To one and all I am happy to share with you this review of Tracie Peterson's 100th book. Congratulations to the author! Here is a brand new series that begins with the introduction of two characters, Marty, who is a young widow living in Texas and Jake, living in Denver, but born in Texas. Jake's highest dream is to return to his beloved place of birth, but he has to work in a bank to save money to purchase a ranch. Marty is a young woman who without forethought or prayer answers an ad Jake places for a Texas wife, both parties agreeing it is in name only.
The setting is the late 1800s, and there is a mystery along with the romance and how Jake and Marty are struggling in their faith due to deep heart wounds. To make it seem safe, both appear to put boundaries on their relationship. Will it indeed work to protect their hearts from further devastation? In the tale, other characters are introduced that are of a mixed fashion. For instance, a couple of the high society people don't care a whit about those less fortunate. While others like Jake's servants seem to be examples of faith and trust as they have learned to hold loosely to the things of this earth.
My favorite novels by Tracie are her Alaskan series which now share a place in my heart with this new series. I wondered the further along I read if the conclusion was going to end up with the story being developed to a point like a well-wrapped gift. While I won't tell you how it ends, I can share that I thought it was a great ending!
I loved how no matter what station in life mankind has here on earth the soul questions and the deepest of heart longings know no boundaries. The characters are like a reflection of many people we might know in any society. The heart longs to be loved and not rejected; more so, within all hearts God wants us to know Him individually. When life rips away the ones we love or things we hold dear, how do we react or respond? As you are introduced to some of the interesting characters in the novel, don't be surprised if one of them might remind you of someone. I loved this book and can't wait for the next novel to be released in June 2014 titled, A Moment in Time.
A Sensible Arrangement is Book 1 in the Lone Star Brides Series by Tracie Peterson. Had I not know this before reading the book, I would have been terribly disappointed in the ending. It absolutely left me wanting to know what happens next!
Tracie Peterson is a trusted name in Christian fiction. I was first introduced to her when I read her Yukon Quest Series. I love how she continues a story through several books and characters. The characters in this book are memorable and interesting. In A Sensible Arrangement, we meet Marty Olson who has answered an advertisement for a marriage of convenience to Jake Wythe. Marty needs a way to leave her past and loss behind and Jake needs a wife to help his career. I love stories where a couple falls in love after they marry. It's always a fun read.
My favorite part of the story is when Marty saves the day in an act of heroism that I totally didn't see coming! I laughed out loud. I definitely enjoyed this book. However, I do wish the relationship between Marty and Jake had been visited longer. Their interaction seemed limited.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a series, and the opportunity to follow characters over time. I am anxious to read the next book in this series, A Moment in Time. I was given a complimentary copy of this book by its publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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.
"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.
A Sensible Arrangement follows Marty - as a Texan widow she has decided to leave her old life behind and become a mail order bride for Jake Wythe, a banker in Colorado. After their marriage she soon discovers that Jake dreams of returning to Texas and owning his own ranch - which is just the life that Marty wanted to get away from. As their feelings develop for each other and a financial crisis threatens the bank that Jake works at, Marty has to decide whether to tell Jake the truth.
I really enjoyed this book! All the characters were likable, and the romance between Marty and Jake was really sweet, though subtle in it's development. I also thought the message of the book was strong as we read about Marty turning back to God after blaming Him for her husband's death for so many years.
The one thing that I have to say is that I feel like a couple of the plot elements weren't fully resolved - through the book Marty's maid, Alice, is being followed and threatened by a Mr. Smitth, who thinks she is in possession of some gold bonds that were lost when her father was murdered. At the end of the book we still don't know what happened to the bonds, or whether Mr. Smith will be caught. We also don't get to see how Marty and Jake's life will pan out - will Jake keep his job at the bank, or will they go back to Texas? I'm thinking (and also hoping) that we get to see what happens to these characters as this series continues? Regardless, this book left me wanting to read more!
Note: I received this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for this review. This is my honest opinion.