Hi! I’m on time this time! lol. So this week’s is an interesting post. I have to start by saying I don’t like westerns. Yes, I grew up in cowboy central, but I’m not a western fan. Movies, books, name it I probably haven’t seen or read it, and most likely have no idea what you’re even talking about. I don’t know why, but it’s not my cup of tea, I’m more of a European kind of girl. So this author came as a huge surprise to me: Karen Witemeyer. Like I said, not a western fan, but when I saw the cover and read the premise of A Tailor-Made Bride, I just had to give it a chance. Seriously, a fancy dressmaker in an old west tale? It just sounded intriguing. So, I finally gave it a shot. Let me tell you: I was hooked! Seriously, this book is awesome!
It has this wonderful blend of classic sophistication, along with strong capable women, and the fun of the west, of towns just forming and coming to be. I love the setting of Coventry, Texas, a fairly young western town, but one that’s grown into a city that feels like it could have been placed on the Eastern coast and still have been believable. And then you have the main characters, JT and Hannah. The tag line of the book is “When a dressmaker who values beauty tangles with a liveryman who condemns vanity, the sparks begin to fly!” And it’s perfect for the book! Hannah is a skilled seamstress, and now a business woman opening her own shop. She loves beauty, the God-given beauty that every woman has, giving them the gifts of gowns made from God-made colors. I love that she’s so strong, opening up her own business, but soft, loving the artistry of putting colors together and creating beauty. Then there’s J.T. who’s got a heart of gold himself, but with a past that includes a particularly vain woman, his view is skewed to believe that anyone who values outward appearance doesn’t value the inward. He loves his sister, and helps out his neighbors all that he can, especially a widow with children. I love so many in the book are business men and women: Hannah runs her own dress shop, JT’s sister bakes and sells her goods at the general store, and the friendly widow does laundry and works hard to take care of her three children. There’s such a great message about working hard, and of course it’s so awesome to see such a positive message about women working! Even marriage doesn’t mean the woman gives up on her business dreams. And of course, I can’t help but love the interactions between JT and Hannah. It’s funny how both value what’s underneath, but at first neither can see past the exterior: Hannah’s beauty and JT’s gruffness. They have some very sweet moments that just warm your heart, but the next page has them bickering like Benedict and Beatrice! And there’s a good amount of adventure and suspense that had me on the edge of my seat to the very last page wondering if it’ll all turn out okay. Strong women, heroic men, and a great mix of cowboys and culture make this a great read.
Seriously, if you’re into westerns, or Victorian, give this book a shot. You can get it for Kindle and NOOK (and my personal favorite paperback). And feel free to check out the author’s website and Facebook page for her other works and upcoming ones too!