Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Review for Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer

My sister, Kathy Anderson, and her family came to visit in July, over the weekend of the Fourth. She wrote the review that follows, and yes, I've had it awhile. (Here's what I posted in June about the author and the book.)

My sister’s house is a treasure-trove of good Christian fiction, so whenever I visit I’m always on the look-out for something I can “steal” for my own reading pleasure. When I saw A Tailor-Made Bride on her pile of books to be read last weekend, I was thrilled since it was one of several new historical romances I had on my current reading wish list. I snatched it up knowing it would be perfect for whiling away down-time at our mountain cabin. Unfortunately, down-time is always hard to come by during family gatherings, so I’d only read about half of the book when the time came to head back home. Margie graciously allowed me to keep the book for my eight-hour car ride. For a price. When I was done, I had to submit a review of the book for her blog. What’s a girl to do? I took the book. A review seemed a mere pittance compared to what it would have cost me to leave my poor hero and heroine stranded in the midst of chaos and misunderstanding until I was able to locate another copy of the book. And so, I offer you my payment for a highly entertaining car ride across the eastern plains of Colorado and the cornfields of Nebraska.
I love Bethany House historicals.  Alexander, Gist, Klassen, and Sawyer are among my favorite writers of historical fiction. I dove into A Tailor-Made Bride by newcomer Karen Witemeyer with similar expectations and was not disappointed. The premise of the story, a dressmaker who loves beauty confronting a crusty liveryman who fears its lure, promised and delivered plenty of sparks. I liked Hannah, the feisty, independent heroine with the heart of gold, right away. The grumpy Jericho or “J.T.”, not so much, but he grew on me as the story progressed. What proves most attractive about both main characters is their willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to teach and change them throughout the novel.
Witemeyer does a great job of fleshing out her main characters, but also peoples her story with a unique cast of secondary characters. Tom Packard, J.T.’s simple, yet genuine assistant; Louisa James, Hannah’s hard-worked and independent neighbor; Delia, J.T.’s shy, pretty sister with her numerous love interests; and the unusual Ezra Culpepper—each comes with his or her own set of problems that add twists to the story.
The plot includes plenty of conflict and enough surprises to keep things interesting, plus bits of humor as well—just the way I like it. Overall, A Tailor-Made Bride was an entertaining read. I’ll be looking forward to more releases by this new author.

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