Monday, July 7, 2014

Book Review: A Match Made in Texas

A Match Made in Texas: A Novella Collection. Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Carol Cox, and Mary Connealy. 2014. Bethany House. 384 pages. [Source: Library]

A Match Made in Texas is probably the best novella collection I've read in years. I absolutely loved it. It contains four novellas--all historical romances set in Texas. The novellas are "A Cowboy Unmatched," "An Unforeseen Match," "No Match for Love," and "Meeting Her Match."

The first novella was A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer. The hero of A Cowboy Unmatched is one of the Archer brothers. (Witemeyer has a whole series of historical romances starring the Archer brothers!) Neill Archer has left home wanting some independence. He is desperately in need of a job. He arrives in Dry Gulch, Texas, and does some initial asking around with no luck. While attending church, he is surprised that an ad from the newspaper has been slipped into his Bible. It looks like a widow in town needs a new roof. He takes the job. But the widow is NOT the one who placed the ad. The widow, to his surprise but not exactly to readers surprise, is young and beautiful. Also pregnant. Her name is Clara. This romance is lovely. It is. As he works for her, the two fall in love.

The second novella was An Unforeseen Match by Regina Jennings. I knew without a doubt that I would love, love, love, LOVE A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer. I had no idea that I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this novella by Regina Jennings. It took me completely by surprise. I found it giddy-making. Grace O'Malley is a school teacher who has slowly but surely been going blind. It's only a matter of time before she loses all her vision. The town dismisses her from her teaching position. But they offer her Clara Danver's old homestead. (I should probably mention that all four novellas begin in Dry Gulch). Grace jokes in front of her friends that she should place an ad in the newspaper for a husband. She thinks her homestead would provide incentive enough for land-hungry men with big dreams. She really does want a husband. But she was only half-serious about placing an advertisement! So she is SHOCKED when a man shows up at her place saying he's come in response to the ad. Clayton Weber is responding to an ad, but, it's an advertisement for chores and such! Again romance blossoms as work is done! Clayton helps Grace adjust to her new life in more ways than one! This is just a sweet and lovely story!!! I adored it!

The third novella was No Match for Love by Carol Cox. Lucy Benson is looking to make some changes in her life. Her pastor comes to her with a suggestion. He's got a friend in another part of Texas (near North Fork) who is looking for a young woman to be a companion to his aunt. His aunt lives on her own on the family ranch. Lucy is excited to take the job. The nephew is surprised by the woman the pastor selected for the job! These two definitely are attracted to one another…

The fourth novella was Meeting Her Match by Mary Connealy. Hannah Taylor is a school teacher. As if teaching wasn't a full time job, she is also primarily responsible for raising her younger brothers, doing all the cooking, cleaning, mending, etc. Responsibilities weigh heavily with her, but, she is accustomed to it in a way. She has a secret admirer who is waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for an opportune time to make his move. But he is beyond shy. Mark Whitfield. When her father remarries suddenly and kicks her out, Hannah has a lot to think about! How did this happen? Will Mark make his move?

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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