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?
I have mixed feelings about this book. I thought the writing was really good. The author did a great job of pulling me into the story and making me feel like I was a part of the story. And those are the kinds of books that I love.
Unfortunately, I found one of the main characters, Abigail, very unlikable. Not until the book was almost over did my heart begin to soften for this girl. And when I say the book was almost over I mean there was only a few more chapters until the book was complete.
I just felt like she was given all this grace and compassion by most of the town and she continued to turn her nose up at them. So not cool. We read this book as a book club selection and this point was discussed among us. I have to admit that others in the group – although not everyone – had more compassion for this (fictional) character than I. (And on that note, as a group, my book club decided we all really liked this book, FYI)
This one point really hung me up with this book. When it’s a romance, I really like to ‘love’ the character. At least for most of the book. Otherwise that happy ending doesn’t feel so happy to me. It ends up feeling a little false.
On the flip side – this writing style was certainly different. Other than my own hang-up. And I completely admit that it’s my own. The book was beautifully written. And it had a great story! So if you’re looking for a different kind of historical romance – then definitely – grab this one today.