Saturday, November 17, 2012

Review of "Courting Cate" by Leslie Gould

Rating: 4 Stars
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Summary: When This Couple Gets to Courting, Sparks Will Fly!

In Paradise, Pennsylvania, Cate Miller is known more for her sharp tongue and fiery temper than her striking appearance. Her sweet and flirty sister, Betsy, on the other hand, seems to have attracted most of the bachelors in Lancaster County!
But the sisters' wealthy father has made one hard-and-fast rule: older Cate must marry first, before younger Betsy can even start courting. Unfortunately, untamable Cate has driven away every suitor--until Pete Treger comes to town, that is.
Prodded by the men of the area, Pete turns his attention to winning Cate's hand. But is his interest true or is there a scheme at play? - Bethany House
Review: Leslie Gould offers a fresh spin on Amish fiction with "Courting Cate," the debut novel of "The Courtships of Lancaster County" series.  The intrigue of Amish life and beauty of pastoral back roads is present in the novel, but the premise makes "Courting Cate" stand out from the other Amish fiction novels that I have read.  
It seems that the Amish are usually portrayed in the media as old-fashioned and quaint, strict, or rebellious. Gould avoids the cliches and creates believable characters, who, despite their lifestyle, are not much different from average Englishers.  It is refreshing to see the Amish engaged in normal activities like hiking and kayacking. 

Cate Miller is a devoted Amish who does not fit into the stereotypical Amish mold, with her penchant for business, love for books, and sharp tongue. Cate's abrasiveness could be a turn-off, but her first person perspective allows readers to understand her emotions.  She grows and softens over the course of the novel as she battles insecurity and anger.  Like Cate, I questioned Pete's motives during their courtship. My speculation about the outcome of their relationship kept me interested until the end.  The resolution felt a bit rushed, leaving me wanting another chapter.  Hopefully, Cate and Pete will make appearances in the upcoming novels in the series. 

Leslie Gould kept me interested and entertained and broke the preconceptions that I have about most Amish fiction.  "Courting Cate" is a quick and entertaining read that I definitely recommend, and I look forward to the upcoming books in the series. 

I received a complimentary e-copy of this novel from NetGalley, courtesy of Bethany House.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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