by Robin Lee Hatcher
Zondervan (November 1, 2009) ~ 272 pages
Fiction / Christian / Historical
Edition Reviewed: Paperback - Review copy received courtesy of the publisher and CFBA, many thanks to the author and the publisher for sending me a copy to review as part of this CFBA Blog Tour!
Perfect for : Personal Reading
My Thoughts: I found Fit To Be Tied to be a really fun and enjoyable read. While it is the second book in the Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series, I had no problems picking it up as a stand-alone book (although now I want to go back and read book 1).
The premise of the book is just so fun - the fourth son of an English Duke has sunk so low in his father's eyes, that his father asks for a favor of an American acquaintance: that his son, Sherwood Statham, be sent to America to earn his way for an entire year.
When he arrives in Bethlehem Springs, Idaho, he expects to work at his friend Morgan's new spa, but finds that he is to work as a ranch hand with Morgan's in-laws, the Arlingtons, a father/daughter team. Griff Arlington sees a lot of hurt and potential in Statham, and asks his very independent cowgirl daughter Cleo (Cleopatra) to show him the ropes and help him adjust.
From the beginning, the tension between Woody (as Cleo calls him) and Cleo is obvious (and fun) to the reader. But as the story progresses, it is fun to watch as Woody grudgingly begins to see Cleo as as a young woman who has shouldered a lot of responsibility instead of the boyish and snappingly independent, pants-wearing female he first noticed at the train station. The same can be said of Cleo, who begins to notice Woody in a different light, seeing the hurt he must feel as he is abandoned by his family, and the pain he must be in due to his injuries in the war, all while he does his fair share of the work around the ranch without complaint, even though it is so foreign to his proper English upbringing.
I won't say more as I don't want to spoil the story, except that I will add that the story takes off quickly and before you know it, you've read all afternoon and enjoyed a very nice story!
Characters: The interaction and differences between them are great.
Story-Line: Entertaining historical fiction.
Readability: Fun and easy.
Overall: A great story set in 1916 Idaho on a cattle ranch, which finds a disillusioned younger son of a duke who has really let his life get off track coming face-to-face with a loving family, among whom is a very boyish and independent young woman. Fun and enjoyable as a stand-alone, although I challenge you to read this one and NOT go back to read the first book! ;)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Whispers from Yesterday), the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance (Patterns of Love and The Shepherd's Voice), two RT Career Achievement Awards (Americana Romance and Inspirational Fiction), and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 50 novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.
Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. She makes her home outside of Boise, sharing it with Poppet the high-maintenance Papillon
ABOUT THE BOOK
Cleo Arlington dresses like a cowboy, is fearless and fun-loving, and can ride, rope, and wrangle a horse as well as any man. In 1916, however, those talents aren’t what most young women aspire to. But Cleo isn’t most women. Twenty-nine years old and single, Cleo loves life on her father’s Idaho ranch. Still, she hopes someday to marry and have children.
Enter Sherwood Statham, an English aristocrat whose father has sentenced him to a year of work in America to “straighten him out.” Sherwood, who expected a desk job at a posh spa, isn’t happy to be stuck on an Idaho ranch. And he has no idea how to handle Cleo, who’s been challenged with transforming this uptight playboy into a down-home cowboy, because he has never encountered a woman succeeding in a “man’s world.”
Just about everything either of them says or does leaves the other, well, fit to be tied. Cleo Arlington knows everything about horses but nothing about men. And though Cleo believes God’s plan for her includes a husband, it couldn’t possibly be Sherwood Statham. Could it?
Their bumpy trot into romance is frustrating, exhilarating, and ultimately heartwarming.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Fit to Be Tied , go HERE.
Watch the book video Trailer: