11 November 2011

Review: Tall, Dark and Determined by Kelly Eileen Hake

Tall, Dark, and Determined (Husbands for Hire) is the second in the Husbands for Hire series, which follows four women who have left everything to journey west to Hope Falls, to build a sawmill and find husbands. I found the first three chapters of this novel were quite confusing, as I had not read the first book in the series (Rugged and Relentless (Husbands for Hire)), so had a little trouble working out the different characters and the relationships between them.  The book would have benefited from an introduction outlining the characters and the main points of the first book.

Eighteen-year old orphan Lacey Lynam sold her family home and moved West to be with her brother following the news that he had survived the deadly mine collapse in Hope Falls.  With her three friends, she has planned to turn the failed mining town into a saw-milling town to take advantage of the plentiful lumber and convenient railway line.  The ladies posted an advertisement to recruit God-fearing men with lumber experience to cut the trees – and marry the ladies. 

Chase Dunstan lost his brother-in-law in the mine collapse, and is convinced that it was no accident that left his sister a destitute widow.  He journeys to Hope Falls to discover who is responsible for the mine collapse, and bring them to justice.  However, Chase is surprised to find that the town appears to be under the total control of the four women, led by Lacey, and that only employees are permitted to live there.  His job leaves him little time for investigation – but gives him too much time with the frivolous chatterbox who controls everything and everyone.

Overall, Tall, Dark, and Determined (Husbands for Hire) is a fun read that will appeal to those who enjoy Christian historical fiction set in the American West, although some might consider this book to be a little light on the romance and on the Christian content.  For maximum enjoyment, I recommend that the first book in the Husbands for Hire series, Rugged and Relentless (Husbands for Hire), is read first. 

Thanks to Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook version of Tall, Dark, and Determined (Husbands for Hire) for review.  The paperback will be published on 1 December (which gives you plenty of time to read the first book).

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