Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Rugged and Relentless by Kelly Eileen Hake

Book Details:
Rugged and Relentless
By Kelly Eileen Hake
Genre: Christian Fiction
Published 2011, Barbour Publishing
Paperback, 317 pages
ISBN: 9781602607606

          Roll into Hope Falls, Colorado, where three women are seeking mates to help them establish a sawmill. Evelyn Thompson never dreamed their husbands-for-hire ad would bring so many bachelors to their tiny town. How will she ever figure out which feller to choose? Jacob Granger, a logger-turned-bounty hunter, is hot on the trail of his brothers unexpected adoration of this sweet cook prompt him to speak vows before getting vengeance?
This book had quite an intriguing premise -- four women decide to place an ad for husbands in order to revive a dead mining town and turn it into a sawmill town. Their good intentions did not account for the reality of the kind of men who would be showing up for such a curious promise, and the likelihood of their being able to maintain control of a town full of men. I also found it a bit ironic that the book is marketed as a Christian fiction book, though the four women have made themselves heads over the men and are anything but submissive -- even Cora, the one woman actually engaged. Still, the scenario presents some humorous situations as the women interact with the various men of many colorful backgrounds.
The major issue of control is a point of contention for the women throughout the book, as it is obvious that food and lodging won't be enough to corral the men into subservience, even food as delicious as Evie's. Jake is one of the men that steps in to act as bodyguard to the women and leader over the men, since he conveniently has a  background in running a sawmill. Jake's presence in Hope Falls is an accident, though, as he had no previous interest in obtaining a wife and was more interested in pursuing revenge for the murder of his brother. He adopts the name Jacob Creed to hide his identity, and uses the husband ad as a cover for his true intentions, but his attraction to Evie is obvious to all but Evie herself.
Evie's self-esteem issues regularly get in the way of her being able to build a relationship with any of the men, especially the one man who gets under her skin, Jacob. She covers her low self-esteem with a bossy pride that annoyed me throughout the book, as her main obstacle seemed to be herself. But Jacob's approach to her low self-image will have any woman with "heft" cheering, especially when he almost force-fed her cookies.
This book was a fun and humorous read, with an original concept that I found refreshing.

The Cover: The cover alludes to both of the main characters, Evie and Jake, without being too ostentatious.

First Line: "You don't have to do this, Jacob!"
Possibly melodramatic for a beginning line, but it nonetheless interests me.

Favorite Quote: "Razzlefrass," Evie muttered.

Read For: Read Your Own Name Challenge, TBR Pile Challenge, Read Your Own Books Challenge

*I received this book free of charge from a random draw.*


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