Friday, November 16, 2012

"Courting Cate - The Courtships of Lancaster County #1" by Leslie Gould

ISBN:  978-0-7642-1031-0
About the book: When This Couple Gets to Courting, Sparks Will Fly!

In Paradise, Pennsylvania, Cate Miller is known more for her sharp tongue and fiery temper than her striking appearance. Her sweet and flirty sister, Betsy, on the other hand, seems to have attracted most of the bachelors in Lancaster County!

But the sisters' wealthy father has made one hard-and-fast rule: older Cate must marry first, before younger Betsy can even start courting. Unfortunately, untamable Cate has driven away every suitor-until Pete Treger comes to town, that is.

Prodded by the men of the area, Pete turns his attention to winning Cate's hand. But is his interest true or is there a scheme at play?

Link to buy the book:

Our thoughts:  Courting Cate by Leslie Gould is the first book in a series called the Courtships of Lancaster County and is published by Bethany House.

"Betsy doesn't marry unless Cate marries first!" Cate's Amish father declares firmly. Most of the young Amish men want to marry Betsy because she is blond, beautiful, and sweet. Cate has been responsible for raising her sister since the death of their mother at Betsy's birth.  Cate's own beauty is marred by her temper that flares frequently and offends anyone who attempts to court her.  Betsy tries to manipulate and convince her older sister Cate into a marriage of convenience hoping then that their father will allow her to marry.  Three of Betsy's Amish suitors have tormented and teased Cate since childhood resulting in her insecurities and sharp tongue.  These antagonists continue their pranks causing Cate to doubt her suitor's intentions.  Was Pete only interested in her father's wealth?  Was he still despondent over the broken relationship with the girl next door?

Cate's suitor Pete at times is disappointing seemingly insipid and indecisive in his feelings toward her until his reasons are later revealed.

The theme of this romance book is learning to trust God and not one's emotions.  Cate's troubles and God's Word in the example of the life of Queen Esther teach her this valuable truth.

The author admits that the plot of this book is loosely based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.  The similarities between the characters of both works are clearly evident resulting sometimes in an unrealistic feeling when these characters from an English play are placed in an Amish setting.

The characters in this book are vivid and intense although their actions do not follow the typical Amish traditions portrayed in other books.  The Amish women are known for their hearty, appetizing meals, yet Cate raised her sister but never learned to cook.  Despite the fact that Amish men tend to work on large farms and the women usually work in the home, her father made his wealth in the cabinet and consulting business while Cate kept the accounts for him. Regardless of these discrepancies, the book would hold any reader's attention to the last page and is definitely worth reading. (Book review by Sharon Fuqua)

About the author: Leslie Gould is the co-author, with Mindy Starns Clark, of the #1 bestselling The Amish Midwife and The Amish Nanny. She is also the author of numerous novels, including Garden of Dreams, Beyond the Blue (winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice for Best Inspirational Novel, 2006), and Scrap Everything. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University and has taught fiction writing at Multnomah University as an adjunct professor. She resides with her husband and four children in Portland, Oregon. Learn more at

Other reviews in the blog tour:
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Courting Cate was provided to us by Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of the publisher, Bethany House and the author to facilitate our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer. No monetary compensation was given for this review.

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