Author: Vickie McDonough
Series: Texas Boardinghouse Brides #1
Publication Date: 2010
My rating: 4.5/5
I love reading a book that bursts my genre stereotypes!
I remember as a teenager my mother letting me borrow a series of Western prairie romances. Now as a new Christian, I was really interested in Christian fiction. I wanted to read books that would uplift and encourage me in my new faith. However when I entered the bookstore all I found was a tiny section entitled Christian fiction. Ninety percent of the books sounded like Little House on the Prairie knock-offs, the other 10% were written by Frank Peretti. Unfortunately for many years I returned to reading secular fiction, very disappointed with novels that seemed to have the same tired plot.
My husband will attest to the fact that when I received this book I actually looked at the cover and groaned. As a Christian I had no interest in secular romance novels and after reading these insipid prairie novels as a teenager, I could say the same for Christian romance. However, Ms. McDonough, you have created a rip-roaringly funny historical romance.
Luke Davis returns to his hometown after a decade. When he is given a job as the town marshal, he is disconcerted to discover he is expected to take his meals at the town boardinghouse...the same boardinghouse run by widow Rachel Hamilton who once jilted him. As a new Christian, Luke struggles with moving on...and discovers the boulder in the way is his forgiving Rachel.
Rachel's life circumstances have been most unfavorable. While Ms. McDonough's novel is side-splittingly, wear your Depends hailarious she also deals respectfully with serious issues. Although child/spousal abuse is not common in Christian historicals, unfortunately it has been a frighteningly real experience for women throughout history. Rachel's guilt, shame, and healing throughout the novel were very authentic.
Throw into the mix Luke's hillbilly cousins, who decide Luke is in need of a wife and invite three different women to town to fill the "role"... and resulting chaos is as comical as a three-ring circus with the whole town cheering on the sidelines.
I will be anxiously awaiting the second novel, Second Chance Brides...and wondering what Providence has in store for the other "brides."
Disclosure: This book was received as part of GoodReads FirstReads program.