Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tea & Read: A Tailor-Made Bride

Title: A Tailor-Made Bride
Author: Karen Witemeyer
Rating: Spend The Day Sleepy

When a dressmaker who values beauty tangles with a liveryman who condemns vanity, the sparks begin to fly!

Jericho "J.T." Tucker wants nothing to do with the new dressmaker in Coventry, Texas. He's all too familiar with her kind--shallow women more devoted to fashion than true beauty. Yet, except for her well-tailored clothes, this seamstress is not at all what he expected.

Hannah Richards is confounded by the man who runs the livery. The unsmiling fellow riles her with his arrogant assumptions and gruff manner, while at the same time stirring her heart with unexpected acts of kindness. Which side of Jericho Tucker reflects the real man?

When Hannah decides to help Jericho's sister catch a beau--leading to consequences neither could have foreseen--will Jericho and Hannah find a way to bridge the gap between them?
I have a soft spot in my heart for novels set in the Old West. Cowboys, marshals and hard working, rugged men appeal to me. I’ve populated a list of my favorite cowboy/US Marshal/Old West books over the years and A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer has rightfully earned its place on that list.

I think the thing that stuck out me the most is the freshness of the storylines. I’ve read a lot of books like this and after a while they’re storylines seem to run together, but not this one. Witemeyer tells a unique tale of a profession not normally highlighted in Old West historical. Most stories tell of heroines trying to secure the right fashions so it was refreshing to read a story from Hannah’s, a seamstress, point of view. Another element that makes this book unique is that in includes an exercise fitness angle, not common to western historicals. It’s another small touch that makes this book stand out from the rest.

Hannah’s occupation isn’t the only thing that makes her interesting. I really enjoyed that fact that Hannah is a tough girl, but not in a “farm girl” kind of way like in other historicals. Hannah has grit, smarts and the drive to run a business. Witemeyer doesn’t just stop with Hannah when creating believable characters. JT, Cordelia, Ezra and Tom are not simply placeholder characters; they add to the tale. I also love the way the relationship between JT and Hannah forms.

If you want to read an Old West historal that different than others you’ve read, this book is for you. I’m looking forward to reading the next book from Witemeyer.

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