the ranch and the family who is so graciously offering their home and their hearts. Pros: The plot was easy to read and I was able to finish the book rather quickly. Several of the secondary characters were fun and added to the overall story. The author was able to bring the scenery alive so that I could easily picture the surroundings. Cons: The romance between the main couple was really lacking for me. Several elements seemed added as filler and didn't really fit into the plot. There wasn't a lot of depth to the plot or most of the characters. The guys who were interested in Rachel were very superficial and moved on too quickly for their supposed interest. Overall, it was a story that I enjoyed because it was entertaining and was a quick read. I would recommend this book if you want a fun way to pass the time. I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of my favorite books by Maggie Brendan. I love how Rachel and John meet. This is a fun book in the western historical fiction genre. This will make you laugh and cry a little. I look forward to reading the next book in theVirtues and Vices of the Old West series. I received this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
A Sweet Misfortune by Maggie Brendan is the second book in the Virtues and Vices of the Old West series. It is September 1862 in Montana Territory. Rachel Matthews’ brother (Preston) had to go away and he asked John McIntyre to rescue his sister. Rachel could only find work as a dance hall girl (serving drinks, food, etc.). John McIntyre goes into the saloon, asks which girl is Rachel, grabs her, and takes off. He gets on his horse and takes off for his ranch. Rachel is outraged. Rachel did not enjoy working as a dance hall girl, but it was the only job she could find. She wanted to help her brother raise funds to save their ranch (they got behind on the taxes after their parents died). Estelle, John’s grandmother, convinces Rachel to stay and offers her a position in her millinery shop. Rachel is enjoying her stay until she discovers that John holds the deed to her family’s ranch. John paid the back taxes on the property and had an agreement with Preston Matthews (he would pay John back within a certain amount of time or the ranch stays with John). As Rachel and John spend more time together, the attraction between them grows. Can these two different people come together in love or will the Matthews family ranch be a sticking point between them? A Sweet Misfortune is a charming, historic romance novel (with a Christian theme). It can easily be read as a stand-alone novel (without having enjoyed the first book in the Virtues and Vices of the Old West series). A Sweet Misfortune is nicely written and very easy to read. I did find it, though, to be a predictable romance novel with the normal issues of miscommunication between the couple, misunderstandings, breaking up, getting back together, and happily ever after. The characters are fun (especially Estelle). The Christian theme is very light in this uplifting story. I give A Sweet Misfortune 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). I received a complimentary copy of A Sweet Misfortune from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
A Sweet Misfortune is Maggie Brendan’s latest and deals with a very peculiar woman’s job in the old West. Saloon girl dancing, in which we find the abonded heroine in the first few pages working as. This was a pretty quick read for me, enter a rugged rancher cowboy who swoops in to save his best friend’s sister from the only job she was able to find and you have a battle of wills. This was a great old western story of a couple of people who have been through a lot of hurt and trying to make a life in the rugged, often less civilized western part of our country. I immensely enjoyed this lighthearted romance and wondered how long before these two love birds saw the truth of their feelings. With the help of a grandmother and the housekeeper, a few close friends, and other love interests for these two, you have a sweet adventure and romance story to the altar. I received a copy from Revell Publishing for an honest review and the opinions are my own.
BookReviewerNicole More than 1 year ago
*My Thoughts* One of my absolute favorite authors endorsed this book, written by another favorite author and I had to have it. I have to say, I completely agree with Laura Frantz's review! This is my favorite Maggie Brendan novel so far. It was just so fun and the pace was perfect to just chill on the front porch with. I loved it!! I finished the book in one sitting and found myself falling in love with Rach and John. Their characters were just so sweet and half the time, I either wanted to laugh at them or shake them. I sighed in contentment when I finished and I can't wait to meet the characters in book three! ____________________________________________________ *My overall thoughts* Fun and fast paced, this is the perfect story to read in the sunshine. I promise you'll devour it! _______________________________________________________ *My Rating* I give If I Run by Terri Blackstock... 5 stars!! _______________________________________________ *I received this book from Litfuse, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have given. All thoughts were my own and I was not compensated in any other way.
