Holding the Fort
by Regina Jennings
Series: Fort Reno #1
Published by Bethany House Publ
Publication Date December 5th 2017
Genres: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Oklahoma Gilded Age – US – 1875 – 1900
Main Character Ages: 25-35
Written for: Adult
Louisa Bell never wanted to be a dance-hall singer, but dire circumstances force her hand. With a little help from her brother in the cavalry, she's able to make ends meet, but lately he's run afoul of his commanding officer, so she undertakes a visit to straighten him out.
Major Daniel Adams has his hands full at Fort Reno. He can barely control his rowdy troops, much less his two adolescent daughters. If Daniel doesn't find someone respectable to guide his children, his mother-in-law insists she'll take them.
When Louisa arrives with some reading materials, she's mistaken for the governess who never appeared. Major Adams is skeptical. She bears little resemblance to his idea of a governess--they're not supposed to be so blamed pretty--but he's left without recourse. His mother-in-law must be satisfied, which leaves him turning a blind eye to his unconventional governess's methods. Louisa's never faced so important a performance. Can she keep her act together long enough?
I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
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It is amazing how much I still learn about the West while reading fiction after all these years. Regina Jennings packed so much history into Holding the Fort, written about the actual military fort, Fort Reno. It is clear she did a lot of research for this book, and yet not a minute of the book was dry or uninteresting.
When I read the description of this book, I honestly expected to find the premise a little unbelievable. It seems like mistaking a dance hall singer for a governess is quite a stretch. The author, however, made this work in a very credible (and humorous) manner.
I loved how totally out of her element that Louisa was. She knew she was over her head, but tried so hard to act her way through. And quite admirably. I was also touched by the way she felt so little about herself after having been scorned by the “church ladies” back in Wichita. It was heart-breaking to see how she was judged without anyone trying to find out if the accusations against her were true. Sadly, even today we in the church are so quick to judge and so slow to show mercy and lead sinners into grace. I hope at least some of the people reading this book take that message to heart.
The attraction between Louisa and Daniel was so sweet and tender. The way that Daniel was so determined to do everything properly was great. I especially loved the way he “took” Louisa on a date and in doing so also showed his daughters the way an honorable man treats a woman.
The characters were all delightful. There were some intense scenes when tension between the military and the Indians grew, and there was great humor scattered throughout the story, keeping it lighthearted through the entire book.
I will be sure to read more books by this author.