Monday, September 17, 2012

Book Review: A Bride Opens Shop... by Keli Gwyn

By Keli Gwyn

Barbour Books

c. 2012

$12.99 pbook and $9.99 ebook - Barbour-really? Try $4.99

ISBN: 9781616265830

Christian Romance

A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California 

Gwyn’s charming story takes a delightful path to a wedding.

I do remember volunteering to read and review. But I thought I’d had enough of prairie romances for awhile, and honestly let Keli’s heroine look at me for a couple of weeks after I received the book, while I tended to other business.

Romances work because they’re formulaic. The reader knows what’s going to happen; the pleasure is how the couple gets there. Gwyn’s story had a lot of fun elements, including the age of the characters: thirties; the fact that both were widowed and had a child; and the hero’s mom was a stitch.

Gwyn’s heroine, Mrs. Watkins, isn’t always likeable. She’s feisty to the point of illogic sometimes, competitive to a fault, but teachable. Her daughter, Tildy, is a delight and creates for some hysterical moments, especially when she’s wondering out loud when she can call our hero, Mr. Rutledge, “papa.” Mr. Rutledge is a self-admitted dandy, but generous to a fault, if not always kind. I found these characters refreshing, nicely different from the same-old damsel in distress and the perfect hero riding in to rescue her.

Mrs. Watkins has been offered a junior partnership in a mercantile business. Taking her nine-year-old daughter away from a difficult family situation and starting over in California seems like a good idea. Until she meets her partner, Mr. Rutledge, who’s been misinformed by his mother about the gender of his new partner, and the deal is off. She sets up shop across the street from him, and the battle is enjoined. The elderly Mrs. Rutledge and Tildy work both sides of the street with delight and excitement.

Told from both points of view with period-excellent details, readers of historical romance will find much to enjoy in this adorable romance. That is, if you don’t mind a little blood, heat exhaustion, and snakes.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good read, Lisa. A unique heroine with a mind of her own and a resolve to help herself instead of waiting for some man to come along, lol. I like that the hero is a dandy of sorts, too. Usually heroes in prairie novels come across a little rough around the edges. I'm sure that heat and the presence of snakes takes Mr. Rutledge out of his comfort zone. :-)