AngelN1 More than 1 year ago
A Sweet Misfortune is a Western historical romance. Main character Rachel is dancing in a saloon when cattle baron John literally drags her away and deposits her in his ranch house with his charming grandmother, Estelle. This story deals with pride, forgiveness, faith and family. Brendan evokes the romantic lore of the Old West consistently throughout this book. Fans of western literature will enjoy finding saloons, cowboys, gold mining, and challenging weather included in the tale. Rachel is spunky and likable, but I felt like her character was missing some depth. John's transformation from relying solely on himself and his wealth to being outrageously generous was a bit fanciful. I liked the change, of course, but everything seemed to tie up a bit too neatly. I loved the grandmother, Estelle, and her place in the story was very welcome. I also found secondary character Molly intriguing, but her role is a small one. Overall, I found this a pleasant but predictable read. I received this book from the publisher, Revell, for the purpose of writing a review, but all opinions are my own.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
A Sweet Misfortune is a charming story! John and Rachel made my smile, and I thoroughly enjoyed their story! One of my favorite things about this novel is the wonderful characterization. Primary and secondary characters alike are well-crafted, and they endear themselves to the reader throughout the narrative. The story line comes alive with humor, drama, and romance, making this heartwarming historical a pleasure to read! Maggie Brendan continues to delight fans with her Virtues and Vices of the Old West series, and I look forward to the next adventure! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
I do have to state that I really enjoy Maggie Brendan’s books, and look forward to each one, and this one was no exception. In this day can you picture a friend of your brothers going into where you work and throwing you over his shoulder and carrying you away to his home? No, absolutely not, but this is back in the 1860’s, and Miss Rachael is working at a place that does not have a good reputation, she is a dancer, but we would all make the assumption that she is a “soiled dove”. The friend John, owns the title to her parents ranch, and she is not so happy to see the enemy, as she feels about him, of course he only paid the taxes, but means nothing to her. Her brother, Preston, still has a chance to redeem the ranch when he returns from the gold fields. You are going to love Estelle, the Grandmother, and Annabelle the housekeeper and cook, and how they embrace Rachael, I wanted to move in with them. When we let God be in charge a lot of doors open and more people are drawn in and saved by your actions, and that is how I felt while reading this book, it was amazing, and you kept finding more, even in adversity. This is a sad, in some ways, but refreshing and sweet read, and I’m ready for the next book in this series. I received this book through the Revell Reads Blogger Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.
Pooke More than 1 year ago
Hold On a Minute Cowboy! One minute, Rachel is dancing on the stage of the Wild Horse Saloon. The next minute, a big cowboy has thrown her over his shoulder, jumped on a horse, and galloped off with her full-speed across the Montana countryside. Rachel doesn't know what he has in mind, but does her best to get away from him. Ultimately, she discovers this big cowboy, John, is her brother Preston's friend, and he "kidnapped" her at her brother's request. Preston didn't want her working at a saloon, and begged John to rescue her. The only thing Rachel has cared about since her parents died, was making enough money to get her family's ranch back. Working at the saloon was her only choice. Unbeknownst to Rachel, Preston had John pay the back taxes on their ranch. This was done with the agreement that John would get their ranch if the tax money wasn't repaid by a certain date, and the time is almost up. To make matters worse, Rachel hasn't heard from Preston for months. Rachel doesn't know if she is more upset with John for not giving her more time to get the money to pay him back, or Preston for being unreachable and making this deal with John. Rachel makes friends with John's grandmother, Estelle, who gives her a job in her millinery shop. Estelle would like to get Rachel, along with her grandson together, but John appears to be courting someone else. Also, he looks down on Rachel for working in the saloon, and the two of them don't seem to get along. Rachel is satisfied working with Estelle, and trying to get some of the other girls away from the saloon work. She hopes if they understand their worth in God's eyes, they will want a new life. Montana in the 1860's has lots of eligible bachelors. Rachel is surprised to find herself with multiple suitors, three of them, including the town pastor. But will any of them make her heart flutter, even a little? Or will she settle for a marriage with someone who will give her a good home? None of it may matter though, when a heart attack, pneumonia or a whiteout snow storm may be the end of some, if not all of them. A Sweet Misfortune is the second book in the Virtues and Vices series, but it is a tale that can stand alone. This book will appeal to those who like romances, but others readers will like it, as well, since it also includes a bit of danger, intrigue, and fun. I recommend this wholesome 5-star book to those wanting a well-written fictional tale set in the Old West. The publisher has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of A Sweet Misfortune, through Revell Publishing for the purpose of review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
LynneAnderson More than 1 year ago
Maggie Brendan does it again. From the fast paced beginning to the satisfying conclusion, this book will reel you in. Rachel Matthews is just trying to earn some money. So what if she's a dance hall girl....that doesn't make her a BAD girl, or does it? Aspiring land tycoon, John McIntyre isn't sure, but a promise to a friend lands him in the middle of Rachel's life. She tries to steal his horse, has multiple suitors and a heart of gold.....what's a man to do? Come along for the ride. This book will keep you guessing all along the way. PS, Don't miss the very informative "Author's Note" Revell Publishing provided me with a copy of this book in return for a fair and unbiased review.
