One-Quote Reviews: Four Harlequin Love-Inspired Historicals

Falling for the Teacher by Dorothy Clark

  • Falling for the Teacher by Dorothy ClarkTitle: Falling for the Teacher
  • Author: Dorothy Clark
  • Series: Pinewood Weddings
  • Genre(s): Inspirational, Historical (1841 Upstate New York)
  • Publisher: Harlequin, September 2013
  • Category: Love Inspired Historical
  • Source: NetGalley
  • Length: 288 pages
  • Trope(s): Tragic Past, Small Town, Extreme Self-Doubt
  • Quick blurb: Schoolteacher returns home to care for her ailing grandparents and finds the brother of her rapist managing the family business.
  • Quick review: Really annoyed with the heroine in the beginning, but chemistry and character development turned this into an unexpectedly emotional read.
  • Grade: B

He rose and looked down into her eyes. “Sadie….”

“Yes?”

Her name was a gruff plea from his constricted throat – her answer a barely heard whisper. Time was lost in his need to comfort her, to protect her, to love her forever. He sucked in a breath, fighting his heart with every bit of strength he possessed and hating himself for winning the battle. “I’ll see you safe to the house.”

I struggled with Sadie’s overwrought, baseless accusations in the first third of the book, but as Cole slowly wins her over, we get the backstory details we need to root for their HEA.

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The Outlaw’s Redemption by Renee Ryan

  • The Outlaw's Redemption by Renee RyanTitle: The Outlaw’s Redemption
  • Author: Renee Ryan
  • Series: Charity House, Book 7
  • Genre(s): Inspirational, Historical (1890 Colorado)
  • Publisher: Harlequin, July 2013
  • Category: Love Inspired Historical
  • Source: NetGalley
  • Length: 288
  • Trope(s): Secret Baby, Meddling Mother-In-Law, Tragic Past,
  • Quick blurb: Ex-con learns he has a young daughter – but the girl’s aunt is prepared to fight.
  • Quick review: Needs a bit more conflict early in the story, but loved the chemistry
  • Grade: B

Apparently, she had a thing for the whole menacing gunslinger look.

Yeah, I might have that same “thing” too after reading this book. Considering it’s a romance between an ex-con and a brothel madam’s daughter, it was a bit lacking in actual conflict. But as with Falling for the Teacher, the surprisingly steamy chemistry kept me reading.

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The Courting Campaign by Regina Scott

  • The Courting Campaign by Regina ScottTitle: The Courting Campaign
  • Author: Regina Scott
  • Series: N/A
  • Genre(s): Inspirational, Historical (1815 Derbyshire)
  • Publisher: Harlequin, August 2013
  • Category: Love Inspired Historical
  • Source: NetGalley
  • Length: 288 pages
  • Trope(s): Governess and Master, Clueless Scientist, Plot Moppet, Meddling In-Law, Tragic Past, Deep Dark Secrets
  • Quick blurb: Stubborn governess devises a plan to make her clueless scientist employer take notice of his lonely daughter.
  • Quick review: Great twist on a familiar premise, but the romance was a bit blah.
  • Grade: B

Unfortunately, she thought she stood a better chance of gaining his attention by dipping herself in whale oil and lighting herself on fire.

The romance seemed like a bit of an afterthought, but this book worked great for me as a “governess/master” story – I loved the “natural philosophy” science theme and the suitably creepy, but not over-the-top, villainous villains.

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The Bride Next Door by Winnie Griggs

  • The Bride Next Door by Winnie GriggsTitle: The Bride Next Door
  • Author: Winnie Griggs
  • Series: Texas Grooms, #2
  • Genre(s): Inspirational, Historical (1895 Texas)
  • Publisher: Harlequin, June 2013
  • Category: Love Inspired Historical
  • Source: NetGalley
  • Length: 288
  • Trope(s): Perky Polly Heroine, Grumpy Gus Hero, Meddling Spinster Neighbor
  • Quick blurb: Small-town newspaper publisher must marry his new neighbor to save her reputation.
  • Quick review: Bland and boring.
  • Grade: C-

Did she just call him a fusspot? And did she really expect the two of them to walk through town with mud-plastered backsides? He wasn’t sure which offense he found the more egregious.

The hero describes the heroine as “relentlessly cheerful.” She was. I’m surprised I actually finished it.

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