I've been a huge western romance fan for almost as long as I've been able to truly love reading and whenever I find a great novel that has a strong woman character it makes it all the more enjoyable. In Colleen Coble's latest novel, Safe in His Arms, we are immediately immersed into the typical ranching lifestyle of Margaret O'Brien, the daughter of a Texas cattle rancher, that feels that it's high time for her to find a respectable husband and settle down to raise a family. Only Margaret is not the typical woman most men would find attractive. She wears britches instead of dresses, does the work of most of the men that work her father's ranch, and finds married life boring.
When her father gives her an ultimatum to find a husband or he will leave the ranch to her cousin Lewis, Margaret feels cornered. No matter how hard she tries, it seems that no man will give her more than a passing glance other than her father's new foreman Daniel Cutler. However, it seems that Daniel Cutler is not all he appears to be despite his gentlemen like manners, smooth talking compliments and whenever Margaret looks into his eyes she goes weak in the knees. When Margaret overhears Daniel having a conversation with a man in a darkened alley, she feels Daniel is after the ranch and her father's money. Seems like marriage isn't all it is promised to be, especially with the likes of Daniel Cutler.
When violence finds its way on to the Triple T ranch, Margaret believes that Daniel knows more than he is letting on and sets out to prove her suspicions correct and turn Daniel into the town sheriff. Yet how can a man who quotes scripture and looks at her the way he does really not have a redemptive quality to him after all. Perhaps its up to Margaret to bring Daniel Cutler into the light and reform his dark past.
I received Safe in His Arms by Colleen Coble compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. Another captivating novel from Colleen once again. This is the second novel in the Under The Texas Stars series with Blue Moon Promise being the first. You can feel the intensity of Margaret's character in ways she tries to measure up to her father's standards and acceptance and her own self struggle with who she really is inside. One I found myself relating to in my own life and perhaps why I identified with Margaret's character so much. It often times gives the character a low self esteem whenever she measures her self worth but what others think she should be instead of accepting herself and her own strengths that God provided when He created her. It takes her some time to see herself as others do through a series of circumstances she finds herself in the middle of and in time her own self healing begins. Truly an unforgettable story for those that love western romances! I rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars.
My thoughts: Ranch life in the 1800s was not easy for man or woman, married or single. Opening the pages of Safe In the Arms we find Margaret O'Brien who is helping her father run the ranch. Margaret's mother died when Margaret was young and she has not had much female influence in her life. Her life has been that of the rough riding ranch hand - but she is the daughter of the owner of the ranch. She has worked hard to help her father keep the ranch going and building it to enviable status.
Now dad hires a new foreman, Daniel Cutler and Margaret sees him as an intrusive, soft, non-rancher who possibly has a criminal background. The story has twists and turns around future ownership of the ranch when Dad decides he is going to leave the ranch to a male cousin and settle money on Margaret when she marries. His goal is to see her settled in the role of wife and mother. Margaret is headstrong as well as body-strong and she is hurt, befuddled, and very ill at ease with the situation.
Then things really begin to happen and danger lurks.
Author Colleen Coble has written an interesting historical story of the peoples and life on a Texas ranch in the 1800s bringing her characters to life and capturing our interest. Yes, I figured that the romance would happen and predicted its outcome. I did not, however, see the outcome of the danger and intrigue portions. You'll find this an interesting read.
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary advance reader copy was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of the publisher and author to facilitate my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely mine and I was under no obligation to render a positive review.
I really liked Margaret. I loved that she wasn't the typical female lead...I thought she was normal! Or, at least, I felt she typified the average woman in terms of her self-esteem. Margaret can run her ranch and business as well as any man, but when Daniel shows a romantic interest in her, she just doesn't believe it. Margaret knows she's smart and competent...but she doesn't believe she's beautiful and only looks with suspicion at Daniel's motives.
I think most women are like Margaret -- no matter how many people tell us we're beautiful or smart or talented or important, we're filled with self-doubt. I love that Margaret had to learn that God sees her as beautiful no matter what!
I don't want to spoil the story, but Safe in His Arms surprised me with more than one secret! More than one 'bad guy.'
Once again, Colleen has delivered romance with a twist...or two...or three! A great rainy day read!
*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. acookingbookworm DOT com*
Margaret has been working the ranch with her father for years and figures she will never marry because she is not pretty and loves the ranch more then the kitchen. What she did not expect was for her farther to hire a foreman for the ranch when Margaret thinks she has everything under control. She was even more surprised to find her father bring in her cousin to run the ranch and telling Margaret its time she found a husband and start acting like a proper lady. The only person who seems to see how special she is seems to be the new foreman which makes Margaret even more confused because she thinks he is trouble and only out to rob her town.
Daniel only plans to work on the ranch for a little while. He has a mission to help his brother and working on the ranch is only a means to reach that goal. What he did not expect was to start to care for his new boss who is unlike any other woman he has ever known. He soon finds himself having to make choices he was not planning on. Can he keep those he cares for safe and maybe find love and a new beginning too?
This was a enjoyable book. A western with romance and some suspense.
What I liked: Both Margaret and Daniel where likable. I felt bad for Margaret because she very much wanted to be loved and liked for who she was but thought that no one would ever love her for herself. Daniel wants to save his brother and is risking everything to do it. I liked how he saw Margaret and slowly helped her to see she had worth. I also enjoyed the suspense and thought the author did a great job of ending the book.
What I did not like: Over all not much but the one thing that bothered me some was how long it took Daniel to explain to Margaret what he was really doing. I get the need for suspense but it felt like it went on just a little to long and I kind of pieced it together by the time he finally explained. Not a huge deal over all.
I enjoyed the book. It was nice to see how the characters from the first book where doing and I liked how they fit into this book. I am curious to see where the 3rd book takes us and who it will be about. A very enjoyable serious so far. You can easily read this book as a stand alone as well.
In the year 1879 women were expected to fill their place in the home, or perhaps at the very most some respectable occupation such as governess or nanny. She might possibly help outside on the farm or ranch, but even there, it was unbelievable that a woman would be found working among the cattle or in the fields. And this is not only where Margaret O'brien is the most comfortable, but also enjoys working the most.
Colleen Coble does an admirable job of letting her readers into the characters lives and minds, and I was fascinated by life on the ranch in the late 1800s. She writes about life, and the world around her in such vivid terms I easily became lost in it. The cluster of women in their best dresses out on the dusty board walks of the frontier town of Larson, Texas, the lush grass of the Red River, the bawling of calves separated from their mothers, the mixture of aroma in the small town restaurant.
Colleen writes that much of herself is written in Margaret's character, and I wonder how many of the emotions (though not necessarily the physical characteristics) are common to women. I know I felt many of the same things she does. This is her second in the Under Texas Stars series, but definitely a stand alone novel.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers for the purpose of writing an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions stated are my own.