Caught in the Middle
Anne’s been hiding away as a buffalo hunter. She’s only in Garber to find their runaway cook, but the woman flees--leaving Anne with her infant son. With Nick the only person Anne knows in Garber, the two form an unlikely team as they try to figure out what to do with the child.
But being in town means acting and dressing for polite society--and it's not going well for Anne. Meanwhile, Nick's work is bringing new pressures, and being seen with a rough-around-the-edges woman isn't helping his reputation. Caught between their own dreams, a deepening relationship, and others' expectations, can the pair find their way to love?
I'd never read anything by Regina Jennings before, but I thought the cover of this book was quirky and cute, (and I loved the colors) so I decided to give it a try without really paying much attention to the book blurb. Once I started reading, though, I had a feeling this was going to be just one of your run-of-the-mill prairie western romances. The character types, cliches and plot points didn't seem original and I felt like I knew what was going to happen- and this was just in the first five chapters or so.
Which just proves sometimes that you need to give books more of a chance! What surprised me about Caught in the Middle was how deep the author delved into the characters. Though at first glance they might seem a little stereotypical, there were really more facets to them, and the particular Christian theme, while not entirely uncommon, went farther and deeper than I had anticipated- something I really liked quite a bit.
Though I appreciated spunky Anne's disregard for the opinions of others, sometimes I thought she went to far and it could get annoying- it was hard for me to warm up to her. (maybe because she was such a tomboy and I'm such a girly-girl...I don't know ;) However, as the story went on I understood why she did the things she did. And I really liked Nick, but not until after he discovered his backbone- yes, I think what saved this story from mediocrity was the character development.
I didn't realize that this book was part of a series, and though I think I might have appreciated appearances by certain characters more if I had read the other books, Caught in the Middle stood just fine on it's own. Though it's not my favorite- probably just because I'm not a big western gal- I enjoyed it boatloads more than I thought I would, and I'm sure avid readers of Christian romances and historicals will want to try this one out.
Rating: 7 1/2
objectionable content: If you're familiar with western fiction and the society of saloons, cowboys, and such then you'll probably know what to expect. Aside from a kiss, the book also mentions a character was abused by her husband, and the two main characters are caring for a baby that was abandoned by its unwed mother. There is a scene in a saloon that includes prostitutes (nothing explicit).
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.