Monday, December 21, 2015

"at love's bidding" by regina jennings

I don't know about you, but when I read fiction, I want it to include a toe curling romance. (You've probably figured this out about me already based on the books I review!) At Love's Bidding is one such example.

She sells priceless antiques. He sells livestock by the pound. Is he really the man to make a bid for her heart?

After helping her grandfather at their Boston auction house, Miranda Wimplegate discovers she's accidentally sold a powerful family's prized portrait to an anonymous bidder. Desperate to appease the people who could ruin them forever, they track it to the Missouri Ozarks and make an outlandish offer to buy the local auction house and all its holdings before the painting can move again.

Upon crossing the country, however, Miranda and her grandfather discover their new auction house doesn't deal in fine antiques, but in livestock. And its frustratingly handsome manager, Wyatt Ballentine, is annoyed to discover his fussy new bosses don't know a thing about the business he's single-handedly kept afloat. Faced with more heads of cattle than they can count---but no mysterious painting---Miranda and Wyatt form an unlikely but charged partnership to try and prevent a bad situation from getting worse.

The strength of At Love's Bidding lies in the romance. Wyatt and Miranda are a classic case of opposites attracting, and boy did they attract! Jennings hit the perfect tone with the slow build to the couple's first kiss, and the obstacles she threw in their way following the initial confession of feelings made sense and didn't feel contrived. I was incredibly invested in Wyatt and Miranda finding their happily ever after, and the romance portion of this book was handled expertly.

There's also a very intriguing mystery woven throughout the novel concerning the missing painting and its owner. I did not anticipate the turn the book took about three quarters of the way through, and that turn made the story so much more interesting.

At Love's Bidding also features a character (Miranda's grandfather) who is in the early stages of dementia. As someone who lost her grandfather to Alzheimer's, I don't like to read books or watch films about characters with dementia—it's too painful. So had I known, I probably wouldn't have picked up this book. That said, I thought Jennings did a good job with a difficult topic. (I wish the publisher would have given some indication of that important subplot in the back cover copy.)

Overall, though, in spite of the romance, I really struggled to get into At Love's Bidding. Sometimes I was even confused about events, and I think that's because I wasn't paying close enough attention as I read because I just wasn't engaged. When the plot took the aforementioned twist about three-quarters of the way through, my interest level skyrocketed, and I flew through the remaining pages. Had the whole book contained the same action and pacing, I would have loved it. As it is, it falls into the "It's OK" category for me. 3 stars.

See what others are saying.
Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Jennings' Sixty Acres and a Bride (4-1/2 stars), Love in the Balance (4 stars), and Caught in the Middle (3 stars).

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of A Most Inconvenient Marriage, Sixty Acres and a Bride, and Caught in the Middle, and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children.

Connect with Regina: website, Twitter, Facebook

After a cross-country trip to track down a sold painting that could ruin her family's business forever, Miranda Wimplegate forms an unlikely but charged partnership with livestock auctioneer Wyatt Ballentine in Regina Jennings' At Love's Bidding. Miranda and her grandfather discover their new auction house doesn’t deal in fine antiques, but in livestock. And its frustratingly handsome manager, Wyatt, is annoyed to discover his fussy new bosses don’t know a thing about the business he’s single-handedly kept afloat. Faced with more heads of cattle than they can count–but no mysterious painting–Miranda and Wyatt must try and prevent a bad situation from getting worse.

Join Regina in celebrating the release of At Love's Bidding by entering to win her Cozy Winter Night giveaway and RSVPing to her January 5th author chat party!

at love's bidding - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive everything you need for a cozy winter night:
at love's bidding - collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 1/5. The winner will be announced at the At Love's Bidding Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Regina and other readers, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!

at love's bidding-enterbanner

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. 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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