Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Noble Groom

A Noble GroomA Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When Annalisa Werner's abusive husband dies unexpectedly, her father sends for a groom from their homeland, Germany. But the man who arrives is neither her intended nor exactly who he claims to be - yet in spite of her doubts Annalisa feels herself drawn to his charm and kindness.

I haven't read Christian historical romance since I was a teenager devouring Janette Oke and Gilbert Morris by the truckload (and much later, Francine Rivers). But when I saw this great cover, with a handsome dude, cravat blowing in the wind, it called to me: then I realized it was a romance set on a Minnesotan farm in 1880 - and I was there. The characters are immigrants escaping social injustice in feudal Germany, determined to build new lives in the promise of American soil.

There is drama and danger: Annalisa's husband may have been murdered, Carl Richards is fleeing a death sentence, and the settlers are threatened by greedy businessmen, epidemics, and wildfires. Life is a daily struggle against the harshness of frontier life.

I encountered the usual problems with this type of romance: it's sentimental about children and animals, has old-fashioned gender roles, and there's more telling than showing. A Noble Groom is predictable in the way most romances are, though that's not a bad thing for a summer romance read. For anyone who loves gentle tales of love between God-fearing adults, this will certainly fit the bill (and is a cut above other fiction in the subgenre).

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