Deep in the Heart of Trouble
By Deeanne Gist
Published by Bethany House
ISBN# 978-0-7642-0226-1
396 pages

Back Cover: A Texas – sized tale of unexpected Love. Essie Spreckelmeyer is the last woman anyone in Corsican, Texas, expected to see with a man on her arm. Independent and outspoken, She’s known more for riding bicycles in outrageous bloomers than for catching a man’s eye.

And the last man who seems willing to give her a second glance is Tony Morgan, newly hired at Spreckelmeyer’s oil company. The disinherited son of an oil baron. Tony wants most to restore his name and regain his lost fortune – not lose his heart to this headstrong blonde. She confounds, contradicts, and confuses him. Sometimes he doesn’t know if she’s driving hi toward the aisle or the end of his rope.
That’s how life is deep in the heart of trouble.

REVIEW: In Deeanne's book "Courting Trouble" I was first introduced to Essie Spreckelmeyer. (I loved this book!) Essie just turned 30 and was a woman after my own heart right from the start. She was tired of being an old maid. She had waited on God long enough to find her a husband, so now it was time she took this important matter into her own hands. Essie's quest for a man, marriage and children, consumed her. This decision caused her tremendous pain in the end.

Essie's father helped her see that she wasn't stuck living in her past; she could be forgiven and move on with her life. When we allow ourselves to be forgiven, there is wholeness in Jesus. She discovered He is not out to mold us into something we were never meant to be; He wants us to truly be fulfilled by Him. Essie enjoyed riding bicycles and she wanted to teach others how to enjoy riding also. Her father agreed to financially help her with this adventure. This would allow Essie to share her gift, instead of trying to conform to something she was never meant to do in the first place.

“Deep in the Heart of Trouble” picks up with Essie living out her dream to run a bicycle shop and bicycle club, where she could teach people about riding, participating in bicycle races, banquets and a debating society. She was doing it all, even re-creating skirts so women would look fashionable and wear something practical while riding. After her mother's death, Essie steps up to help her father run his business as they grieve together. It wasn't until Tony Morgan came along that things started to change with her father and their business. What was her father thinking when he hired this guy? Tony had no field experience. Her dad would see, Tony will never make it. She submitted to her father's decision, against her better judgment, and hired Tony.

Tony Morgan was so shocked that his father had disinherited him but he wouldn't let that get him down. He was a man that was driven to succeed. He would learn the oil business from the ground up if that's what it took. He was defiantly going to stay clear of his boss Essie, or any other woman for that matter. He wanted to make enough money to start his own business and take care of his family. He wants Essie's business to grow and be successful. He suggests they should update their equipment. Essie thinks this is crazy coming from a field worker – she'd talk to her father about all this and finds out Tony already has. She was in charge. Didn't Tony know how things worked around here?

At first, Essie's independence and outspokenness really rubbed Tony the wrong way. It took no time at all to see why men didn't want anything to do with her. Then he found himself in one of her biking classes teaching the women of the town. Wow, what a change!! He never would have believed it had he not seen it with his own eyes. Something started to stir in him. Essie starts to feel something too. But this guy was all wrong. How could she court an employee? This just wouldn't work. Being single suited her just fine.

Tony volunteers to help Essie with a project that has them working close together. Essie begins to think that maybe being married wouldn't be so bad, but there was so much to consider. Tony thinks that maybe he wants more of a relationship with Essie than being just her employee. Things get complicated. I loved how Deeanne has Tony and Essie go through their own inner struggles when they both considered the idea of possibly courting each other. They were both content on being single and to accomplish their own goals, which did not include marriage. It's great how she shows their hearts turning to God's agenda, which is the most important thing, no matter what, to both of them. There were so many amusing characters in this story that brought "Small Town" social things to life and had me laughing, as things get a little out of hand. There was Mrs. Lockhart with all her romance novels that were going to give her help in time of trouble (and anyone else who would listen), the sheriff and his assistant that help keep the town in order, and Tony Morgan and his family situation. I really enjoyed these characters so much I didn't want the story to end. You won't either when you read this sequel to "Courting Trouble".

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent


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