Monday, April 21, 2014

A Sensible Arrangement, by Tracie Peterson

From the Publisher:
Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past.Answering an advertisement for a "Lone Star bride," she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn't know.

Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her.Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.

When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake's yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty's dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.

What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways...
and dreams and secrets collide?
My Review:
I think that this is my first book written, and not co-authored, by Tracie Peterson. I have read several that she has co-authored and have either strongly disliked them, or had very mixed feelings about them. With that in mind, I was unsure of what I would find when I read this book.
The characters were somewhat flat. I felt like I knew enough about the main character's backgrounds to understand who they were in the present time. I liked Jake; he was sweet and kind and humble. I also liked Marty, but not quite as much. Jake seemed to be a stronger character. Marty was sweet and kind and strong. I finally connected with her when she **minor spoiler alert** told off the high society women. That may have been the most passionate part of the whole book. I would have liked to have seen that same passion put into Marty and Jake's relationship.
There is very little interaction between Jake and Marty. He broods over things (but why? and what?) and she notices and tries to ease his stress. She's bored. They go out a few times, but we're not really told what happens on those dates and how they connect and communicate and how they start falling in love. In short -- He's handsome, she's pretty, they have a lot in common, though they tend to find this out through other people.

Jake is constantly talking about wanting a ranch, but he becomes more like a broken record than a man with a dream. I want a ranch. I want a ranch. I want a ranch. I'm saving money for my ranch. I want a ranch.

Marty is always thinking about the fact that she has a ranch and needs to get rid of it because she doesn't want to go back to Texas. Keep the ranch a secret. Tell him. Keep the ranch a secret. Tell him. Also a broken record.

One thing that would have made their differing ideas about ranching/ Texas better is for some drama to have happened regarding the ranch or regarding Texas. I felt like there needed to be a pivotal moment in the book that was about something other than to tell him about the ranch or not.

Alice, a supporting character, was probably my favorite. I am glad to see that the next book in the series is her story.

This book was full of spiritual truths such as the age-old question of, "If God is good, why is the world so bad? How can a God of love let bad things happen to good people?" That was the major spiritual theme of the book. The secondary spiritual theme was about deceit. It also subtly addressed growing one's trust in God through personal Bible study and prayer time. I appreciated these spiritual truths.

There was a lot of blah blah blah in this book. The changing of clothes, talk about boredom, going from one high society event to another... If the author had just chosen one major part to write about and write it REALLY REALLY well, and then throw in tiny bits and pieces about other things, it would have been a much better book. As it is, too many stories were being told halfway and without enough detail.

I'm not that fond of the cover. What's the look on Marty's face about? Where is this scene? What story is the cover telling? The background scene that it portrays is only a very small part of the story, almost insignificant in the big picture.
I feel like Tracie wrapped things up in this one slightly more than in the others that I've read, but just like with all the others, I feel like there were too many loose ends. I wish that she would tie up all the loose ends of the main characters, and leave one or two loose ends on the supporting characters, since her books do tend to be series and the sequel usually makes a supporting character, the main character. If you're looking for a good book worth your time, then I recommend going with another author.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Post a Comment