Rating: ***– 3 Stars
GENRE: Historical Christian Romance
BOOK SUMMARY: With nothing to their names, young widow Rosa Garner and her mother-in-law return to Texas and the family ranch. Only now the county is demanding back taxes and the women have only three months to pay. Though facing eviction, Rosa can’t keep herself from falling in love with the countryside and the wonderful extended family who want only her best. Learning the American customs is not easy, however, and this beautiful young widow can’t help but catch wandering eyes. Where some offer help with dangerous strings attached, only one man seems honorable. But when Weston Garner, still grieving his own lost love, is unprepared to give his heart, to what lengths will Rosa go to save her future?
REVIEWER COMMENTS: While I love Christian fiction, I usually avoid books about bible stories turned into fiction: not that I disagree with the notion, but I personally do not like to mix the two. But I was already far into the book when I realized that this was a western retelling of the Bible story of Ruth, and since this novel had close to 5 star ratings on other sites, I decided to give it a try. At the end, while I would certainly not give it 5 stars, I was not totally disappointed either.
This is one of those books that I liked “in parts”. I thought the main characters, Rosa and Weston, were pleasant and interesting. Weston is a multifaceted individual, and his struggles felt real. Rosa is a Mexican young beauty who is a new Christian and is recently widowed. The mix worked, and I found it original. While the story and the romance moved along well for a while and the physical and emotional tension between the main characters was causing pages to easily turn, after about 200 pages, it started to fall flat. (SPOILER ALERT*) When Weston and Rosa find themselves trapped in a marriage of convenience, it seemed like the whole story, and the development accomplished until that point, had to reboot. And what followed, was not as interesting as the previous. In fact, I found it rather annoying. Rosa is constantly trying to put distance between her and her husband and to get away from the marriage, while Weston is gravely confused. While I understand the reasoning behind the uncertainties, after 150 pages of it, I just wanted it to end. And it did end well, but the good ending was way too short, and the redundancy, way too long.
SEXUAL CONTENT: A few kisses.
ADULT LANGUAGE: None
*Conclusion: This is Regina Jennings’s first novel, and for that alone, I was impressed by the writing, the plot, and the characters. The romance is sweet, and the Christian message clear. I would suggest your try this clean historical fiction by a new promising author.