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Ratings and Book Reviews (1 13 star ratings
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4.2 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    lovely sweet romance

    This debut novel by Kate Regnery takes us into the "Heart of Montana" (as the series is called) and introduces us to the close knit Lindstrom family of Gardiner Montana. This is the story of Jenny, a schoolteacher with dreams of a life bigger than her current circumstances and Sam, a businessman from Chicago who has come to help his cousin marry "by proxy" in a Livingston Courthouse with Jenny doing the same for her cousin, both of whom are military personnel overseas. They are two strangers who meet in a way neither would have ever expected - and who don't quite know how to say goodbye. I confess that this story had a rocky start for me. I found Jenny's character in the first quarter of the book to be emotionally wishy washy, switching back and forth from anger to pride to humour all in the same scene. She seemed to get shocked easily and was more innocent than I would expect of a woman her age. Sam on the other hand I liked, except for the internal musings which I found too exclamatory (like he was being constantly shocked by his own thoughts!). Also there were a fair amount of religious (Christian) references which I found a bit out of place for a contemporary romance and more what I would expect in an inspirational romance. (In fact, the author's recent blog posts indicate that she also wasn't sure which direction to head with the series and decided on the more secular route, although I still found this book would have easily fit in the IR world with a few minor tweaks). That being said, as I continued reading I found myself invested in the story. I wanted to know what was going to happen, how the characters could possibly find their happy ending with their different homes and lifestyles being so prominently part of the story. By halfway through I was completely hooked and absorbed the rest of the book in one afternoon. This is a "sweet" romance, meaning "closed door" bedroom scenes, in keeping with Jenny's Christian character - yet the author still wrote believable sexual tension (particularly from Sam's 3rd person point of view) through much of the story, making the attraction between Jenny and Sam very potent and "page turnable"! My overall feeling at the end of the story was one of contentment. This heartwarming and gentle romance had a very satisfactory happy ever after ending. I was delighted to discover that Jenny's brothers and other secondary characters will be featured in upcoming series books (2 out at time of this review, and 2 more books expected in 2014). With a start like this, it looks to be one of my favourite series of 2014. 4 highly enjoyable stars!

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