Readers rabid for the sweet historical romances of Tracie Peterson and Tamara Alexander will flock to best-selling author Kim Vogel Sawyer's prairie-set heartwarmer of high society cast-off and the western town that welcomes her.
Abigail Brantley grew up in affluence and knows exactly how to behave in high society. But when she is cast from the social registers due to her father's illegal dealings, she finds herself forced into a role she never imagined: tutoring rough Kansas ranchers in the subjects of manners and morals so they can "marry up" with their mail-order brides. Mack Cleveland, whose father was swindled by a mail-order bride, wants no part of the scheme to bring Eastern women to Spiveyville, Kansas, and he's put off by the snooty airs and fastidious behavior of the "little city gal" in their midst. But as time goes by, his heart goes out to the teacher who tries so diligently to smooth the rough edges from the down-to-earth men. How can he teach her that perfection won't bring happiness?
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A lovely new Christian romance novel
Beneath a Prairie Moon by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a historical romance novel that takes readers back to 1888. Mrs. Helena Bingham owns Bingham’s Bevy of Brides in Newton, Massachusetts. She is not surprised to find that Abigail Grant has returned once again. Abigail was raised to be a lady with a genteel education and refined manners. After the downfall of her father from his illegal dealings, Abigail found herself without a home and a fiancé. Helena knew Abigail would be a challenge, but she took her on anyway. The last gentleman (I use the term loosely) found her too “hoity toity”. Mrs. Bingham agrees to give Abigail one more opportunity. She has had a request from sixteen men in Spiveyville, Kansas who are looking for brides. Mrs. Bingham wants Abigail to give the men lessons in manners, table etiquette, how to court a woman, teach them to dance and proper decorum. They are met at the station by Mack Cleveland, the hardware store owner. Mack did not request a bride because he believes that only God can make a heart match. The enthusiastic grooms are not happy with the delay of their brides nor with the required lessons, but they will do what it takes to get wives. Events keep throwing Abigail and Mack together, but Abigail’s attitude makes it hard for him to get close. As time passes, Mack begins to see a different side of Abigail. Is there a chance for these two different individuals? Will Abigail realize that perfection will not bring her love and happiness?
Beneath a Prairie Moon is a delightfully entertaining novel. The book is well-written and has a steady pace. I enjoyed the mail order bride angle that the author used in this story. It was unique (hooray). There are a wide variety of characters from the oh so proper Abigail to Athol Patterson who ran the restaurant (and did not appreciate anyone else cooking in his kitchen) to the evil Elmer Nance. It was nice to see the townspeople work together to help each other in times of turmoil (a bad storm and a kidnapping). I like how humor was interlaced throughout the story. Abigail and her sunburn (ouch) provided me with some laugh out loud moments (you would have to read it to understand). Beneath a Prairie Moon is a Christian novel and the author handles it beautifully. There are good lessons woven into the story about forgiveness, pride, the power of prayer, having faith, and following the path God has laid out for you. The story has a villain in Elmer Nance and a hero with Sheriff Bill Thorn. I kept hoping Sheriff Thorn would end up with a certain lady, but it did not happen. The ending will leave you with a smile on your face and a good feeling in your heart. My rating for Beneath a Prairie Moon is 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it).