Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Caught in the Middle by Regina Jennings

About the book:  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?

My thoughts:  Just looking at the cover, one would think (I did, anyway) that this was going to be one of those youthful, girly (maybe even silly), books featuring a young girl who wanted to be a rough and tumble cowgirl (see the boots peeking out from under the frilly dress) but was forced by society and circumstances and who she was to wear that frilly dress. However, the book is not about a story line of that ilk.

The story has surprising intensity and depth. It deals with subjects and consequences of the actions of cruel and hateful individuals on the subsequent lives of their victims. The depth of emotion and burden carried by the characters whose past life is so impacting their current existence is daunting.
The sweet romance that blossoms between Anne and Nicholas is lovely. The end is somewhat predictable in that boy gets girl, good conquers over evil, wrongs are righted. But none-the-less, the outcome is totally enjoyable and a refreshing relief. Readers will fall in love with the sweet little older lady that takes Anne under her wing. Readers will also feel the intensity of care of the characters toward the little boy abandoned by his biological mother. 

A bit of history:  In reading the book, there is an infant, deserted by his mother, and he is being fed a powdered "Nestlé" formula. The book is set in 1881. Not knowing the history of the Nestlé company and the beginning of the production of powdered infant "milk" or formula, I doubted that this part of the story had true historical significance and that it was just written in as though there was actually powdered formula in 1881. It bothered me because even if I'm reading a novel, if it is historical fiction, I want the history to be right. So I "Googled" "History of Nestlé Powdered Infant Formula." Of course, there is a lot about Nestlé and Infant Formula on the web. Finally, I found a bit of information and here is the link:  Click Here. And yes, the author had done her homework. There was powdered infant formula produced by Nestlé in 1881
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of Caught in the Middle from the Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Company in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own and I was not compensated for this review.

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