Friday, May 16, 2014

Fair Play (It Happened at the Fair #2) by Deeanne Gist

Fair PlayHer mother had spent every last minute cooking for Papa, cleaning for Papa, looking nice for Papa, entertaining for Papa, producing babies for Papa. The measuring stick she used to judge herself was based on how pleased or displeased Papa was with her, their home, and her ability to raise their children properly. 

The very thought of being measured by that same stick horrified Billy. She couldn't think of anything worse. As far as she was concerned, domesticity was nothing more than a glorified jail sentence.

Having thoroughly enjoyed It Happened At the Fair, I was more than eager to read the latest installment from Gist. Though I don't like it as much as the first one, mostly because that story line about deafness and lip-reading really touched a chord with me, I still really liked this story.

We have a spunky woman doctor who knows how to stand on her own two feet and give back what for. Especially when she meets a manly Texas Ranger who has very set ideas about women's place.

Boy, does she manage to convert him, quickly. With her actions and her bravery, she leaves no doubt just how much women are capable of, forcing this Texas Ranger to rethink some of his thoughts about women and what they're capable of. She even helps him get better.

As always with a Gist book, there's a lot of humor and chuckles. There's no end to the interesting characters either. I sincerely hope there's a book three in this series, maybe about the women of Hull House? I'm hint dropping...

We meet not only these amazing women (who really existed!) that started a daycare/nursery in the worst part of town and ran it despite the odds and hoodlums, but we also meet some street children--not all of them bad--who've been dealt a difficult hand and have to make the most of it. The hero and heroine start a playground for them, hoping it will help keep the kids off the streets. The book also shows us how some of the immigrants lived and the appalling prison conditions. This is a fun historical novel that will teach you something. It's not fluff. There's even a trial toward the end, and I sure do love those.

Though a Christian fiction in classification, there was absolutely nothing preachy about it. Matter of fact, I think Christian fiction is the wrong category for this. It's just a clean historical romance. There is a stronger...sexual awareness...between Billy (the heroine) and Hunter (the hero) than found in most Christian fiction novels, but while I noticed and was surprised by it, I wasn't bothered by it at all. It's a fact of life, be you Christian, Atheist, or anything else; you're going to feel sexual attraction, so I applaud Gist for toeing the line a wee bit. It made it REAL. BUT there is NO nastiness.

I also appreciated the theme of women working and how Hunter gets a taste of his own medicine. Why should anyone give up something they love doing/feel passionate about?

A thoroughly enjoyable novel. It made me laugh, warmed my soul, and taught me a lot of Chicago history, from prisons to playgrounds. Well done.

I received a digital ARC of this via Edelweiss. Quotes may be different in the final version.

No comments:

Post a Comment