*Despite the cover, there aren’t any horses in this book!*
Tired of pining for handsome sheriff Ward Gleason, seamstress Hazel Andrews plans to head East for a fresh start—until Ward finds an abandoned child. Hazel can’t turn down his request that she watch the little girl while he investigates a spate of crimes. But spending time with Ward is sending local gossips—and Hazel’s heart—into turmoil.
Nothing in Ward’s world is the same since he took charge of orphaned Meg…and that includes his growing feelings for Hazel. A fake engagement will allow them to care for the child together until Hazel moves away and finds someone more worthy. But with little Meg convinced she’s already found her forever family, can Ward and Hazel dare to make her dreams come true, along with their own?
I think I’ve read about half the books in this series, and keep coming back to them because I consider Winnie Griggs to be one of Harlequin’s most reliable authors. Also, this line – when not going overboard with the Christian preaching – produces a lot of easy-to-read Western historical romances that I like to read between longer, darker books.
Set at the VERY end of the nineteenth century, this is a little later than most historicals I read. A Tailor-Made Husband is one of the best books I’ve read by this author. I wasn’t annoyed by the little girl (I’ve been unable to get through some Christian books because the children are nauseating); in fact, I liked the scenes with her the most.
I was much more interested in the family and relationship than I was the mystery, largely because I knew from the outset who was responsible for it. That part of the plot was in danger of some pretty negative stereotyping of women, but I think the author managed to get around it. She definitely does this better than most authors in this Harlequin line.
This is a Christian line, but the first praying didn’t turn up until the 20% mark, and I was so surprised to see it there I was confused for a moment – I’d forgotten it was a Christian book. That works well for me, and I can happily skip over the praying parts without losing anything from the story.
Something I really dislike is characters saying way more when it should be far more – this is something that drives me mad in historical fiction.
And something that is only loosely related to the book: if you’re an author who loves to “fantasy cast” your characters on Pinterest (worth visiting for the dress), I’d recommend not using Anissa Jones as the inspiration for your cute kid, considering her tragic life and very early death!
This is a solid entry both to this series and to this Harlequin line, and it made for nice, easy read.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.