Review: Beneath a Prairie Moon by Kim Vogel Sawyer

My Review

This was one of those books you knew basically how it would end, but once again Kim Vogel Sawyer delivers a wonderful journey to that end. With less than perfect characters struggling with real life issues I found myself being entertained and challenged.

There are so many facets to this story. Many readers are likely to see themselves in one or more characters, like I did. I also found myself wanting to be more like Helena.

Sawyer fans will not be disappointed in this story and for those who might be new to this author, this is an excellent sample of her storytelling abilities.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Learn more about this Book

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?

Review: The Matchmaker Brides Collection: Nine Matchmakers Have the Tables of Romance Turned on Them

About this Book

Nine Meddling Matchmakers Find Love When They Least Expect It

Meet nine women of the late 1800s who have found themselves in the role of matchmaker. They think they have mastered the art of recognizing romantic potential in others, but when it comes to their own lives they have been unlucky in love. In small communities from Tennessee to Colorado, Wyoming to Indiana, love unexpectedly enters the women’s lives with men they never imagined marrying. But what will it take to get these ladies to say “I do”?

Home Grown Bride by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer
1876–Lebanon, Illinois
Emmie Mueller thinks the only way to leave Illinois and join her family in Kansas is to play matchmaker to the boarders who stand in the way of her grandmother selling her house. But tables are turned when the boarders attempt to match her with the newest man in town, Landon Knipp.

The Unmatched Bride by Amanda Cabot
1886–Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory
When a confirmed spinster matchmaker accepts an unusual assignment and helps a wealthy widower choose the right mate for his daughter, more than one couple finds true love.

Playing Possum by Lisa Carter
1895–Possum Trot, WY
Hoping to outplay, outwit, and outlast the Possum Trot matchmakers during the harvest festival, Cage Cooper proposes a pretend engagement to suffragette Theodosia Holland. Trouble is—in playing possum, they both may have gotten far more than they bargained for.

Hog Trough Bride by Ramona K. Cecil
1882–Honeytown, Indiana
Hoping to save her older sister from the humiliation of having to dance in the hog trough—a local custom when a younger sister beats her older sister to the altar—an aspiring bride engages in multiple matchmaking attempts with chaotic and surprising results.

The Tinman’s Match by Lynn A. Coleman
1880–On the road from Virginia to Tennessee
Josephine Woodley is surprised to find Xander Russell, a matchmaker, is an honorable man. Can she soften his tin heart enough for him to consider a match of his own?

Miss Matched by Susanne Dietze
1879–Emerald, Colorado
Brainy Grace Perkins applies scientific principles to play matchmaker for the singles in her small town. However, her hypothesis leaves out God’s role and matters of the heart, creating tangled results.

The Backfired Bride by Kim Vogel Sawyer
1889–Friendly, Kansas
Can a pair of single, inexperienced but well-meaning young people convince an older man and woman that marriage is better than remaining alone?

Sing of the Mercy by Connie Stevens
1876–Black Hills of Dakota Territory
A newly-elected mayor teams up with a hash house cook to turn a mining camp into a brand new town. Will they be able to transform the rough-edged miners into gentlemen, persuading prospective brides to consider matrimony?

A Match Made in Heaven by Liz Tolsma
1885–Detwiler, Iowa
Pastor Len Montgomery receives an unusual letter that turns him into the matchmaker he never wanted to be. But the match he most wants to make, the one with the town’s sweet and charming postmistress, may be out of his reach.


My Review

Great fun! Historical romance is not one of my favorites, but I do enjoy reading them now and again. This collection of novellas was entertaining to say the least.

Each story had very unique matchmakers that faced different challenges in making their matches. Each one found the tables being turned on them in fun ways. I appreciate and am impressed how the authors made their own story special.  Being romance stories you know how it will all end, but the journeys each had a special road.

It is really hard to say which one was my favorite, but I think The Tinman’s Match would probably be it. Xander Russell was probably my favorite matchmaker. The Backfired Bride was a close second and may have given me the most laughs.

Great collection of stories for the lover of historical fiction!

Rating of 4 1/2 stars!

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher, via Netgalley.com, but I was not required to leave a review.  The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.

 

Guide Me Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer

About This Book

Working as a guide in Mammoth Cave might allow Rebekah the chance to bring joy back to her family.
But will the cave claim more than it gives?

After tragedy leaves its mark on Rebekah Hardin’s family, she plans to help her parents and six siblings honor her beloved brother’s memory and alleviate their poverty by working as a guide in the dangerous cave system. Kentucky’s renowned Mammoth Cave presents profitable opportunities for hardworking, capable men. But Rebekah is determined and if it means presenting herself as a himself, then she’s up to the job.

Under the wing of experienced guide Tolly Sanford, “Reb” begins to learn the complexities of the cave. The two are joined by an aspiring young cartographer, Devlin Bale. The university student has traveled to the hill country to map tunnels not to fall for a girl in disguise.

Can the God who designed miles of underground astonishment shape Devlin’s ambitious plans and free Reb from the weight of her past?


My Review

Once again Kim Vogel Sawyer gives a beautiful story about life. In this historical fiction book she takes us to the hills of Kentucky and Mammoth Cave. She introduces to characters that are charming and people you want to know.
I loved the characters in this book. Rebekah was a strong and devoted daughter who carried a tremendous load, an emotional one and at times a physical one. As it is oftentimes in large families there is the “problem” child. In the Hardin family it was Cissy. More than once I would have loved to slap that girl up side her head!

Devlin Bale was interesting. I enjoyed watching him throughout the story. The author did a great job developing his character. In many ways Tolly was my favorite character. Being a descendent of a slave in the early 1900’s he dealt with a lot of prejudice. But his faith and integrity carried him through the tough times. He was an inspiration to the other characters in the book and to me as a reader.

The story itself was enjoyable. I had never heard of the Mammoth Caves in Kentucky. So I enjoyed learning about it. The interaction between characters was realistic and flowed at a good pace. The author gave us a mystery of what was might be going on in the cave that shouldn’t have.

I think Sawyer fans will thoroughly enjoy this story. This story would be a great introduction to this author if you’ve never read her.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased and honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.