By Deeanne Gist
Published by Bethany House
ISBN# 978-0-7642-0407-4
365 Pages

Back Cover:

In 1860s Seattle, a man with a wife could secure himself 640 acres of timberland. But because of his wife's untimely death, Joe Denton finds himself about to lose half of his claim. Still in mourning, his best solution is to buy one of those Mercer girls arriving from the East. A woman he'll marry in name but keep around mostly as a cook.

Anna Ivey's journey west with Asa Mercer's girls is an escape from the griefs of her past. She's not supposed to be a bride, though, just a cook for the girls. But when they land, she's handed to Joe Denton and the two find themselves in a knotty situation. She refuses to wed him and he's about to lose his land. With only a few months left, can Joe convince this provoking--but beguiling--easterner to be his bride?

REVIEW: I was thrilled to receive a review copy of this book from the publisher because I’m a huge fan of Deeann Gists books. I found pure enjoyment in her newest installment. Deeann quickly grabbed my attention and intrigued me with this 1860s historical, set in Seattle, where Joe Denton is about to lose his land. In order to keep it and comply with his original agreement he needs a wife. Time is a ticking for Joe. He’s desperate to get a bride, so he signs a contract with Mr. Mercer, who guarantees him one for the bargain price of $300.00.

Joe has one year to marry before he loses his land and business. He isn’t interested in romance, just a way to secure his land and have a cook for his men. He’d care for his wife but she would be free of intimate entanglements. This was a nothing more than a business arrangement pure and simple.

Anna Ivey life is in the middle of a great mess. She jumps at the chance to start over and get away from her troubles. When she see’s Mr. Mercer’s add in the paper about a job as a cook in Seattle for the passage way of only $50.00 she jumps at the chance for a new adventure. She has lost her family in the Civil War so nothing is stopping her from finding a new home. She too signs Mr. Mercer’s contract.

Anna’s a feisty, strong woman who will definitely but up a fight, she says, “If you do this, you’d better never, ever, not even once, close your eyes for a bit of rest. Because the moment you do I’m going to slip down into the kitchen, get the meat hammer, come back to your chambers and break your arm. Your right arm.” She is a woman who knows what she wants and will fight to get it.

Anna wants Joe to stick to her signed contract. She’s a cook and nothing more. Joe is in a horrific bind but agrees with her. He goes back to Mr. Mercer for another bride. He’ll have to secure a wife some how, and that’s when the fun begins.

I always learn a bit of American history from Deeann’s books. This one is no exception. The author’s two main characters are strong willed and struggle with doing what they know God is calling them to do. You’ll definitely want to pick up Deeann’s new book, be entertained for hours, learn a little and enjoy this fun story. It won’t disappoint.

Nora St.Laurent
ACFW Book Club Coordinator


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