About the book:
A Blue Willow tea set, a tragic past, a worn letter, and devotion to her two younger sisters, is all that mail order bride Catharine Olsen brings from Amsterdam to Cheyenne, WY to meet her future husband. Peter is a gentle, but hard-working wheat farmer, who doesn't realize the extent his meddling mother will go to in order to discredit his bride after he decides not to marry the lady she chose for him. Will Catharine's secret past threaten the idyllic life she has created with her new husband?
I can't remember the last time I stayed up into the wee hours of the night to finish a book. I could NOT go to bed last night until I had read the last page and I started in the afternoon. You know it's a fantastic book to hold my attention for over 300 pages, make me skip dinner, and then make me unable to rest until I finished to whole thing. I think it was about 2AM by the time I went to bed. This story was awesome! It started out sweet like any other Christian book but kept intensifying with each chapter. Important elements of the story slowly trickled out over time and made it impossible to put down.
I had not read any books by Maggie Brendan before and figured this would be like any other typical Christian prairie romance, but I decided to give it a try anyway. Boy, was I wrong about that! It was anything but typical. I am so glad I joined the blog tour for this book because this is one of the few Christian fiction titles available that deals with mail order bride issues that doesn't make you wait for the entire book while they "get acquainted," if you know what I mean. I was thrilled about that. I always figured in real life it didn't work that way, only in Christian books, LOL! And unlike many novels that deal with secrets, this one had situations that were believable and worked for me. I absolutely loved the characters. All of them. Even the meddling mother/mother-in-law.
This novel is not only incredibly romantic with a hero that is swoon-worthy, but it makes you think about communication in marriage and makes you want to be a better spouse. Seriously. I loved Peter. Absolutely adored him. And when he got upset I understood it. Rather than getting ticked off at him I just hurt for him. Same for Catherine. She wasn't a petty wife with dumb issues that are supposed to carry an entire story. She was like a real person to me. I loved her and her sisters. I especially loved the scenes with her and Peter and their coming together as husband and wife. Tastefully done, yet enthralling at the same time.
I wish all Christian historicals were this yummy and inspirational. I think more people would switch over from secular fiction if they found more books like these on the inspy shelves. The scriptures all fit perfectly, too, and there was nothing sappy about the faith element. It wasn't heavy-handed, but was clearly present. I can't say enough good things about the book. The writing was stellar, too. I highly recommend it. It's making my best fiction list for this year!
Deeply Devoted was published by Revell and released in Sept 2011.