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That Certain Spark

(Only in Gooding #4)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,962 ratings  ·  177 reviews
Gooding, Texas, is about to gain a double blessing--a veterinarian and a doctor. But when siblings Enoch and Taylor Bestman arrive, the discovery that Taylor is a lady doctor has the town up in arms. Especially Karl Van der Vort, the town blacksmith, who becomes the first patient...against his will. Though hesitant to believe in Taylor's doctoring skills, Karl finds himsel ...more
Paperback, 348 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Bethany House Publishers
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 ·  2,962 ratings  ·  177 reviews

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Sara ♥
Mar 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book... When I got to the end, my reaction should have been, "Awww! Yay!! They got together!" like it usually is with these types of books, but I'm afraid to say that at the end of this book, I went, "YAY!!! IT'S OVER!!!" That's bad.

Why did I feel that way? Well, first, I read this after re-reading A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer, which was AMAZING. At the end of that book (which was the author's first), there was a page in the back that said something like, "Did you like this book?
Dec 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Christian fiction fans, historical romance fans
Siblings Enoch and Taylor Bestman have just arrived in Gooding, Texas. Enoch is the new veterinarian, and Taylor is the new, long-awaited doctor. When the townsfolk find out that their new doctor is a woman, they’re ready to run her right back out of town ~ especially the men! Unfortunately, Taylor has to deal with one such man as her very first patient, Karl Van der Vort, not long after arriving in town. The women, and children, are fairly quick to accept Taylor’s medical expertise, while the m ...more
Amanda Tero
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Maybe more like 3.5 stars...

There were things I did like about this book: the witty debates, the Twins’ affection, the cameos of past MC’s, and all of the children. The author does a sweet job of depicting children.

But there were a few things that didn’t make this a favorite of mine. First, it’s just my less romantic nature, but Enoch was soooo sappy! Yeah, I skipped through most of his romance scenes. I can’t say it’s inaccurate as it totally made me think of someone I know in real life. Second
Feb 18, 2011 rated it did not like it
I didn't even finish it. The characters had way too much conversation that was hard to follow (whether a result of poor writing/editing, or too much attempted wittiness), I kept having to re-read the page to see what I had missed, only to discover that I hadn't missed anything. The conversations also seemed stilted and unnatural.

Luckily, I had checked out 2 books by this author, so I gave the other one a try before giving up on her completely, and was pleasantly surprised by the other one. I may
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
I've enjoyed Cathy's books for years. Not sure why I haven't read this one yet but better late than never.
Taylor was mistaken for a male doctor when her twin, Enoch, took the commissions to Gooding. Enoch is to be the vet. And Taylor the doctor.
Karl is dead set that a woman belongs in a man's house not as his doctor, along with most of the town.
It is a serious case of "a woman's place is" fill in the blank.
I was so frustrated with these two but their intelligent banter was so much fun! Eventuall
That Certain Spark by Cathie Marie Hake had many endearing qualities, but overall, it just did not capture my interest like I expected. I love the premise of the story of Taylor trying to secure her place in the town of Gooding, Texas as the new (female) doctor, in a time when it was hard for women to have credibility it that field. Taylor is a strong character that really stood up for what she believes in.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Taylor and her twin brother, Enoch, also the tow
Jul 31, 2009 rated it it was ok
I won this book from Goodreads, and in all honesty, I don't know that I would have picked it up otherwise.

On one hand, I primarily liked the main character, Taylor, and how she was an independant woman in a time where that was unheard of. I liked the witty dialogue and how Taylor bantered with her brother and how her relationship with Karl develops.

