Tag Archives: Regina Jennings

For the Record

51wbqyysdll-_sx322_bo1204203200_Book Review: For the Record

Author: Regina Jennings

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Back Cover from Bethany House’s website of For the Record:

Rather Than Wait for a Hero, She Decided to Create One

Betsy Huckabee has big-city dreams, but nobody outside of tiny Pine Gap, Missouri, seems interested in the articles she writes for her uncle’s newspaper. Her hopes for independence may be crushed, until the best idea she’s ever had comes riding into town.

Deputy Joel Puckett didn’t want to leave Texas, but unfair circumstances have made moving to Pine Gap his only shot at keeping a badge. Worse, this small town has big problems, and masked marauders have become too comfortable taking justice into their own hands. He needs to make clear that he’s the law in this town–and that job is made more difficult with a nosy reporter who seems to follow him everywhere he goes.

The hero Betsy creates to be the star in a serial for the ladies’ pages is based on the dashing deputy, but he’s definitely fictional. And since the pieces run only in newspapers far away, no one will ever know. But the more time she spends with Deputy Puckett, the more she appreciates the real hero–and the more she realizes what her ambition could cost him.

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            Regina Jennings outdoes herself in For the Record. This novel is full of wit, romance, and some mystery. I absolutely loved Betsy! Her quirkiness is unlike many heroines I’ve read about in that time period, and I was a big fan. Every time you think she will follow the normal pattern, she deviates, throwing the reader – and Joel – for a loop. Which brings me to Joel. *Sigh* He also broke the mold, Betsy’s mold in particular. He refused to be a gentleman when she needs him to be — for story’s purpose, of course.

The romance angle in this book – trademark Regina Jennings. For those who don’t know what that is, think similar to Karen Witemeyer or Melissa Jagears. She never disappoints, and For the Record is right up there with some of my favorite of her novels. Forgiveness and redemption play a part in this story. Regina writes great fiction, but she combines it with spiritual themes that go beyond entertainment and remind us of who God is and what He’s done for us.

If you’re looking for a quality historical fiction read, with great romance, a meaningful spiritual theme, and hilarity, then you must pick up For the Record.

About the Author

Biography from Bethany House’s website: Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of A Most Inconvenient Marriage, Sixty Acres and a Bride, and Caught in the Middle, and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children and can be found online at www.reginajennings.com.

I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.

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With This Ring?

25822013Book Review: With This Ring?

Authors: Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, & Melissa Jagears

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Taken from Bethany House’s website description of With This Ring?:

The Husband Maneuver

When ranch foreman Daniel Barrett seems ready to leave her life forever, Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins on their relationship. But to have any hope of maneuvering him into a proposal, she has to act fast or risk losing him completely.

Her Dearly Unintended

Josiah Huckabee just wanted to make sure Katie Ellen Watson was safe, but when the only bridge to her farm is washed out, the two find themselves alone. Alone, that is, until a menacing stranger appears. Maybe by pretending to be newlyweds, they’ll save their reputations–but can pretending to be in love turn into the real thing?

Runaway Bride

Hired to help Carrie Halsey escape from a dangerous man intent on making her his wife, Big John Conroy never expected the job to interrupt his solitary Texas Ranger life. But now that he’s promised to keep Carrie safe, he discovers he may just want to make a few more promises.

Engaging the Competition

Harrison Gray and tomboy Charlotte Andrews have been rivals for years. With Charlotte intended for someone else, it seems they’ll never settle their differences until an accident changes things completely. When Charlotte breaks Harrison’s glasses–without which he’s nearly blind–she must help with his teaching position, and working together forces these former adversaries to reconsider everything.

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            This latest novella collection put out by Bethany House has a stellar cast of authors known for their stunning, hilarious, sweet, and touching novels. I love reading romances ‘gone awry’, and that is just what this collection is all about. It was funny and poignant by turns, and I loved every minute of it. I enjoyed how Karen Witemeyer wrote about Daniel’s story, because I had been curious when I finished A Worthy Pursuit on whether his story would get to be told. Mary Connealy also brought in a familiar character in Big John Conroy, which was fun to read about. I don’t know if the two other couples were mentioned in previous books or not, since I’m not as up to date on those authors. But both Melissa Jagears’ and Regina Jennings’ stories were so much fun to read. I have to say, though, that I enjoyed Regina’s the most, which was a very tough decision to come to. But Josiah’s cocky tenacity and Katie Ellen’s OCD perfection were such a great combo. Add into that a mysterious stranger, who was a hilarious character himself, and a natural disaster and this novella is a winner.

I thoroughly enjoyed this whole collection, and it was very hard picking which one was my favorite. Novella collections are perfect for those who don’t have the time or maybe attention span to read a full length novel, and this particular one is a five-star read. I highly recommend it.

About the Author

Biographies from Bethany House’s website: Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has over half a million books sold. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero. Learn more at www.maryconnealy.com

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of A Most Inconvenient Marriage, Sixty Acres and a Bride, and Caught in the Middle, and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children and can be found online at www.reginajennings.com

Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade and the author of A Bride for Keeps, A Bride in Store, and A Bride at Last, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She’s a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly. Find her online at www.melissajagears.com

I was given a review copy of With This Ring? from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Caught in the Middle

 

Caught in the MiddleBook Review: Caught in the Middle

Author: Regina Jennings

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Taken from Bethany House’s website description of Caught in the Middle:

She Wants the Freedom of the Open Plains.
He Wants the Prestige of a Successful Career.
Neither is Ready for What Comes Instead.

