I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California

Keli Gwyn’s debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado California, is an engaging, satisfying read set in the golden foothills of California’s gold country.

Widow Elenora  Watkins wants two things: a fresh start for her and her daughter Tildy, and to have a partnership in a mercantile. She travels to El Dorado, California for the opportunity to make both dreams a reality. Unfortunately, when her potential associate Miles Rutledge finds out she’s female, he won’t make her his partner. 

What’s a spunky woman to do? Why, open her own mercantile, of course. Right across the street from Miles’ store.

Miles was married to a willful woman like Elenora before, and he won’t make the mistake of falling for someone like that again. And if Elenora thinks she can run him out of business selling folderol and fancy soaps, she’s going to be disappointed. And if she thinks she’ll displace him as El Dorado’s best violinist, she’s crazy. If it’s a battle of the sexes she wants, he’s game. But when Elenora’s daughter gets hold of his heart, there’s no untwining their lives.
If he and Elenora can stop being competitors, they just might become a family.

Gwyn’s writing is charming, and her story left me smiling. The dialogue is quick and amusing, but the story has its share of sad and serious moments, too, making for a balanced tale. The characters have areas to grow spiritually, and I appreciated the inspirational elements. I also enjoyed how Gwyn wove historical detail into the story (from Victorian brand names to rose varieties), enhancing the sense of time and place.

I recommend A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado California and I look forward to more from Keli Gwyn! 

This novel was furnished by the author for purposes of review. A positive review was neither promised nor expected.

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