And the second book in the June Blog Tour is…
Maid to Match - Deeanne Gist
Synopsis (from the publisher):
Falling in Love Could Cost Her Everything
From the day she arrives at the Biltmore, Tillie Reese is dazzled–by the riches of the Vanderbilts and by Mack Danvers, a mountain man turned footman. When Tillie is enlisted to help tame Mack’s rugged behavior by tutoring him in proper servant etiquette, the resulting sparks threaten Tillie’s efforts to be chosen as Edith Vanderbilt’s lady’s maid. After all, the one rule of the house is no romance below stairs.
But the stakes rise even higher when Mack and Tillie become entangled in a cover-up at the town orphanage. They could both lose their jobs, their aspirations …and their hearts.
Let me tell you… some editor, somewhere (I’m assuming at Bethany House, since they published the book) is getting some angry letters right now. Why? Because Deeanne Gist knows how to create a steamy Christian historical romance — yes, I said STEAMY. Get out those fans, ladies, because this isn’t your typical CBA novel!
- very high sexual tension
- hero & heroine think about each other in emotional AND physical terms
- dancing (lots of dancing… and it’s not a Regency!)
- the main character GETS DRUNK
That’s right, folks — the main character, a female, in a CBA publisher’s novel, gets DRUNK. And I don’t consider that a spoiler, I consider that a reason to read this book. In fact, I’m so impressed with Gist’s work here in creating REAL characters with REAL feelings & struggles (yes, that includes heightened physical attraction) that I immediately lent the book to my sister, recommended it to my sister-in-law and cousin, and told a room full of people about it at a recent writer’s convention I attended when we were discussing “unconventional Christian novels”.
This is the kind of book that anyone can read, regardless of their faith background, because it’s a well-crafted story with people who act like real people.
I will say that there’s one subplot I didn’t particularly care for, as I found it a bit underdeveloped and for some reason it just rubbed me the wrong way. Still, it made sense in the context of the story (and it was a tough subject to tackle… maybe my reaction to it had to do with that… it was a bit much to address inside of this one novel), and I can see why Gist chose that subplot as a way to redeem some aspects of the hero’s character.
After reading this book, I bought copies of the rest of her books to read & place in our church library. I wish more Christian publishers would accept and print novels like this, and maybe it’s because of Gist’s reputation as an established novelist that her editor let the heat level & the drunken scene slide through. Either way, it made for quite the unexpected read — and just for that unusual quality, I’d recommend it.
The main story’s not half bad, either… but let’s face it, you’d read something like this for the romance, and yes indeedy, you get it! If this is your genre, it’s worth a read.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc. Available now at your favorite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.