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read by Maggie Brendan. After reading it I would say I would be interested in reading more from her. Her characters were interesting and one of a kind. They each had their issues, but were learning to better themselves along the way. A Sweet Misfortune follows Rachel and John as they learn to get along and find out what the future has in store for them. Rachel is used to taking care of herself, and finds it hard to accept John’s help. The whole situation seems too good to be true, and she finds it hard to believe. Knowing that her brother wants the best for her, Rachel agrees to stay with John for a while. Little does she know, being that close to John shows a lot about his real character. Will they both see what’s right in front of them before it’s too late? Or will they let the other people who want to court them distract them from the best possible match? John’s grandmother Estelle was a wonderful character, and I liked her right away. This book shows a little glimpse of how we should live as followers of Christ. God’s love is woven through out the story in a subtle manner. I enjoyed the spunkiness of the female characters, and how they reacted to certain situations. I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys Historical Fiction. I received a copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
A Sweet Misfortune Vices and Virtues of the Old West #2 By Maggie Brendan Rachel Matthews is trying to save money to redeem the deed to her family's ranch from her brother's friend John McIntyre. And the only option she can find to earn money and provide her with a roof over head is to work as a dance hall girl at the Wild Horse. When her brother gets word of what Rachel is doing he pleads with the only man he trusts to rescue his little sister before it is too late. His friendship with Preston is the only thing that would make John bring Rachel into his home. After all she's been performing as a dance hall girl, who knows what else she may have done in the performance of her profession! She may now be a soiled dove. John is determined to have the largest spread in Montana and dealing with Rachel and her resentments isn't a priority in his opinion. But Rachel isn't about to be pushed into a corner and forgotten until her brother makes a reappearance in her life. Rachel is kind-hearted, concerned about those around her and she's stubbornly determined to continue earning money towards her ranch. But Rachel and John are both about to be dealt setbacks that change not only the course of their lives but could end their dreams. Can these two discover what is truly important in their lives before it is too late? Though Rachel's past as a saloon hall dancer is known and everyone is properly scandalized she is still shockingly a highly sought after potential bride. What I find interesting is that before her extraction from the Wild Horse no one was too concerned about her welfare, she was.one of the forgotten who had no where to go when they were in need. This is the second book in the Vices and Virtues of the Old West series, but it can be a stand-alone book as the characters and setting are unique. The commonality between the first two books is the Montana Territory and the 1860s. This book is what I call escape reading - something to pick-up for quick week-end read. There are the usual romantic elements - boy and girl meet, boy-and-girl deny feelings, danger, other potential suitors, etc. In my opinion this is an o'kay book, not awful but not great. I don't bemoan the loss of time spent reading this book as it provided a welcome diversion from an especially trying week. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Revell in exchange for my honest review.
LannieM More than 1 year ago
I recently finished reading A Sweet Misfortune by Maggie Brendan. Unfortunately, I felt that is was not a sweet misfortune that I read this book. To be quite blunt, it had no plot. Now, I love a good western and a good romance as much as the next person, but this one had no substance at all. While it was mildly entertaining, it was also chock full of moments that--rather than be endearing--just caused me to roll my eyes. For example, while thinking of her brother, Rachel has this thought: "She wished he'd [her brother] been the one to rescue her instead of the cowboy with the brooding eyes. She could get lost in them if she wasn't careful." This was only at the close of the third chapter! The main characters had barely had more than two or three interactions! I personally found it hard to believe, which is not what you want when you are reading a novel--unless of course it's about aliens or something. While most romances are pretty clear in their outcomes, this one just felt forced and emotionless. There was no hurdle for the main couple to overcome (except perhaps their own stubbornness), and I felt that this story was almost too simple. It would have been more believable if there had been some significant conflict. Also, the other "suitors" for both main characters were really unnecessary and could have been left out without affecting the story. Overall, this was just not a book worth reading. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.
EllieFaye More than 1 year ago
Finding herself alone and homeless in a small western town, independent heroine Rachel Matthews stoops to working as a dancing girl at the local saloon in an attempt to earn money to re-purchase her family’s ranch. When her brother in far-away California hears of her occupation, however, he sends his friend and local cattle baron John McIntyre to rescue her. Sparks immediately fly between the two, but will John be able to let go of his pride and suspicions that Rachel did more than dance at the saloon? Will Rachel ever forgive John for buying the failing ranch from her brother in the first place? With an entertaining cast of characters and an interesting backdrop, Maggie Brendan tells a story not only of love, but of forgiveness, humility, and grace. While all romance novels tend to end somewhat predictably, this one lacked any suspense or adventure whatsoever. Every conflict resolves itself within a chapter or two, and every character gets just about everything they want without much development. It seems as if the events leading up to the start of the novel would have proven much more captivating: Rachel’s parents’ deaths, her brother’s departure to mine for gold, and her own decision to work at the saloon would have entertained much more than the given plot. Even the story of John’s sister Lura’s fall from grace would have livened it up a bit. As it is, not much happens. That said, Rachel is spunky and likable, and John is adequately swoon-worthy, which leads to a satisfying— if predictable— conclusion. I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in return for an honest review.
SusanSnodgrassBookworm More than 1 year ago
Maggie Brendan has written a very nice book set in Montana in the early 1800s . Rachel Matthews is trying to take care of herself, but the only job she can find is in a saloon. Her brother asks his friend, cattle rancher, John McIntyre, to rescue her. Only Rachel doesn't want to be rescued. This novel deals with greed and pride, with some prejudice thrown in. This second in a series is as good as the first. *I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.