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Letter Perfect (California Historical Series #1)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  4,348 Ratings  ·  205 Reviews
IF HER OWN TWO FEET DON'T END UP TRIPPING HER, Ruth Caldwell's mouth is likely to get her into equal trouble. But Ruth has the best of intentions. Truly. It's just that her attempts to live up to her mother's expectations of how a lady should act have often yielded...well, less than impressive results.

Josh McCain is speechless when he sees Ruth step off the stage in Folsom
Paperback, 379 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Bethany House Publishers (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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First off, I confess I did not know this was a Christian book until after I purchased it at the big warehouse store. And I'm glad I bought it there instead of full price, this was a total waste of a day to get through this.

It's disappointing, as the story line could have had great possibilities and I loved the way Ruth was originally portrayed as a bit of a klutz. However, the characters were flat and uninteresting, either black or white with no gray areas between. There are pages and pages of
Mar 20, 2015 Tweety marked it as nearly-died-of-it
Recommends it for: People who enjoy Jen Turano

So, with so many people warning me of why I wouldn't enjoy this, why did I ever pick it up?

I love humor, but this was ridiculous. Ruth is completely incompetent, she grabs table cloths instead of her napkin, she gets between a horse and her foal and she falls off street sidewalks, she even runs across the ranch yard strait through a mud puddle. That could be funny, if she had some saving grace, but she doesn't. She can't do anything with out messing it up. I shudder to think of her painting
Jul 18, 2008 Sheri rated it it was ok
This book had great potential, but many flaws.

First, and most importantly, the first half and the last half were like totally different books and poorly connected. The antagonist is around for the entire first half of the book as a minor character who is nice and friendly. Then halfway through he abruptly turns into this sinister arch-villain whose every move is lecherous and creepy. It transitioned poorly and was a wee bit ridiculous.

I didn't like that I could hear into everyone's thoughts. Th
Margaret Chind
This was an enjoyable book all and all. For those of you who may know the other authors I read and adore, I would say this was similar to reading Mary Connealy. This was my first experience with Cathy Marie Hake and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

I am not sure if it is the pregnancy hormones or things that need to be done, but I did not zip through this book. It took me a while to read it. When I was not with it, it did not call to me like some books where I think I w
Jul 28, 2008 Jane rated it really liked it
It figures that I would read Bittersweet before Letter Perfect even though I rented them from the library at the same time. Reading the two books in reverse chronological order was not detrimental to the story though.

I like the characterization of Ruth and Josh. Their gradual learning to trust, admire, and love each other could have been a little better though. Ruth's penchant for finding dirt and trouble was both a part of her character and part of the plot. Many of the more minor characters w
Nov 06, 2009 Muriel rated it it was ok
I picked up this Christian novel inadvertently and decided to give it a shot. I really wanted to love it because I really liked the characters and the plot wasn't half-bad but boy did the writing make it a struggle. I don't mind the Christian values of the book but just as I'd get into the story I'd be in the midst of a sermon that would take me out of the story. I just noticed that this is part one of a series, wish I liked the writing more because I would actually be curious to see where the a ...more
Sep 07, 2015 Ivy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stand-alones
I bought this book from my library off a whim, I had no idea what it was about, I just thought the cover looked really pretty. There is a reason they say to not judge a book by it's cover, and I learned that while reading this book. I really struggled to read through this whole book, it took me about 2 months to actually finish it. The characters were very bland and didn't have much development. There was also a few things that were mentioned that seemed important to the plot but were never ment ...more
Jul 17, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I really enjoyed this book. I loved getting to know the different characters and seeing their faith shine through. The faith aspect, for the most part, felt genuine and not too forced. The romance was sweet and light. Ruth said she had to respect a man before falling in love with him - her man was honorable, respectable, protective, and a strong leader. He accepted her even though she didn't "fit in" and helped guide her to see her unique worth and value. He also helped her to understand that ev ...more
I was happily surprised when I read this book and found that I liked it. I had read Hake's "Fancy Pants" book and absolutely hated it. After reading one of her novella's though, I found that it wasn't so bad and figured that maybe I'd give her books another chance. I'm glad I did because I liked this book. It was cute and sweet. There were still instances where I felt Hake wanted to take things a bit too far, but maybe I was still just wary of her writing. Overall, this book wasn't half bad and ...more
Dec 26, 2008 Brooke rated it really liked it
This is the first book I've read by this author and I have to say I really enjoyed it. The character development was great and the story line had enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. I only had moderate expectations of the book since I found it on the bargain rack (I figured it might not have been good and so it was clearanced)but I was surprised by the level of writing. I would highly recommend this book and I am currently reading a second title by the author.
BJ Rose
A 19th century story about a young woman who traveled to California to live with her father after her mother died of consumption - and then discovered that her father had died two years earlier, and that nobody out West knew she existed. Ruth is very klutzy & eager to please, but also something of a suffragette, and Josh is a gentlemanly rancher who initially believes that women should depend on men and do what they're told. He, of course, soon sees the light. A sweet but rather bland story.
Rebekah Tooley
Jan 13, 2016 Rebekah Tooley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This book was absolutely amazing! I loved all the characters except for Mr McCain. He was a snake!!! Ruth seemed to be just like me! This is a definite must read! Highly recommended.
Dec 29, 2009 Idalia rated it did not like it
I'm not sounding insensitive, but it was terrible. I wanted to burn it.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 17, 2014 Gloria rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Historical Romance lovers; California Wild West; pre Civil War era; misfits
Ruth Caldwell is the heroine in this story, unlikely though she may be. Reminds me of Anne of Green Gables in the antics she is in. A true misfit, Ruth has been kicked out of several finishing schools, because she has never measured up to society's expectations. On returning home, she finds her mother much worse than when she left. One of her mother's last requests is that Ruth travel to California to stay with her father, a letter is sent advising to be on the lookout for her......