The train to Garber, Texas, is supposed to bring life’s next victory to Nicholas Lovelace. Instead, it gets held up by robbers who are thwarted by the last person Nick ever expected–Anne Tillerton from back home in Prairie Lea.

Anne’s been hiding away as a buffalo hunter. She’s only in town to find their runaway cook, but the woman flees–leaving Anne with her infant son. With Nick the only person Anne knows in town, 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?

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I believe Caught in the Middle may be my favorite of Regina’s novels. Since I first picked up Sixty Acres and a Bride, I’ve been a fan of this author, and her latest release reminded me why.

Regina has several things going for her that have put her on my favorite-author-list. 1. She writes historical novels. My favorite genre. 2. She sets them in the West. My favorite region to read about! 3. She writes romances that I get caught up in. She’s able to make not only her heroines fall in love with the hero, but me as well. By themselves, these three points would make me want to come back for more. However, Caught in the Middle, just like her other books, also has a faith element that is so important to me. I would call it the icing on the cake, but it is really the flour without which the dessert would truly be lacking. It is the substance that would leave me hungry if it were not there. To give you a peek at what I’m talking about, here’s the two questions this book tackles. “Is God to be loved apart from His gifts?…Is He to be obeyed despite the consequences?” I don’t believe the answers found through these characters’ respective journeys will leave you wanting.

Just so you know, there are two books that precede Caught in the Middle. Each are loosely connected to the others as far as familiar characters. Even if you haven’t read either of the other two books you’ll be able to enjoy Caught in the Middle, though I did enjoy already having some background knowledge to both Nicholas and Anne.

About the Author

Biography from Bethany House’s website: Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She has worked at The Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City with her husband and four children. ~ To learn more about Regina and her other books, visit her web page: http://www.reginajennings.com/

I was given a review copy of Caught in the Middle from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are solely my own.

 

 

A Match Made In Texas

9780764211768Book Review: A Match Made In Texas

Authors: Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Carol Cox

Review by Grace Olson 

The Story

Taken from Bethany House’s website synopsis of A Match Made In Texas:

 There’s a secret matchmaker at work in frontier Texas!

In the small town of Dry Gulch, Texas, a good-hearted busybody just can’t keep herself from surreptitiously trying to match up women in dire straits with men of good character she hopes can help them. How is she to know she’s also giving each couple a little nudge toward love?
A Cowboy Unmatched
Neill isn’t sure who hired him to repair Clara’s roof–he only knows Clara desperately needs his help. Can he convince this stubborn widow to let down her guard and take another chance on love?
An Unforeseen Match
Hoping to earn an honest wage on his way to the land rush, Clayton ends up on Grace’s doorstep, lured by a classified ad. He may have signed on for more than he expected though–and he may have found the one woman who can keep him from moving on.
No Match for Love
Andrew can’t fathom how refined Lucy ended up as the caretaker to his dotty aunt, and somehow her arrival has prompted even more bizarre occurrences around the ranch. When they join forces to unearth the truth, will the attraction between Andrew and Lucy develop into more?
Meeting Her Match
When the tables are turned and a tenderhearted meddler becomes the beneficiary of a matchmaking scheme, her world is turned upside down. As her entire life changes, will she finally be able to tell the banker’s son how much she cares for him?

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I absolutely fell in love with this collection and its characters. When I requested this book, I had read two of Regina Jennings’s novels, part of a book by Karen Witemeyer, and started the first five pages of a Mary Connealy novel. And while I had heard of Carol Cox, I had never read any of her books. Boy will I be changing that for these four authors.

First, Karen’s story, A Cowboy Unmatched. I was already somewhat familiar with Neill when I received this collection, so I was very interested to see what was going to happen with him. As I’m beginning to discover, Karen does not disappoint. This was a sweet love story with plenty of tension as far as the villain was concerned. What a great start to A Match Made In Texas!

In An Unforeseen Match, the heroine shared my name, fancy that, so I already had a connection with her. I have really loved Regina’s novels, and this one absolutely delivered. What a beautiful love story! Grace having to overcome her blindness and Clayton helping her with that was so compelling, and it had a marvelous ending!

My first look at Carol Cox’s writing, No Match For Love, got me hooked. This novella had some mystery in it, which I thought I had figured out, but she threw in a twist that had me chuckling. After the previous two authors that I had some experience with and whose writing I enjoyed, I wondered if Carol’s story would hold the same appeal for me. Did it? You betcha!

At last, in Meeting Her Match, I got to meet the woman who has been anonymously helping all these other couples to find their true loves. And what a story she had! Let’s just say that this matchmaker isn’t the only scheming lady in Dry Gulch. How this woman finally found her own match surprised me, but it was the perfect end to this novella collection.

Final thoughts? Love, love, loved it! All four of these romances flowed beautifully together, despite the fact that all of them have very different characters, plots, and even authors! A Match Made In Texas is definitely the best book I have read recently, and one I would highly recommend. Well done, ladies!

If you want a glimpse of what these characters might look like, take a look at this blog: http://ncharacters.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-many-characters-from-match-made-in.html I recently re-discovered it, and have been loving looking through the archives. Stop by and take a peek!

About the Authors 

Since there are four different authors involved in this book, I’m not going to introduce you to all of them. If you want to learn more about any of these ladies and the other books they’ve written, you can go to their respective websites: Karen Witemeyer: http://www.karenwitemeyer.com/ Mary Connealy: http://www.maryconnealy.com/ Regina Jennings: http://www.reginajennings.com/ Carol Cox: http://authorcarolcox.com/

I was given a review copy of A Match Made In Texas from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group House, in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are solely my own.