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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Marrying Mattie by Tanya Hanson

Marrying Mattie by Tanya Hanson
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical (Western)
Length: Full Length (336 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Camellia

Caldwell Hackett knows everything about horseflesh and nothing about women, yet he's managed to snare beautiful Mattie Carter's heart. With their wedding coming up, he's nervous about his inexperience in the bridal bed, but his lovely fiancée manages to ease his worries in just the right way.

Mattie Carter is hopelessly in love with the handsome horse doctor and knows this marriage will be wonderful, unlike her first that was fraught with her wealthy husband's infidelity. Eager to begin her new life with Call, Mattie is heartbroken when her former husband halts their vows, claiming to the whole church she's still his wife.

Can Mattie regain Call's trust? Can Call, whose livelihood is threatened when an epidemic hits the horses in Paradise, figure out the truth with Mattie's help? Or will these star-crossed lovers be destined to live apart?

Paradise, Nebraska is anything but a paradise after Woodrow Carter arrives. Neighbor is set against neighbor. Gossip fuels more and more unrest creating a hostile environment for Mattie and Call as they try to unravel problems and mysteries that stopped their marriage and threatens their future.

With Call’s lifelong dream in danger of being destroyed after years of college and hard work, he labors until he is ready to drop trying to save sick animals and find what caused the malady. In spite of all he does, his integrity, ability, and efforts are questioned. Piled on top of his professional problems, his insecurities and fear of losing Mattie make Call misconstrue some of Mattie’s actions.

Mattie knows Call is the love of her life, but her past refuses to leave her in peace. As she sees the people of Paradise that she has come to care about being hurt because of her, she has to rethink her decisions. Mattie’s intelligence, integrity, honesty, compassion, and unfaltering love for Call make her a heroine that wins the reader’s heart.

The secondary characters, some known from the first book of Paradise Brides, add depth to true friendships, while others add doubts about deeds and motivations. However, Woodrow P. Carter is the antagonist that wreaks havoc on the once peaceful Paradise. The damage he does is far worse than a tornado. Tanya Hanson gives the reader some heart-racing reading as she reveals bit by piece Woodrow’s devious, demonic plans.

Tensions run high in Marrying Mattie, keeping the reader turning pages. But it also gives the reader a sense of being in Paradise, Nebraska in the late 1800s when social mores, prejudice, and greed make some people do less than admirable things while others never falter in their steadfast friendship, good deeds, and most of all in their love.
Marrying Mattie is a hard won happy-ever-after that captivates.