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Letter Perfect (California Historical, #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  5,050 ratings  ·  247 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 31st 2006 by Bethany House Publishers (first published January 1st 2006)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,050 ratings  ·  247 reviews

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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
Jun 19, 2013 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
Amanda Tero
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me by a friend who knows I like clean, historical, western, and spiritually-strong writing. I was in no way disappointed!

The plot was super interesting! It never dragged for me and there were a few twists and turns that were pleasantly surprising.

I really liked the characters as well. Everything about Ruth intrigued me. She was genuinely herself—yes, she was a bit clumsy and always getting into scrapes, but it was believable, not just cliché. And Josh and Laney and G
Jul 09, 2008 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
Oh I absolutely love this book!! Ruth is hilarious and had me laughing quite a bit! :)

Since I can't remember a lot of the book to say on this review, I definitely need to read it again soon! Perhaps a proper review will come later on in the future! ;)
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm pretty sure this is the fourth time I've read this book, and I still love it. Sweet, lively, and accident-prone, Ruth is such a fun heroine, and I love how she embraces Laney as her best friend. Their friendship is another part of what makes the book great, as they each build the other up and encourage each other. At the same time, I also really appreciate their relationship with Mrs. O'Sullivan, who is a wonderful, Godly mentor to them, fulfilling the biblical admonishment for older women t ...more
Ruth Caldwell is bright but bumbling, has been expelled from a number of finishing schools and has marched for women's suffrage. When her mother dies, she moves to California to find the father she has never known due to his drinking, only to find out he has died but she might be inheriting half of a ranch. There she meets Josh and his father. His father owns half the ranch, and Josh had thought the other half was his by inheritance, but that will was based on Ruth's father having no children.

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
Jane H
May 03, 2008 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
Oct 28, 2009 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
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ruth Caldwell is a puzzle. She has been kicked out of one finishing school after another, her natural clumsiness making her a hapless conundrum. When Ruth is sent home again, she is devastated to learn her mother's health is failing. Even more surprising, she learns that her mother has contacted her father, whom Ruth has never met, and asked him to take Ruth in after she passes. When the time comes, Ruth boards the stage and heads off to California for a very unknown future.

Her situation is even
Maggie Shanley
This predictable Christian romance made me laugh, I enjoyed it very much. Even though you knew how things were going to work out between Josh and Ruth (the actions of McCain Sr. weren't even really needed) it was worth reading to find out what scrape Ruth got herself into next. I have over 700 books on my too read shelf....but this was the first one and I am glad I finally got around to reading it. ...more
Becky Fleming
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was a sweet, funny, easy read - a little predictable -but sometimes that’s exactly what I need! Ruth Caldwell is a passionate young woman who no matter how hard she tries just cannot conform to the image that society demands she must - quiet, demure, graceful, possessing all the social graces of a fine lady. In fact, at times she is quite clumsy and what some call rude - she forgets to hold her tongue and says exactly what’s on her mind at the most inappropriate times. But she has a he ...more
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Charmingly cheesy historical novel. The main character was a woman ahead of her time (and a klutz). Sweet Christian novel with a truly wicked villain. An enjoyable read.
Jan 13, 2016 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 coupl
Sep 13, 2013 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
May 17, 2015 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
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 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. ...more
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. ...more
A.M. Heath
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, western
My Review: Entertaining and God-focused. Here's a book where the Christian character walks the walk and talks the talk, and I found it refreshing. Hake kept the reader grounded with the themes of loving yourself the way God created you, how to have a healthy marriage, and waiting for the right spouse. She also kept the reader entertained with the silly antics of Ruth. I was a bit disconnected with the ending, but overall it was a fun western read.
I give it 5 stars!
Rachelle Sperling
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this story. It was light and fluffy and fun. I smiled at a main character who is far from perfect. Maybe it was a little sappy but I like characters who pray for and with each other, which is what should be done in real life. A fast easy read for when you need to unwind and laugh a little.
Rebekah Tooley
Jan 02, 2016 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 12, 2009 rated it did not like it
I'm not sounding insensitive, but it was terrible. I wanted to burn it. ...more
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This story was exactly what you expect. I think I liked it more than the other one (#2). I think there are other Cathy Marie Hake stories I liked better.
But this story is hilarious, heartwarming, and meant to comfort (women) that no matter how different they are from the mold; they can then find peace and love in who they are.
Ruth is not your average lady, she can't be 'ladylike'. She is clumsy and says what she thinks. But her heart is true, she loves and cares about others. Even though she s
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
It’s 1859 in Jefferson City, Missouri. Ruth Caldwell has been kicked out of more finishing schools than she cares to count. She is not a bad young woman, just curious and adventuresome. When she gets kicked out of her latest school, she returns home to find her mother at deaths door. Ruth nurses her mother for six months and her mother’s dying wish is that Ruth travel to California to live with her father. When Ruth arrives in CA after a three week stage journey, she looks nothing like the beaut ...more
I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't overdone in the sappy way but quite well-written. Ruth is sent to live with her father after her mother's passing. When she arrives at the ranch, she is told her father passed away and left his share of the land to Josh and his father. They invite her to stay with them until the legal papers are settled, giving her half of the ranch. In the meantime Josh realizes his father has been embezzling funds from the ranch. Strange things are happening to Ruth which ...more
Kit Snicket
Jul 26, 2019 rated it liked it
What I liked: the main character was very endearing, Ruth cannot keep clean or be graceful! And Josh, the main male lead, I appreciated the fact that he ended up embracing Ruth's flaws, instead of trying to change her. And Laney, Josh's sister, was so sweet! I especially enjoyed Ruth and Laney's scenes together.

What I didn't like: the villan. And that's good, I suppose, a villan is not meant to be likeable, but he really was deranged, and to make the villan, a close family member turn out crazy
Rebekah Brown
I am left confused by this book. Similar to several other reviews, i felt that this book is 2 different books put together. The beginning was hard to put down, and I really enjoyed it. Ruth was a great character, the highlight of the whole book really. Josh is decent, but the romance between them felt forced. And the whole side bar romance....uh puke. How awkward. I felt icky just reading it. The middle of the book was very slow and the end was so rushed! I would love to read another book by Hak ...more
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another awesome effort by Ms. Hake

Another gripping humorous novel with a lot of suspense. Ms. Hake skillfully brings characters to life and creates such chemistry between them! I have Kindle Unlimited, but Ms. Hake 's novels are so superb I gladly paid for her books that weren't available on Unlimited.
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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

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