On the other hand, I wasn't sure what the book was trying to be - a love story or a mystery... Regardless, I found each story line kind of lacking s
Jun 09, 2009 rated it did not like it
I got about 129 pages in and just couldn't finish. The dialog was unbelievable, the point of view kept jumping around and I just couldn’t get into the story. Maybe it got better later on, but I just didn’t care enough to finish. ...more
Jeanette Blackson
Feb 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Cathy Marie Hake has done it again...produced another amazing Historical Romance novel. I have read Hake's 5 previous books in this collection and enjoyed each one (Letter Perfect, Bittersweet, Fancy Pants, Forevermore, and Whirlwind). In That Certain Spark we find ourselves back in good old Gooding, Texas, but this time from the perspective of Taylor Bestman.
The residents of Gooding, Texas are up in arms when they discover that their new town doctor is a woman. Dr. Taylor Bestman gives up her s
Feb 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: review
My Review

The Town of Gooding, Texas just got their very own Veterinarian & Doctor siblings Enoch & Taylor Bestman. The only problem? Dr. Taylor Bestman in a woman! Within two minutes of stepping foot in town Taylor already has the town in an uproar! How is she to prove herself to these people? Especially to her very first patient, the town blacksmith?

The book starts out promising, flows nicely at first, but as it proceeds the conversations get harder and harder to follow, and the writing isn't a
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really liked That Certain Spark. The characters in this story were wonderful and the relationships were well developed. The sibling relationships between Taylor and Enoch and Karl and Piet were right on with loving teasing, sibling support and encouragement to develop in their relationships with God. The romantic relationships between Enoch and Mercy and Taylor and Karl showed the whimsy, struggle, support and developing feelings that normally develop as romantic love grows. The depiction betw ...more
Oct 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I always enjoy Cathy Hake's books, and this one did not disappoint.

Her females are strong and witty, and I could only hope I would be the same in this situation.

The Bestmans decide to move to Texas, to become the town Doctor and Vet. However the town is outraged to find the doctor is not the vet's brother, but indeed his sister. The town is upset and refuse a woman doctor.

Things go awry not only for the doctor, but for the vet as well as he has fallen in love with a young widow, with her own pr
Anne Osterlund
Jan 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Twins, Taylor and Enoch, are headed to Texas. He's a vet. She's a doctor. But the town of Gooding missed the message that Taylor was a she, and now she has to win over 80% of the populace in a matter of months.

A feat that might even be possible if Taylor was the type to schmooze or hold those in her debt accountable or even to declare her own achievements publically.

But she isn't. She's totally committed to her oath. To place the needs of her patients above anything else.

Especially her own safet
Jan 16, 2012 rated it liked it
I read this book because I liked the cover. I had never read anything by this author before and it was a pretty quick read. Taylor and Enoch are twins and they come to the town of Gooding, Texas to be the new doctor and veterinarian. The town is shocked to discover that Taylor, the new doctor, is a woman, and many refuse to see her because of it. Her first patient is Karl, the town blacksmith, who also is against being seen by a woman doctor. However, he can't deny her skill in healing him and s ...more
May 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting story of a twin brother and sister, he is a vet and she is a physician. Moving together to a small town, the residents do not want a lady doctor! So in the middle of this dilemma, he falls in love with a sweet widow, and a hard-nosed welder/smithy falls in love with the doctor...after he realizes how the Lord must have called her to do this work and save people's lives. Several people rededicate their lives to Christ during the fights and betrayals that take place and God moves in th ...more
Dec 12, 2008 rated it liked it
AT certain points I was lost in this book between who was speaking. You know like when you're thinking something in your head and then you say something that no one understands because you haven't had the conversation out loud. I did like how she develops or the relationship between her brother and wife played out. Some plots I don't think were developed as they could be. ...more
Oct 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
This was a cute, clean book. You might want to read it for the good, uplifting, light read that it is. It had good Christian messages and discussions throughout. There were some tender scenes; I even cried once. I just found it a bit too formulaic and predictable, not to mention somewhat unrealistic in some of the details. It never fully caught my attention.
Oct 27, 2009 rated it liked it
This book is a lovely story of a female doctor who comes to a Texas town and has to overcome the stereotype of a woman belonging in the home. Romance sparks when the local blacksmith is forced to seek her help. Women readers with a penchant for romance and historical fiction will enjoy this book.
Oct 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book provides a great insight to the plight of women doctors in the 1800's. It's a Christian romance set in a small Texan town with long time citizens, Dutch immigrants and twins who are contracted by the town to be the doctor and the vet. Entertaining through and through. ...more
Mandie Dillard
Jan 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Usually I love CMH books but I did not enjoy this book. It was very choppy and moved from one scene to the next without telling you what was happening. It was very confusing. I eventually stopped reading and just read the last chapter. :(
Feb 08, 2010 rated it liked it
The evangelical message in this book literally hammered you over the head on almost every page but the story of a 19th century female doctor and the prejudices she had to overcome was sweet.
Jul 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
It was very choppy, I'd lose track going from one paragraph to another as if there was missing information. ...more
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I really like the Gooding series - Forevermore (book 2) was REALLY good, and whirlwind (book 3) was pretty good. That Certain Spark (book 4) was not. It COULD have been - had a great deal of potential - but it wasn't. There were just too many issues with the book.

