Readers rabid for the sweet historical romances of Tracie Peterson and Tamara Alexander will flock to best-selling author Kim Vogel Sawyer’s prairie-set heartwarmer of high society cast-off and the western town that welcomes her.
Abigail Brantley grew up in affluence and knows exactly how to behave in high society. But when she is cast from the social registers due to her father’s illegal dealings, she finds herself forced into a role she never imagined: tutoring rough Kansas ranchers in the subjects of manners and morals so they can “marry up” with their mail-order brides. Mack Cleveland, whose father was swindled by a mail-order bride, wants no part of the scheme to bring Eastern women to Spiveyville, Kansas, and he’s put off by the snooty airs and fastidious behavior of the “little city gal” in their midst. But as time goes by, his heart goes out to the teacher who tries so diligently to smooth the rough edges from the down-to-earth men. How can he teach her that perfection won’t bring happiness?
My Thoughts: This is a classic romantic/prairie/mail-order bride sort of story. It was endearing. There were some humorous mail-order bride mix-ups. There was also an unexpected threat toward the end that I thought really shook things up in a good way.
I felt like Sawyer offered a very solid view of marriage and she carried that theme all throughout the novel. I enjoyed the rustic prairie town feel and the characters were inviting. Sadly, the story lagged a bit for me at times. There was a couple point of view characters that didn’t seem to serve a purpose until the last quarter of the novel. I was deeply invested in Abigail and Mack and couldn’t wait to get back to them each time the focus shifted. I did really appreciate the way Helen, Bill, and Mack leaned on God at every point, and the way Abigail grew in her faith. They served as good examples for the reader.
Rating and Recommendation: I think this will be a delightful read for those who enjoy a mail-order bride or prairie story. I’m giving it 4 stars.
~ I received a copy from Net Galley. I was not compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own.