Tuesday, May 31, 2011

30 Days of Books, Day 3. (Yeah, I skipped a day...)

[Your favourite series.]

Not Harry Potter, though that comes pretty darn close.
I introduce you to the awesomeness of Cathy Marie Hake's series, Only In Gooding!

L-R: Fancy Pants (1), Forevermore (2), Whirlwind (3), That Certain Spark (4), Serendipity (5)
So this series by Cathy Marie Hake has taken me by storm, ever since I stumbled into a Koorong and picked up That Certain Spark. From there, it was a love affair, and though I don't usually like books much like this, I'm besotted.

Hang on, maybe I do like books like that. 
Quick scan of my bookshelf says I'm increasingly becoming infatuated with romancey-novels-of-the-Christian-Historical-Genre.

If I do my own bios of five books, you'll be reading for the next twenty aeons. So, these bios come straight from Cathy Marie Hake's website.

Fancy Pants: When "Big Tim" Creighton spies the mincing fop headed toward Forsaken Ranch, he is appalled. Thankful his boss isn't around to witness the arrival of his kin, Tim decides he'll turn "Fancy Pants" Hathwell into a man worthy of respect.

Lady Sydney Hathwell never intended to don men's attire, but when her uncle mistakenly assumed she was a male, the answer to her problems seemed clear. Her disguise as "Syd" was meant to be temporary…but the arranged marriage she's fleeing, her uncle's attitude toward the fairer sex--and her own pride--compel her to continue the guise far longer than she had intended.

When her deception is exposed, will she be forced to abandon her hopes for family….and true love?

Forevermore: Like a dandelion in the wind, Hope Ladley blows from one farm to the next, helping cook for the field hands during the harvest. Illiterate and often twisting clich├ęs and Bible verses into mind-boggling observations, Hope leaves widower Jakob Stauffer baffled by her unconventional ways. But her sunny disposition and unstinting love make changes of a different kind around the place. His little daughter and the pregnant sister he's shielding from an abusive husband adore Hope, and things are getting accomplished even if Hope's methods are unique.

Then Jakob's brother-in-law shows up and threatens the newfound peace and happiness of the farm. With Jakob's future uncertain and his heart tangled, can the farmer convince Hope to take root and remain as his wife?

Whirlwind: As a nanny, Millicent Fairweather poured her energy and talents into the two young charges under her care—only to have them suddenly and without explanation sent to a boarding school. Bereft and unsure of where life will lead her, she agrees to accompany her sister and brother-in-law to America. They board the Opportunity, confident a better life awaits.

Widower Daniel Clark determines to begin life anew in Gooding, Texas, operating a mercantile. But when his nanny leaves him stranded aboard the ship with his young son, he finds himself in dire need of assistance. Obtaining temporary help from steerage, Daniel is initially taken aback by the pretty bundle of energy who takes over his suite. Yet Miss Fairweather's unique child-rearing techniques and tireless devotion to his son soon win him over.

When tragedy ensues and a whirlwind decision is made, Daniel and Millicent's lives irrevocably intertwine. Will love soon follow?

That Certain Spark: Gooding, Texas, is about to gain a double blessing--a veterinarian and a doctor. But when siblings Enoch and Taylor Bestman arrive, the discovery that the long-awaited doctor is in fact a woman has the town up in arms. Karl Van der Vort is no exception, though he becomes Taylor's first patient...against his will.

Karl finds he can't deny Taylor's doctoring skills, but he also can't come to terms with her unladylike occupation. Taylor, on the other hand, wants only to prove that doctoring is her life's calling, despite the town's opposition. But when her practice--and Taylor herself--are threatened, Karl's protectiveness flares into a different emotion altogether.

As Pride Meets Attraction Head-On, Sparks Begin to Fly!

Serendipity: Todd Valmer should have known better. A farmer who's been through several disasters, he travels to Virginia to fetch his widowed mother to cook and help him around his Texas farm... or that was the plan until she keels over on the train and they get kicked off. Maggie Rose barters for a living and also makes soaps, lotions, and perfumes with a special rose recipe passed down from mother to daughter for generations. She hasn't wanted to marry... until that handsome Texan shows up. Her heart skips a beat, and when he proposes, a hasty marriage follows.

What ensues, however, is a clash of culture and a battle of wills--and it's clear they both mistook instant attraction and infatuation for love. As their marriage loses its sparkle and fills with disillusionment, Todd and Maggie must determine what is worth fighting for. He dreams of a farm. Maggie wants to fulfill the family tradition with her rose perfumes. Todd's mother, however, has entirely different plans for her son that do not include Maggie. In light of their hasty marriage and mistaken dreams, is there any hope of recapturing their love and building a future together?

So while the writing standard would make my creative writing lecturers scream, and some may find these novels preachy, I adore them. They're pure escapism, and something about these times are sweetly alluring. The cynic in me howls about farm life and women's rights and whatnot, but come on. It's lovely. It's amazing. These books are excellent. 

Read. Enjoy.
(If you don't enjoy, I don't like rocks being thrown at me.)

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