by Kelly Eileen Hake

September 2011
ISBN: 978-1602607613
Reviewer Graphic Button Barbour Publishing #2
Trade Paperback

There is a method to the madness of Lacey Lyman. She wants her town to succeed. In order to reinvent Hope Falls into a saw mill the town needs loggers. Lacey comes up with a plan to advertise for husbands who will in turn work in the saw mill. Plenty of men show up for Lacey and her cohorts to interview. Evie, Cora, and Naomi each have a stake in the success of Hope Falls. Evie and Jake Granger have found love, but Lacey has not given her support for the union. The fact that Jake gave them a false name still rankles. Cora has her heart set on Lacey’s brother Braden, but he has not been himself since the accident. As for herself, Lacey is no hurry to marry. She is busy proving that this pampered miss can stand on her own two feet.

Chase Dunstan has personal reasons for wanting to know why the Hope Falls mine collapsed and if the rumor is true that Braden Lyman is still alive. He is surprised to find Jake Granger caught in the middle of four stubborn, but pretty, young ladies’ scheme to build up the town. When Chase meets the spirited Lacey he can’t decide if he wants to get as far away from her as possible or if he wants to get to know her better. The decision is made for him when his friend Jake asks him to stay and protect the women while he is out of town. It seems to Chase that when it comes to these women, who is going to protect him?

Tall, Dark, and Determined by Kelly Eileen Hake is no doubt a fun read. Reading book one of the Husbands for Hire series is a must, however. I did not and I was lost among a group of characters already established in a running story. As a Christian romance, faith played a quiet role in Tall, Dark, and Determined.

The author flips the mail-order romance theme around; a bold and original move which signifies the fun style of Ms. Hake. I would have liked more of the witty dialogue between Chase and Lacey rather than the introspective. This said, I did enjoy the otherwise fast pace of the story. She is the busy woman’s author.

Reviewed in October 2011 by Rho.

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