"a most unsuitable match" by stephanie grace whitson
Fannie Rousseau is still reeling from her mother's death when she discovers letters hidden among her mother's things—letters from her mother's twin sister, a woman Fannie didn't know existed. Once she reads the letters, Fannie longs to know her Aunt Edith, who lives in the Montana Territory. On the spur of the moment, Fannie and her maid, Hannah, board a steamboat bound for Montana.
Sam Beck is desperate to find his sister. The last anyone heard of her, she was headed north in the company of an Army man. Sam gets a job on a steamboat in exchange for passage to Fort Rice, his sister's rumored destination. As Sam gets to know Fannie on and off the steamboat, he finds himself attracted to her, but how could he ever be a husband to such a refined lady?
My take: I really wanted to like this book. The author lives in Nebraska, and I like supporting my fellow Nebraskans whenever I can. But I just didn't enjoy reading it. The book is written well—I have no complaints there—but I could not understand why Fannie and Sam fell for each other. Their attraction didn't leap off the page, and while I knew they would end up together, I didn't care. Late in the book, Fannie met a widower and his son while Sam was off searching for his sister and Fannie's aunt. The relationship between Fannie and the widower I understood—even rooted for—but, alas, that wasn't the relationship that was meant to be! (And I kind of felt like it was a cop out to tack on a few paragraphs in the epilogue to let the reader know the widower did end up happy. I cared more about him as a character than I did about Sam, so I would have appreciated reading about how his happy ending came to be.)
While the main romantic relationship in the book fell flat for me, I did enjoy Fannie's journey from helpless rich girl to competent, confident woman. Around page 200, the story really picked up, and I started reading with much more interest. There was even a fabulous plot twist near the end of the story that I didn't see coming (though in retrospect, I really should have).
Fans of historical fiction (admittedly, I'm more of a contemporary girl with a few exceptions) will probably appreciate this book more than I did.
I give A Most Unsuitable Match 3 out of 5 stars.
You can read an excerpt below:A Most Unsuitable Match About the author: Stephanie Grace Whitson, bestselling author and two time Christy Award finalist, pursues a full-time writing and speaking career from her home studio in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her husband and blended family, her church, quilting, and Kitty--her motorcycle--all rank high on her list of "favorite things." Visit www.stephaniegracewhitson.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers through their book reviewer program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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