In 1890s Texas, a 30-year-old single woman was considered "over the hill" rather than "heading to the altar." Determined to be a blushing bride if it kills her, Essie Spreckelmeyer sizes up potential beaus and heads into town. But will she be "courting trouble" if she leaves God out of the relationship?
Courting Trouble is my favorite of Deeanne's three historical novels. The author created a dynamic, quirky, unique characterization in Essie. In fact, I can't recall a single "cardboard character" in this story. They were all expertly developed.
The plot was so unique, that I loved it for that reason alone. Plus the spiritual element was very well done. In fact, I related so well to Essie's struggles that I got a choked up when she had her heart broken or was misunderstood--each and every time. I loved how the author showed that changing who you are for someone else will always leave you empty and frustrated. In short, this story gave me a powerful emotional experience. I feel like I learned something about myself, and I benefited spiritually from reading Courting Trouble. Like I said, it's the best of her three books.
I also loved how the ending was not the usual scenario, which kept me reading because I honestly didn't know who Essie would end up with/or what she would do. I love any element in a novel that keeps me guessing. I totally understood Essie's thinking process and I identified with her. In fact, I hope that if the author writes a sequel she will include Essie, because I hated to see the story end.
Courting Trouble is probably one of the edgiest historical novels I've read in CBA, yet in my opinion, it never strayed into objectionable matter. The author did tackle some pretty big issues in a genuine way, and I am impressed with how well she crafted it. The author is fabulous at putting physical temptation and realism into her stories. I believe it's her greatest strength and her brand as an author.
I'm also very impressed with Bethany House and the books they've been publishing lately, especially the historicals! Courting Trouble is published by Bethany House and will be released in late May 2007, or early June 2007.