Courted by a Cowboy
Marybeth O’Malley is everything rancher Randall Northam seeks in a wife if she’d only say “I do.” Although his family paid for her train ticket West with the understanding the two would marry, Rand won’t pressure her to set a date. Especially since he suspects she’s learned about his reckless past. Who would want to marry an untamed cowboy like him?
Marybeth won’t marry until she locates her long-lost brother. And when Rand agrees to help her with her search, she can’t deny her surprisingly warm feelings toward her prospective groom. Could this honorable cowboy show her he’s the husband she never knew she wanted?
I’ve been extolling the virtues of Harlequin’s Christian historical romance line for a while now, even though the religion is not for me. I’ve loved the more historically accurate behaviour that’s there right alongside some big adventures and likeable characters.
However, Cowboy Seeks a Bride is the first in the line I’ve read that I would recommend only to conservative American Christians.
There’s plenty to like about this book, and it deals with some interesting themes. I thought I’d continue wading on through all the praying and preaching to see how the abuse storyline played out, but I have to admit it was a real struggle.
The guidelines for authors writing for this line state:
Mandatory faith element that is integral to story and shows rather than tells, avoiding didactic, preachy tone or doctrinal language.
However, I did find this one didactic and preachy, and there were lengthy church scenes with Bible quotes that meant nothing to me.
There’s the hero who is extremely superior and judgemental about everything from alcohol consumption to the heroine who forgot to ask after a woman she’d never even met. There’s the ‘misguided’ heroine from liberal-leaning Boston who ‘learns her lesson’ about how ‘great’ guns are. From start to finish there was a strong, über-conservative element running through this one. It stops the book from being enjoyable for a wider audience.
Cowboy Seeks a Bride is too fixated on American-style evangelical Christianity to appeal to an international or les than extremely religious audience, which is really a pity because it had the potential to be an enjoyable book.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.