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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Plots and Pans didn't hold my attention like I had hoped it would when I started. I love stories about the west and cowboys, but this one unfortunately really seemed so run of the mill. I kept waiting for the book to pick up pace and get a bit more exciting and it never did
Jessalyn Culpepper is the motherless daughter of a cattle rancher in Texas. She grows up running around on the ranch, breaking horses and going on round ups. When her actions get her father injured, he decided to send her to England for school but never brings her home. When he dies, she decides it's time for her to go home, much to the consternation of the foreman and part owner, Tucker Carmichael. She is determined to continue doing everything that she did before being sent to school but most of the time it turns out badly for her. It was surprising to find that she could cook when she didn't do anything else with her studies.
I received a copy of this book from Bookfun.org for my honest review.
Another really great book selection to tell you about! I had so much fun reading this book. Kelly's books are always enjoyable and Plots and Pans was absolutely enjoyable!
From the first page where you learn some history of the characters to the first chapter where their pasts collide into the present to the following chapters that complete the story, you will love this book.
I love when there is history between the characters and that is well-played in their story. This book did that and more. History, family, faith, forgiveness, and of course, romance are all themes woven through the story.
Kathy Eileen Hake is a fantastic author and her books are a joy to read.
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.