About the Book
Major Daniel Adams has his hands full at Fort Reno, especially raising two adolescent daughters alone. If this new governess doesn't work out, his mother-in-law insists she'll raise the girls herself--far away from the fort. Miss Bell bears little resemblance to Daniel's notion of a governess--they're not supposed to be so blamed pretty--but he finds himself turning a blind eye to her unconventional methods. Louisa has never faced so important a performance. Can she keep her act together long enough to help her brother and to secure the respectable future she's sought for so long?
Holding the Fort is the first book in the Fort Reno series, and the first work I’ve read by Regina Jennings. It definitely won’t be the last!
Ms. Jennings has written a great book with underlying themes of honesty, grace, and overcoming our pasts. It is unexpectedly humorous as well, but never at the expense of the characters. You are laughing with them and never at them.
Our heroine, Louisa, is a dance hall singer with a unique upbringing. This is generally not an occupation for the protagonist in Christian fiction, and Louisa’s perception of what others think of her job is the main cause of her internal conflict. Louisa is a great character. She’s fun, smart, and resourceful. Louisa does spend most of the book embroiled in deception, though she never feels at ease with it, and that makes her more sympathetic.
Daniel, an Army major, is the hero, and he’s trying to raise two daughters while in charge of Fort Reno, which is in Indian Territory. He’s quick to realize something isn’t quite right with the story that Louisa is telling him, but she is able to connect with his daughters. Because of this, he’s willing to overlook the inconsistencies in Louisa’s story.
Ms. Jennings’ writing brings the characters to life and the setting is perfectly realized. I really did feel I was in the Indian Territory! Holding the Fort’s themes, including overcoming your past through grace, never feel preachy or out of place, and are one of the best parts of this book.
One part of the story that impacted my enjoyment of the book is that Louisa and Daniel make a lot of assumptions about each other in the beginning, and indeed almost to the end. The manner in which the truth about Louisa is revealed to Daniel disappointed me.
Despite the above, I do believe in the HEA and the development of the relationship. I’m hoping that Louisa and Daniel reappear in the other books in the Fort Reno series.
I give this book 4/5 stars and recommend it to readers who enjoy unusual settings, well-developed characters, and a lovely and sweet romance.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House. All opinions are my own.**
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