In Folsom, Jo
Carolyn Tye
Sep 21, 2016 Carolyn Tye rated it really liked it
Nice easy read to put a smile on your face.
May 08, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it
Ruth Caldwell is a 'misfit'. She just can't seem to do anything right at those finishing schools her mother has sent her to. No matter how hard she tries, she always does something wrong and get sent back home again.
When Mrs. Caldwell dies, Ruth is sent out west to California to meet the father she never knew- and to start a new life. Surprises meet her when she arrives and Ruth must learn what choices she wants to make.

Life on the Broken P Ranch is going smoothly for Joshua McCain- that is,
Sep 03, 2008 Kimberly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gentle-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wendy Sparkes
Cathy Marie Hake very quickly became a favourite Christian author of mine & this story doesn't disappoint.

Ruth Caldwell tries her best to be a lady actually complete a finishing school, but with one mishap after another, she is sent home (for fun try counting with Josh & Laney just how many schools she's been sent home from by the mention of the headmistresses that enter the conversation!)

Joshua McCain Jnr isn't at all happy to see Ruth when she arrives at the Broken P Ranch to claim her
May 22, 2016 Rochelle rated it liked it
2.5 stars
I didn't really like it.

This book reminded me of Fancy Pants by the same author, for all the wrong reasons. Specifically, her angry-all-the-time hero reminded me of what I disliked about the other book. Described as being "surly" he had the heroine walking on egg shells for most of the book. How is that endearing in any way? I also thought it very inorganic the way the author transitioned the H&H from angry-all-the-time guy and walking-on-egg-shells girl to sweet and affectionate c
Jul 23, 2014 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-kindle
This was a free offering on BookBub and I will admit I did not at first realize this was Christian lit. I chose it for the cover (insert joke here) because I often like period novels. Personally, I did not find the "Christian" part of the story off-putting although some might. I did find it a bit forced in parts of the book (mostly the second half).

The book started out well; I found the characters engaging and charming. The storyline is a well-trod road; familiar to any romance novel reader. Gir
Oct 03, 2014 BlueJeansAndTeacups rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers of Christian Historical Fiction

This is an older book that was a free download, which I am so glad I read! The characters were fun and flawed. I love how God is on people’s hearts and lips frequently, but not in an overbearing way. More like He is just a normal, flowing part of their lives, as it should be. I did not see the big twists coming, and once revealed just get deeper and deeper into a massive knot of ugly! I laughed at times, and cried at times, and genuin
Oct 28, 2012 Samantha rated it really liked it
Ruth promises her dying mother that she'll go across the country to be with the father she never knew. Once she gets there she finds that he has passed away and she might possibly be part owner of a ranch that she didn't know existed.

