A sweet historical romance by Maggie Brendan, A Sweet Misfortune brings us the tale of one stubborn woman and a misguided man brought together over her family’s homestead.
Rachel Matthews is alone more or less since her parents died leaving her and her brother who left for the gold mines in California. When they couldn’t make the mortgage, Preston left to try and get the money through the mines but not before making a land deal with his friend John McIntyre. John made the payments and if in two years, Preston didn’t have the money to pay him the land became John’s. Unfortunately, Preston never let his sister, Rachel, in on the deal.
John is all business and his sights are on land, land and more land. He takes care of his grandmother, runs his ranch, and attends church. Once in a while he takes Beatrice out for a Sunday ride thinking she would be a good wife…or guesses anyway. When he receives a letter from Preston to help his sister, John never expects his life to be up ended. It first starts when he has to bodily remove Rachel from the stage of the saloon where she is a dance hall girl. Bringing her home to his ranch he isn’t sure what to make of her, but he does decide she isn’t just a dance hall girl and quickly places her into not being what he was wanting even if he finds himself attracted to her. John and his grandmother help Rachel find a new job and allow her to remain in their home until the land deal deadline gets there.
Rachel doesn’t know what to do about her attraction to John, but she does know she will fight to keep her land. As she waits for Preston to return with the needed money, Rachel keeps her faith that God will help her find a way to keep her home. As she waits, she finds herself being courted by a few different men, making a true friend, and learning to help others and accept them as Jesus would do. When devastating news comes about Preston, Rachel is shocked and uncertain about her future.
John and Rachel must battle a few unexpected situations and troublesome people bent on keeping them apart, but the biggest issues they must put to rest is Rachel’s family homestead and John’s belief that Rachel gave herself to the men at the saloon.
God’s love and grace shines through in understanding, helping and accepting others and their mistakes, and accepting God’s will. To find this love and grace, the characters must first put aside stubbornness, pride and greed by keeping their faith in God.
I enjoyed this book because of the sweetness and humble characters. The devotion and huge caring heart of the grandmother was a great choice as a mentor for the stubborn Rachel and judgmental John. I also loved the character of Beatrice. She was such the opposite of Rachel and shallow in her own character that she was a great comparison. She was also effective in showing that no matter what one may be like in personality, there is someone out there for them. One feature of the book that I took notice of was the print. The print was medium sized and helped in the easy and fast reading of this book. I am looking forward to book 3 in the Virtues and Vices of the Old West Series.