Monday, February 10, 2014

Review ~ A Match Made in Texas by Karen Witemeyer

Hello Friends! Just in time for Valentines Day, I have a wonderfully romantic novella collection for you by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Carol Cox called A Match Made in Texas. I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This set of four novellas is Bethany House Publisher's first attempt at a novella collection, and I think it is probably one of the best I have ever read.

Summary: These four stories take place in a little town in Texas in the 1800's. Dry Gulch is a fairly normal town, until a matchmaker suddenly appears on the scene. Secretly helping three couples find love in the fourth story, the tables are turned on her, and she is matched with a wonderful man as well! In the first story, "A Cowboy Unmatched," widow Clara is shocked to see Neill on her doorstep. She thinks he is there to fill an ad for a husband, and he thinks he is there to repair her barn roof. As he fixes her roof, they find themselves falling in love.

In "An Unforeseen Match," Grace, the town's schoolteacher finds herself out of a job and dropped into Clara's old farm as her new home. Going blind, the school board doesn't know what else to do with her, so they give her the land as compensation. Meanwhile, Clayton is just passing through on his way to the land rush in Oklahoma, when he is hired by a classified ad to help her out. As Grace's eyesight fades, she finds herself drawn to Clayton as the one who can help her live a more normal and less lonely life, but will Clayton see that while he is so blinded by the need for land of his own?

"No Match for Love" follows Andrew and Lucy, and Andrew's sweet aunt, who seems to be losing her mind. When odd things start happening around the ranch that only his aunt sees, he hires Lucy to help care for her, but when Lucy sees them too, he is baffled. Are both women crazy, or is something more sinister going on?

In "Meeting her Match" the matchmaker is caught in her own web, and finds herself being set up by her friends in the town. Will she finally be able to catch the eye of the man she has loved secretly for years?

What I Liked: First, I have read dozens of novella collections and it is extremely rare that all of the stories, or even most of them, are good. Usually, there are one or two stories that I want to re-read, but that's it. This is the first time that I can recall that all four stories were enjoyable, and ones I would go re-read. I enjoyed that many of the characters appeared in all four stories, and that they were interwoven. I also enjoyed the individual stories themselves. They were so romantic and sweet.

I will admit that the second story is my favorite. I related to Grace in a very personal level. I've had  poor eyesight all my life, and for a while, thought I was going blind before my vision stabilized. Many mornings I would wake up, wondering if this would be the day it would go completely. Thankfully, God has had other plans thus far, and I can still see. :)

I also enjoyed the mystery in the third story. That was a fun change of pace. Each book had great lessons about faith as well, especially Grace's story. The reminder to rely on God first hit me hard.

What I didn't care for:  I honestly can't think of anything I didn't like.

Overall, these were well written novellas and as a whole made a very sweet book. If you are looking for a good read for Valentines Day, or any day, this is a great historical romance collection, and I will be reading it over and over again.

Happy Readings!

Sarah K.