Josh is outraged to find that Ruth could possibly own half of the ranch that he's put his blood sweat and tears into for years. She is an accident waiting to happen, and somehow he's supposed to let her become a partner of his ranch.

Ruth has spent her life getting
Nov 28, 2013 Monkeyface rated it it was amazing
Listened to Letter Perfect (California Historical Series #1)by Cathy Marie Hake. IF HER OWN TWO FEET DON'T END UP TRIPPING HER ... Ruth Caldwell's mouth is likely to get her into equal trouble. But Ruth has the best of intentions. Truly. It's just that her attempts to live up to her mother's expectations of how a lady should act have often yielded ... well, less than impressive results. Josh McCain is speechless when he sees Ruth step off the stage in Folsom, California. Sure, it looks like she' ...more
Mar 19, 2008 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: christian, romance
I thought the gist of this book was very good and fun. I loved the main character. I started out loving the book, but after the first 2/3 of the book it didn't hold my interest as well. Also the ending really bugged me. The part where they were trying to get the father to profess his belief in God in the very last possible moment before he died. I just don't believe that a person who hasn't lived a good life, and then just before they die they say that now they believe (obviously lacking sinceri ...more
Teena Stewart
Oct 24, 2014 Teena Stewart rated it liked it
Accident prone Ruth Caldwell has been to many different finishing schools but never seems to make it through because she just can’t conform to the expectations of refinement for women of her day.

When her mother dies she goes west to find her father. When she arrives she learns he has died and she’s half owner of the ranch he held.

The love interest in this historical romance is Josh McCain, the son of her father's business partner. As the story unfolds we learn that there’s more afoot due to Josh
This was interesting enough for me to finish, but overall I didn't find it that special. The plot was very predictable; unoriginal even down to many of the small details, such as the cigarette case and her mother's fan. Though I think the revelation of the villain was meant to be a shocker, it didn't really surprise me when it came. I thought the romance (which we could also see coming from the first page, so the way the author kept directing her attention elsewhere was rather pointless) was som ...more
Nora St Laurent
Jul 10, 2015 Nora St Laurent rated it really liked it
If her own two feet don't end up tripping her. Ruth Caldwell's mouth is likely to get her into equal trouble. But Ruth has the best of intentions. Truly, it’s just that her attempts to live up to her mother's expectations of how a lady should act have often, less than impressive results.

This is a woman after my own heart. This is a really good story of a woman trying to be a lady and then discovers how to be herself overcoming incredible circumstances. I really liked this book.

Disclosure of Mate
Aug 25, 2014 Tiffany rated it really liked it
This was a fun book. Ruth's clumsiness was endearing and I wish the author would have put a few more of her clumsy scenes in the novel rather than just referring to them afterwards. I thought the author dwelt on the fact that Ruth was clumsy too much in the beginning. Putting a few of the clumsy scenes in would have established the point rather than just talking about it all the time. I also thought that in the beginning Josh didn't know her well enough nor did he spend enough time with her and ...more
Jan 21, 2016 Adrienne rated it liked it
Ruth Caldwell has been kicked out of the latest in a series of finishing schools and returns home only to find out that her mother is dying. Her mother's dying wish is for her to go to California and find her father, so Ruth complies, only to find that her father has passed away as well, having never known of her existence. The fact that she does exist invalidates his will, which leaves his ranch to the McCain family, who have been helping him run it. The McCains invite her to stay with them whi ...more
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As a child, Cathy Marie Hake had an imaginary playmate. Now "grown up," she indulges in a host of imaginary friends as she writes. She teasingly says she decided if those voices in her head were talking, she might as well write down what they said and make a living by doing it. She met her sweetheart in the High School department at church and married him after finishing nursing school. They live ...more
More about Cathy Marie Hake...

Other Books in the Series

California Historical Series (2 books)
  • Bittersweet (California Historical Series, #2)

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“If anyone ever bothered to apply the rod of discipline to your backside, you probably wouldn’t be so impossible to deal with.” 1 likes
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