Friday, June 15, 2007

DeeAnne Gist's Courting Trouble ~ Reviewed

Courting Trouble by DeeAnne Gist
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Bethany House (June 1, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764202251
ISBN-13: 978-0764202254

Book Description:
In 1890s Texas, a 30-year-old single woman was considered "over the hill" rather than "heading to the altar." Determined to be a blushing bride if it kills her, Essie Spreckelmeyer sizes up potential beaus and heads into town. But will she be "courting trouble" if she leaves God out of the relationship?


This past week I was delighted to receive a copy of Deeanne Gist's Courting Trouble in the mail. Like her past best-selling novels (A Bride Most Begrudging and Measure of a Lady) Courting Trouble proves to be a perfect summer read—a whimsical comedy of manners that follows the troubles of a thirty-year-old Miss Sprecklemeyer as she makes a gallant effort to force a man—any man—into marriage before she forever becomes labelled as a spinster. The twists in the book are well done, and I warrant readers won't be able to figure out, which man wins the girl at the end of the book.

While you may need to search in the religious section to find her novels, Deeanne Gist is not your typical Christian romance novelist. She rarely writes in a heavy-handed manner that makes her readers feel preached at, though Courting Trouble does carry a well-executed spiritual theme. Neither will her readers find the racy scenes typical in the general market. Instead, Deeanne Gist chooses to tiptoe around her counterparts, creating her own genre of romance—delightful tales, not to be taken too seriously—perfect summer reading!

5 stars—highly recommended.

Reviewed by Jessica Dotta

And a bonus review:

My review:Courting Trouble is my favorite of Deeanne's three historical novels. The author created a dynamic, quirky, unique characterization in Essie. In fact, I can't recall a single "cardboard character" in this story. They were all expertly developed.

The plot was so unique, that I loved it for that reason alone. Plus the spiritual element was very well done. In fact, I related so well to Essie's struggles that I got a choked up when she had her heart broken or was misunderstood--each and every time. I loved how the author showed that changing who you are for someone else will always leave you empty and frustrated. In short, this story gave me a powerful emotional experience. I feel like I learned something about myself, and I benefited spiritually from reading Courting Trouble.

I also loved how the ending was not the usual scenario, which kept me reading because I honestly didn't know who Essie would end up with/or what she would do. I love any element in a novel that keeps me guessing. I totally understood Essie's thinking process and I identified with her. In fact, I hope that if the author writes a sequel she will include Essie, because I hated to see the story end.

Courting Trouble is probably one of the edgiest historical novels I've read in CBA, yet in my opinion, it never strayed into objectionable matter. The author did tackle some pretty big issues in a genuine way, and I am impressed with how well she crafted it. The author is fabulous at putting physical temptation and realism into her stories. I believe it's her greatest strength and her brand as an author.

I'm also very impressed with Bethany House and the books they've been publishing lately, especially the historicals!

Reviewed by: Michelle Sutton (pen name)

1 comment:

Ane Mulligan said...

I absolutely agree, Jess and Michelle. I'm in the middle of it right now. I started it last night and got caught up immediately. The quirky Essie is so delightful.

Gist's writing is fresh with a unique voice all her own. I know when I see the name DeeAnne Gist, I'm in for a great read!