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Age Appropriate For: 13 + for romance
Best for Ages: 15 and up
Description: In Dry Gulch, Texas, 1893, a young woman with a tender heart that longs to help those in need takes it upon herself to meddle in the affairs of three acquaintances who are in dire straits. Wanting to stay anonymous, she relies on unusual methods to hire men and women of good character who she thinks can solve the problems facing her “targets.” How was she to know that her meddling would turn into a cupid’s arrow? And what will she do when her friends turn the tables on her with a matchmaking scheme of their own?
I have been looking forward to this collection of stories since I first heard about it. Not only is it set in my home state, two authors I adore (Witemeyer and Cox) are in this collection. I was so excited when my copy finally arrived and I was able to dig in.
A Cowboy Unmatched
This story was the first and my favorite. Karen Witemeyer is on my top 10 favorite author list, and it is mainly because of the Archer brothers. I so enjoyed Short-Straw Bride and Stealing the Preacher because of the strong male characters. Neil was no disappointment. He was every bit as wonderful as his brothers.
Clara was a wonderful heroine and matched perfectly for Neil. I wish this had been a full length novel so I could have gotten to know her even better. However, the story flowed so well it is hard to see how it could have been better.
An Unforeseen Match
This was my first introduction to Regina Jennings, and I will be reading more by her in the future. The story of Grace, a school teacher that has gone blind, and the cowboy Clayton, who is helping her to earn money for a horse, was so sweet. I really enjoyed how Clayton pushes Grace to cope with her blindness. At the time it made him seem a little mean, but in the end you see that he is only trying to help her.
No Match for Love
I really loved the last book I read by Carol Cox. She is a master of humor, mystery, and romance. This story felt a bit rushed. It seemed that the author had a hard time fitting the story she wanted to tell into the allotted word count. However, it was very enjoyable. It was my second favorite, probably because I like feisty old ladies.
I laughed as Lucy learned how to make tea and other chores she had never done in her privileged growing up years. She was a delightful character and made up for all the story’s shortcomings. It was a wonderful little story.
Meeting her Match
I have a lot of friends on Goodreads who review the same books I do. When I read the first part of this story by Mary Connealy I could not understand the negative reviews and then I kept reading. I sadly have to concur with many of my reviewing buddies: this story was bad.
Although subtle, this story seems to take a stab at large families. It made it sound like the reason people had more than four is if the father was an ogre who wanted boys. Now I understand that may not have been the author’s intention, and I might have been able to overlook that but, there was another huge issue.
I found the romance in this story disturbing. At first it is sweet. An awkward guy and sweet girl like each other but don’t say anything. However, it quickly turned from sweet to uncomfortable. *Spoiler alert* They somehow spend half an hour in a locked room. Everyone assumes they have slept together, and so they are forced to marry. *End Spoiler alert*
Overall this is a delightful collection of romance stories. There is some kissing, nothing too excessive. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves good, clean romance stories and westerns. I would, however, caution you about the last story in the collection.
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.
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