(+) I really like Taylor, the female doctor and protagonist. She's smart, stubborn, and has a good sense or humour.
(+) the dialogue between Taylor and her twin brother Enoch is funny and full of energy.
(+) the dialogue between Karl and
Anna Melfi (readwithanna)
Apr 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: unhauled
I have read quite a few Christian romances in my day, and this one was fairly middle of the road. It was not too preachy, which I appreciated, and both the main character and the love interest were interesting. The main character is a female doctor, newly arrived in a small town in Texas towards the end of the 1800s. She arrives with her male twin, the new veterinarian, and her presence in town as the new physician is the main conflict of the book. Most of the men in the town do not believe she ...more
Apr 21, 2021 rated it it was ok
Maybe I'm being an asshole, but I kind of hated this story. I was excited to read a feminist romance novel, but even the main character, Taylor— who is supposed to be a feminist— feels like she isn't one. I'm definitely reading it from the perspective of a woman in the 21st century, and I know I'm not viewing it in a wholly fair light, however, it still hurt a bit to read. I didn't like the love interest, Karl, and I enjoyed several background characters more than the main characters.

I don't kn
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I have read all the books up to this point in this series. This one was my least favorite. Many times it was confusing. I wasn't really on board with the main characters, Dr. Taylor and Karl. Sometimes I liked them, sometimes I was not interested. I don't think a man with the attitude of Karl would be changed as drastically as it was in this book. I was more interested in Taylor's brother, veterinarian Doc Enoch and Mercy, the owner of the boarding house. The difficult people of the town seemed ...more
Brooke Baker
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this for an assignment on Christian fiction, which is not my preferred genre. I've read one other Cathy Hake novel and this title definitely had a much stronger Christian element to it than the last one (Fancy Pants). It's not something I personally enjoy, but Hake write well-crafted characters and interesting plot lines, so I'd definitely recommend this to someone who enjoys Christian fiction that falls on the preachy side. ...more
I have really enjoyed Hake's other books but this one just wasn't for me. I couldn't relate to the characters. In fact, they actually got on my nerves.
The writing was choppy and I had trouble focusing on the story. The humor seemed forced which was a let-down for me, since I love to laugh. I found myself rolling my eyes in stead of finding things funny, most times.

I hope this is just a fluke and will give Hake another chance since I have liked her books in the past.
Sophia Tan
Apr 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend. Share your great talent. Join the Novelstar’s writing contest with a theme "WEREWOLVES" Prices are amazing! or email any of the following editors;;; ...more
Julie Horn
Aug 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Good, but I did not realize when I started that it was the third in the series. I suspect because of that it created some confusion reading this first. There were many times I would be flipping back a page thinking I missed something. I spent too much time rereading things very frustrating.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #45 That Certain Spark by Cathy Marie Hake 1 2 Mar 01, 2015 01:54PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Dec 21, 2014 09:52AM  

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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

Other books in the series

Only in Gooding (5 books)
  • Fancy Pants (Only in Gooding, #1)
  • Forevermore (Only in Gooding, #2)
  • Whirlwind (Only in Gooding, #3)
  • Serendipity (Only in Gooding, #5)

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“Sharing the joys like Rose’s birth the other day—that was good; but I am here for you in times of fear and sorrow, too. Come to me.” He reached over and took her hands, pulling her closer. “Come to me, good or bad, right or wrong, day or night. Promise me.” 1 likes
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