Monday, April 28, 2014

Review of "A Sensible Arrangement"

Rating: 3.5 Stars
~  ~  ~
Review: From the ranches of Texas to the mile-high city of Denver, "A Sensible Arrangement" lays the foundation for Tracie Peterson's new "Lone Star Bride" series.  This novel introduces several story-lines that will continue into the next novel. Peterson incorporates romance, faith, and history to create a pleasant read despite unfinished ends. A bit of mystery is incorporated into the historical element, which centers on the economic downturn of the late 1890s.  Peterson paints a dimensional picture of the growing city of Denver, from the upper crust of society to orphans.  A western story set in a city is quite refreshing, but there is still a touch of wild-west style excitement and Texas twang.

The main premise of "A Sensible Arrangement" is the marriage-of-convenience between the two lead characters, Marty and Jake.  Their relationship is relatively predictable, but fraught with emotional challenges that add some complexity.  The subplots held more interest for me than the love story.  Marty's work with orphans reveals the plight that homeless adults and children faced in the midst of an economic downturn.  There is definitely the potential for this plot to develop more throughout the series.  The more exciting subplot is the crime mystery involving Jake's bank and the father of Marty's maid, Alice.  Pieces of the mystery are revealed along the way, enough to keep you guessing about who is behind the crime.  I kept reading in anticipation of the solution, only to find that the mystery will continue.  As that part of the story threads through other novels, I am eager to learn more about Alice who has the potential to be a dynamic lead character. 

"A Sensible Arrangement" is an enjoyable weekend read with some excitement and many lessons in honesty and faith.  The historical details set it apart from similar novels and set the tone for the rest of the "Lone Star Brides" series.  Peterson leaves readers primed with anticipation for the next novel, "A Moment in Time"

I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from LitFuse. 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.

Summary from Bethany House: Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past.

Answering an advertisement for a "Lone Star bride," she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn't know.

Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her. Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience. 

When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake's yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty's dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.

What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways... and dreams and secrets collide?

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