Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Kiss for Cade, by Lori Copeland

Set in Kansas in 1885, this book follows the story of Zoe, a widow taking care of the orphaned children of her best friend Addy. Cade is the children’s nephew, but he is also Zoe’s old flame. He left town years ago, to become a bounty hunter, with a promise to return to Zoe. Tired of waiting, she married, but her husband eventually died. Now, he is in charge of his sister’s children, so he returns to town to settle the matter. As it turns out, there are quite a few matters that need to be settled back in town. But can they be?

I was a little nervous about this book when I noticed the setting, as I am not a big fan of westerns. However, I quickly forgot that this book was set in a Wild West-type setting, because the story so quickly becomes engaging. Lori Copeland does an excellent job of hooking the reader, right from the start. Her characters are so relatable; one forgets they are simply characters. In fact, one of the children in the book has a lisp, and all her dialogue is written phonetically, as it would sound with the lisp; I found myself talking like her for a day or two after finishing the book. It is no exaggeration, her characters become so familiar to you, and they are more like old friends.

The story line moved quickly, so there was no real down time in the book. As a result, I found it hard to get to a good stopping place, and would instead find myself reading for hours after I had intended to stop. That is a sign of an engaging plot.

There is a strong emphasis on family in this book, and what a family can look like, since Zoe is not blood kin to the children, but she is still their family. I really liked that sentiment being represented in a Christian book. Also, I liked the fact that the characters were flawed, I think that was part of what made them so relatable. There is also a theme of community in the book that allowed a rich cast of supporting characters to shine at different times.

All in all, I highly recommended this book. While the main storyline was that of romance, the plot and back story were so rich with details that it was more than just a romance novel. While fans of traditional western novels might find it a little too romantic for them, lovers of historical romance will enjoy it, and if you are like me, with little exposure or appreciation to traditional western novels, this is a great way to test the waters. This book is one in the Western Sky Series, so if you have enjoyed others from the series, chances are you will love this one as well.

This book was provided for review courtesy of the Christian Review of Books.