Destitute and grieving, Louise Garner and her beautiful Mexican daughter in law, Rosa, return to Texas and the ranch she called home only to discover that an insurmountable amount of back taxes are due if they wish to retain the property.
Determined to do what she can to assist her disbelieving mother in law, Rosa soon discovers that the vivaciousness and directness that comes naturally to her culture is not always appreciated by the citizens of Caldwell County, Texas. Scrambling not to offend her mother in law, Rosa despairs as she tries to understand and mimic the customs of the ladies who look upon her with suspicion and even derision.
Weston Garner, a wealthy rancher and nephew to Louise, notices Rosa's beauty and effervescent personality but is disinterested in pursuing any initial attraction he might feel. Riding himself hard with regret over his wife's death, Weston does not intend to place a woman at risk again. As Rosa tires of humiliating herself in front of Louise's reserved and somewhat aloof nephew and lives in fear of a neighbour with unsavoury intentions, Louise prompts her to take action in a way that surprises her and changes her life forever.
Regina Jennings' Sixty Acres and a Bride is an excellent debut novel and aside from taking a few chapters to settle into a good rhythm, it is hard to imagine this is Regina's first published work. Loosely based on the Biblical story of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz, rather than a retelling of the story, there is much for historical romance readers to enjoy. Weston and Rosa are both heartfelt characters, driven by the joy and torment of their pasts and what they imagine for their futures. Cultural differences, deeply held fears and plenty of misunderstandings make this an emotional and engaging story of faith, family, love and healing. Regina's talent with words tells of Rosa and Weston's incandescent attraction with authenticity and respect. Readers of Rosslyn Elliott, Elizabeth Camden and Kathleen Morgan will want to look up Sixty Acres and a Bride.
With thanks to Bethany for my review copy
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