The Lieutenant's Bargain
Series: Fort Reno #2
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date December 4, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction, Western, Action/Adventure, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Oklahoma Gilded Age – US – 1875 – 1900
Main Character Ages: 18-24
Written for: Adults
Hattie Walker dreams of becoming a painter, while her parents want her to settle down. As a compromise, they give her two months to head to Denver and place her works in an exhibition or give up the dream forever. Her journey is derailed when a gunman attacks her stagecoach, leaving her to be rescued by a group of Arapaho . . . but she's too terrified to recognize them as friendly.
Confirmed bachelor Lieutenant Jack Hennessey has long worked with the tribe and is tasked with trying to convince them that the mission school at Fort Reno can help their children. When a message arrives about a recovered survivor, Jack heads out to take her home--and plead his case once more.
He's stunned to run into Hattie Walker, the girl who shattered his heart--but quickly realizes he has a chance to impress her. When his plan gets tangled through translation, Jack and Hattie end up in a mess that puts her dreams in peril--and tests Jack's resolve to remain single.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Also in this series: Holding the Fort, The Major's Daughter
The Lieutenant’s Bargain is the second Regina Jennings book I have read. What I have found each time is that reading her stories leaves me anxious to read more of them. Her imaginative, quirky, adventurous writing with such charming characters appeals greatly to me.
After her stagecoach is robbed, leaving Hattie as the only witness of the murders, she flees into the wilderness. When she is rescued by friendly Arapaho, she mistakenly believes they are going to kill her. Her attempts to escape and reactions to the food they try to feed her are hilarious and even funnier is the name they bestow on her as a result.
Jack, the boy-now-lieutenant, who had been so in love with her when they were in school together, doesn’t have any idea it is Hattie he is going to take off the local tribe’s hands. While he understands some of the Arapaho language, there is much he doesn’t know and his attempts at impressing her don’t turn out quite like he planned.
The interactions between Hattie and Jack are so comical! They are also tender and sweet as he is the only one who is able to make her feel secure after her trauma. I loved the way that Jack appeared so in control and fastidious, and yet his house was a bit of a disaster with books piled up everywhere. When Hattie attempted to help him straighten up (without his knowledge, of course!), the results were laughable. Who but an artist would ever think to organize books like that?
In addition to the great story and personal interactions, this book is also carefully researched and has so many details about the interactions between the “Indians” and the settlers in the Oklahoma Territory. The details of the missionary school and the tenuous relations with the tribes were not only fascinating and illuminating, they were woven into the story so naturally.
Historical fiction readers who enjoy humor, adventure and spiritual lessons should put this book on their must-read list.