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Archive for February, 2014

In An Unforeseen Match by Regina Jennings, the second of four stories in the novella, A Match Made in Texas (Bethany House Publishers), we meet former schoolteacher Grace O’Malley and prospective land-runner, Clayton Weber. After suffering a disease that slowly blinds her, Grace is given a small, broken-down homestead by the Dry Gulch school board.  Unfortunately, the intelligent, stubborn woman has no idea how to take care of herself in her newly-blinded state and her friends offer her much help and sympathy, but no training in how to get through each lonely day.

When Clayton’s horse breaks her leg and has to be put down on the way to the Cherokee Strip Land Run, all he wants is a way to make a quick few dollars to buy a new horse to compete for his land. When he enters Dry Gulch, a newspaper with an ad for a handyman mysteriously appears in his saddlebag and he soon finds himself being cross-examined by the beautiful and independent Grace. It would appear someone has taken it upon themselves to help Grace get her homestead spruced up for sale – or to attract a husband.

Clayton and Grace form a fast working friendship that alleviates both of their loneliness. Clayton sees Grace’s need for independence and gives her the one thing no one else thought of – respect and the knowledge of how to navigate in her dark world. As love blooms, will Clayton put enough faith in Grace’s affection to get over the past that not only scarred his face, but also his very soul?

Regina Jennings has managed to fill this novella with all the things I love most in a novel.  Humor, heartache, grace, compassion, and a  solid dose of Texas flavor turn this little story into a great read.  I have to admit: I cried the first time I read the barn scene.  I cried the second time I read the barn scene. Regina just really knows how to set a girl up for heartbreak! Thankfully, she also knows that we need a good “happily ever after” too and provides for that in spades.

An Unforeseen Match is my favorite of the stories in A Match Made in Texas, which is no small accomplishment, considering how much I loved the other novellas.  I give it five stars and my Enraptured Award.  For my review of A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer, the first novella in this collection, please go here.

Enraptured Award Image

An award given to an author whose book was so captivating, I didn’t read the end before its time.

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My first blog series!  Woohoo.  Anyway, on to the matter at hand.  Ahem.

This and the next three reviews will be from the novella collection, A Match Made in Texas, with four different stories written by Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Carol Cox, and Mary Connealy.  Each of these authors has her own unique style of telling a great story, which makes this collection a very good read.

In A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer, we finally get to see the youngest Archer brother, Neill, apply his Archer-brother charm and gallantly rescue the beautiful, young Clara Danvers. Left widowed by her gambler husband, Clara is struggling to hold her broken-down farm together and keep her scheming father-in-law at bay.

While A Cowboy Unmatched is a novella because of its abbreviated length, Karen has proven that a good story doesn’t need 300 pages. This novella has everything a romantic could ask for – a heroine in crisis, a cowboy looking to prove something to himself, a threat, a few swoon-worthy moments of tender emotion and modest passion, and of course, a declaration of love and proposal that more than makes up for the brevity of the story.  Toss in a few comedic moments and some bromance (brotherly friendship), and Karen has written the perfect ending to the Archer brothers’ series.

Stay tuned for my review of the next novella in A Match Made in Texas, An Unforeseen Match, by Regina Jennings.

A Match Made in Texas, as a whole collection, receives 5 stars for not only its interesting plot of an unwitting matchmaker, but also the collection of the very different styles of writing that really make this book stand out.

A Cowboy Unmatched receives 5 stars and my ever-so-coveted 😉 Enraptured Award.

Enraptured Award Image

An award given to an author whose book was so captivating, I didn’t read the end before its time.

**I received this novel free in exchange for an honest review. **

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