Review: Caught in the Middle

2:55 PM

Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 346
Source: Bethany House
Format: Paperback

The train to Garber, Texas, is supposed to bring life's next victory to Nicholas Lovelace. Instead, it gets held up by robbers who are thwarted by the last person Nick ever expected--Anne Tillerton from back home in Prairie Lea.

Anne’s been hiding away as a buffalo hunter. She’s only in Garber to find their runaway cook, but the woman flees--leaving Anne with her infant son. With Nick the only person Anne knows in Garber, the two form an unlikely team as they try to figure out what to do with the child.

But being in town means acting and dressing for polite society--and it's not going well for Anne. Meanwhile, Nick's work is bringing new pressures, and being seen with a rough-around-the-edges woman isn't helping his reputation. Caught between their own dreams, a deepening relationship, and others' expectations, can the pair find their way to love?

The first thing I liked about this book was the cover. In a huge selection of Christian historical romances featuring covers with a beautiful lady and a tall muscular man with his head cut off (not literally of course), this was unique and refreshing. A beautiful dress and cowboy boots, besides being awesome, also managed to tell a little bit about the main character without me even cracking the spine.

The second thing I liked was the main character Anne. I was completely on her side from the beginning of the book. She's strong, tough, and can take care of herself. She dresses like a man for the majority of the book, and I liked that although sometimes people mistook her for a man from a distance they pretty much knew she was a lady when they saw her (I appreciate realism). And Anne had such a painful past that (is this a spoiler? I don't think so) I felt bad for her.  She was a realistic character who was strong and hardened, but at the same time fearful and nervous.

I also liked the plot. Anne is given a baby which she has to learn to take care of and it was sweet watching her grow closer and closer to him. It wasn't the most exciting plot (I'm seriously starting to wonder if all the dystopian I've read has deadened my sense of "plot twists" and "exciting plot") but it wasn't boring either. I appreciated the fact that the author pointed out that it's wrong to just be a Christian when everything's going super awesome for you too. 

Now here are the things that didn't really impress me...The romance kind of threw me off because it was so sudden. I wouldn't call it insta-love, but it was the kind where the MC and love interest are going along sometimes hating each other, sometimes being mildly attracted to each other (but mostly arguing all the time). When suddenly, out of the blue, one of them knows that they love the other one (or maybe it's simultaneous. who knows). This really aggravates me. I would have preferred it if the author had worked it into the plot with little hints here and there instead of suddenly springing the l-word. It left me thinking something like, "Ummm. Where did that happen? When you were insulting her clothes?"

Which leads me to the love interest--Nicholas Lovelace (which to be honest, I had a hard time taking seriously when I learned his last name). Here's the thing, when I first met him read his character I thought he was okay. As I read more, however, I did not like him at all. Refer to the GoodReads update below.

If that's too tiny for you to read, it says, "OMG. Nick, really?? Really? Grr. You rude, impudent, infuriating male."
I kept on not liking him until towards the end of the book. I could see how he cared about Anne and wanted the best for her. But in most of the book, I wondered how Anne could be falling for him. She'd say something about him making her feel safe or something. I'd shake my head -_- and say "How can you like such a pompous idiot?" However, at the end of the book, I did support her decision. They made a nice couple. :)

I recommend this book for anybody who enjoys historical romance, Christian-based fiction, or rogue-ish heroines. 

My Rating:

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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