Once Upon A Romance

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Rugged & Relentless by Kelly Eileen Hake

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Cover art: Rugged & Relentless Reviewer: Trudy Smith
Title: Rugged & Relentless - 1st in the Husbands for Hire series
Author: Kelly Eileen Hake
Publisher: Barbour
ISBN-13: 978-1-60260-760-6
Release Date: March 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Inspirational Historical Romance
Year/Setting: 1886/Hope Falls, Colorado Territory
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
Kelly's Website/Blog: www.kellyeileenhake.com


Three Husbands for Hire.

Evie Thompson has never had high expectations of finding a husband since she’s always been on the plump side and spoke her mind. Maybe this "Husbands for Hire" plan her and her friends have cooked up to help set up the logging and sawmill business they want to establish is the only way she’s sure to find a husband.

Not wanting to sort through dozens of men, the ladies decide they can weed through the written responses and settle on a few men to meet to agree on the best candidates. Instead of mail, Evie and her friends receive males! Why did two dozen men just show up? Obviously they can not follow directions very well since the ad distinctly stated written responses.

Jake Creed, AKA Granger, has been on the trail of his brother’s killer. Jake is determined to find the killer and clear his brother’s name. As he reaches Hope Falls, he’s sure he’s close. This "Husband for Hire" scheme has possibilities to draw the man out. Logging just happens to be Jake’s background so he sets out to help the ladies’ hair-brained scheme. What he didn’t expect was a pretty gal who had spunk and sass and could cook too.

Evie and her friends have their hands full setting up her Café, their household and now keeping all these men in line. One man stands out to Evie – Jake Creed and he makes her so mad! He thinks he can set down rules for their town! The nerve of that good-looking, loggin’ man! As much as she hates to admit it Evie is attracted to Jake. Jake has his eye on Evie and feelings bloom but Evie’s doubts and Jake’s purpose keep standing in their way.

God has His way of working out what seems impossible and Evie and Jake are no exception. Will Evie and Jake be able to see His plan and release what’s standing in their way? Can Jake give up revenge for justice and forgive? And who is this mystery killer?

I have to say I enjoyed the way Ms Hake’s characters were less than perfect. It was easy to relate to the self-doubts, the struggles with faith and forgiveness yet heart-warming to see that love can blossom in spite of human faults.

Though I struggled to follow the storyline at first, it didn’t take long for the groundwork to be laid and the story to take off. Rugged & Relentless has a good mix of mystery, subtle inspiration, love and forgiveness; a story that will keep your thoughts racing long after the last page is read.

Trudy

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