Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Book Review: A Match Made in Texas

Sometimes I'm in the mood for some sweet, little novellas.  A Match Made in Texas fits the bill just perfectly.  It's a collection of four novellas written by four popular western romance authors.  Each one is about a different couple looking for love in and around the town of Dry Gulch, Texas.  They are tied together by a mysterious matchmaker, who is barely mentioned until the third novella.  The fourth novella reveals the secret matchmaker, and shows her way to her own true love.  I will review each book separately.

A Cowboy Unmatched
by Karen Witemeyer
Neill is just looking for a way to earn some money to buy his own spread.  Clara is a widow living on a broken-down old homestead, waiting to deliver her first child.  Her father-in-law is intent on taking her son as soon as he is born.  They are brought together when someone slips Neill an advertisement for a handyman.  While fixing up her property,  Neill finds himself falling in love with her, and must find a way to save her from her rich father-in-law's clutches. 
I thought this novella was a cute little story.  I liked Neill and his sweet protection of Clara and his determination to keep her safe. I've been wanting to read a book by Karen Witemeyer for a while, and I wasn't disappointed here.  I'll definitely read her books again.
An Unforeseen Match
by Regina Jennings 
This is the story of Grace and Clayton.  Grace is a schoolteacher who is losing her sight.  The school board has decided to provide her a little home (on Clara's old property)  and the parents of her former students provide her meals.  Clayton is passing close by Dry Gulch when he is also given a mysterious ad for a handyman, so he responds to the homestead.  Grace's blindness prevents her from seeing Clayton's scar, so he opens up to her as he has no one before.  They begin to fall in love, but they must first overcome the past to move toward the future. 
This was my favorite of the novellas.  I liked the Clayton wanted to take care of Grace, but he also forced her to learn how to care for herself.  I enjoyed seeing Grace learn that she didn't need just any man to marry her, but only the right one.
No Match for Love
by Carol Cox
Lucy needs a way out.  Her parents are both dead, and she is penniless.  She has been living with her best friend's family, but knows she must leave when her friend gets married in a few weeks.  She is given an opportunity, and a train ticket by a mystery donor.  She is to travel to a ranch outside Amarillo to become a caregiver to an old widow.  Andrew has hired her because he's worried his aunt might be losing her mind.  When Lucy begins to see the same apparitions, Andrew has to find out what, or who, is really behind it all. 
While An Unforeseen Match was my favorite novella, Lucy was my favorite character.  She had no domestic talents whatsoever, but she decided to learn--and not so that she could catch a man, but just so that she could take care of herself.  If it happened to win her man in the end, though, that's good, too!
Meeting Her Match
by Mary Connealy
Hannah is just a lonely schoolteacher, who has now put together three lonely couples.  Now she needs someone to do the same for her.  Marcus Whitfield has loved her for years, but he's too shy to say so.  Soon enough, though, the whole town is going to step in and bring them together.
I liked this story.  It was cute and sweet and not your usual matchmaking story.  That being said, I have serious issues with Mary Connealy as a writer.  Her stories are always interesting and different, but I just don't care for her writing style at all.  I expected not to like this final story at all.  I found myself pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it, but not surprised that the style of Ms. Connealy nearly drove me crazy while reading it.  I'm glad it was short, because if it was longer, I doubt I would have finished it.

I'm generally not a fan of cowboy romance, but I was once again drawn in by pretty cover art.  I'm not disappointed that I read it though.  It opened me up to some authors I haven't read before, which is my favorite part of reviewing books.  I think if you like fun, western romance where the men sweep in and rescue the fair maidens just in time, you will like this book.

Happy Reading Y'all!!

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my review.  All opinions are my own.

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