Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage

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Courting Trouble
by Deeanne Gist

Reviewed by Vickie McDonough

"Once again, Deeanne Gist has created a quirky, courageous, yet innocent, heroine who will quickly capture the reader's heart."

Will the man of Essie’s dreams cause her nightmares?

A thirty-year-old spinster, Essie Spreckelmeyer has decided if God won’t send her a husband, then she’ll just have to find one herself. She makes a list of the pros and cons of the town’s eligible bachelors, and then picks the owner of the Slap Out mercantile to go after first. The naïve man isn’t prepared for Cyclone Essie to blow into his store and start rearranging things. But when things don’t turn out like Essie had hoped, she sets her eye on a handsome cowboy new to town.

Adam Currington makes Essie feel things she’s never felt before and seems as interested in her as she is him. He’s the first man who doesn’t try to change her and lets her be herself. Adam doesn’t chastise Essie because she likes to ride a bicycle, wear outlandish hats, and loves the outdoors, but actually encourages her. He’s the man of her dreams—at least she thinks he is. But Essie isn’t prepared for the flames of passion Adam ignites and makes some bad choices, which affects her parents, her beloved uncle, and other people she cares about. Is catching a husband worth all the problems it’s caused?

Once again, Deeanne Gist has created a quirky, courageous, yet innocent, heroine who will quickly capture the reader’s heart. Who can’t relate to a thirty-year-old woman who yearns to have a husband and a family? Essie is tired of waiting for a man to come to her, so she goes on the hunt, and opens a whole can of worms. Some sensitive readers may feel this book is too edgy in places and crosses a line too close to that of a secular romance, but Ms. Gist uses the circumstances to show Essie’s grief and loss of her dreams and to illustrate how God’s forgiveness knows no bounds.

Endearing secondary characters enhance the story and add some interesting twists. Readers are certain to laugh out loud at some of the unusual situations Essie creates for herself, but will also be inspired with her spunky bravery and determination to not be the town spinster. I was a bit disappointed with the ending, but can see that it was the right ending for this book. Readers will be happy to know a sequel is in the works, so we can enjoy more of Essie’s escapades.

Vickie McDonough is an award-winning inspirational romance author. She has written four Heartsong novels and five novellas. Her stories have placed first in several prestigious contests, such as the ACFW Noble Theme, the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest, and the Texas Gold contest. She has also written books reviews for nearly five years and enjoys mentoring new writers. Vickie is a wife of thirty-one years, mother to four sons, and a new grandma. When she’s not writing, Vickie enjoys reading, gardening, watching movies, and traveling. Vickie loves hearing from her readers via e-mail.