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Courting Trouble

(Trouble #1)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  4,509 ratings  ·  362 reviews
Tired of Waiting for a Match-Made-in-Heaven,
She'll Settle for One Made in Texas

Whether it's riding bikes, catching snakes, or sliding down banisters, Essie Spreckelmeyer just can't quite make herself into the ideal woman her hometown--and her mother--expect her to be. It's going to take an extraordinary man to appreciate her joy and spontaneity--or so says her doting oil-
Paperback, 330 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Bethany House Publishers
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,509 ratings  ·  362 reviews

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Rating: Don't waste your time reading this! (1.5 stars)

“What a stupid book!” were the very first words out of my mouth when I finished this. I give you fair warning now this review will probably end up being more of a rant than a review.

WARNING: This review contains MAJOR SPOILERS!

From the beginning this book reads very much like a Bridget Jones’s Diary story set in the 1890s in Texas.

I kept reading believing there would be a worthwhile payoff at the end and she would ‘get the guy’ of her dream

Courting Trouble is my favorite of Deeanne's three historical novels. The author created a dynamic, quirky, unique characterization in Essie. In fact, I can't recall a single "cardboard character" in this story. They were all expertly developed.

The plot was so unique, that I loved it for that reason alone. Plus the spiritual element was very well done. In fact, I related so well to Essie's struggles that I got a choked up when she had her heart broken or was misunderstood--each and every time. I
Oct 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
If this was the first Deeanne Gist novel I had read I would never read another one. I've read and enjoyed her book A Bride Most Begrudging but this one just wasn't my cup of tea. It just seemed to drag on and on and there is not a traditional happily ever after for Essie. It has a good message but the men in this book leave much to be desired.

Content: Implied sex no details just unbuttoned clothing and talk of possible resulting pregnancy, passionate kissing
May 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Brand
Aug 14, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a really tough one to rate, and I still feel really conflicted about how I feel about this book hours after finishing it. I'll start with the things I did enjoy.

Essie was an unconventional heroine. Although she longed for a husband and family, she also appreciated her independence, and was interested in modern inventions, like the bicycle and roller skates. I loved that she expressed her creativity in her vast hat collection, and it was fun to witness her interacting with the townspeople
Feb 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was not sure if I was going to read this or not, because I already read the sequel. I am so gad that I did. I learned so much about judging. After reading about Essie and all that she went through I liked her character so much more. I actually want to go back and read Deep in the Heart of Trouble again. I should probably go back and give that book 5 stars, also. These books went so well together. I also love the religion in this book. The only thing disappointing was that because I read them o ...more
Jul 27, 2008 rated it did not like it
I was pretty disappointed in this book. I thought it would be more of a light-hearted romance. It is about an "old" spinster (she's 30) who is fed up with being single. So she writes up a list of all the eligible bachelors in her town, closed her eyes and points. That is how she decides who she will marry. After chosing the first man she then tries persuing him, things don't work out so she is on to the next one. But, a stranger comes to town and sweeps her off her feet, and the story goes down ...more
Chloe Georgina
Feb 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
Worst book EVER! if i could rate it less, i would. I really didn't like the story line, and i didn't really like her either. (Not Clean)
Margaret Chind
Oct 23, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone, male or female, all should read it
I am very much so looking forward to the sequel of this book! Sometimes there are topics that people who have experience certain things are hurting terribly to tell someone to get opinions and help in a way, but the policies of society closes their mouths and keeps them alone in thought. Essie is a girl that is getting to a spinster age and wants nothing to do with it and seeks out herself a husband. Not only is she becoming an old maid at age 30, but she like hats, and gasp rides a bicycle (Thi ...more
Apr 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Deeanne Gist has yet to disappoint me. I was intrigued by the blurb, which mentions that thirty year old Essie makes a list of eligible bachelors and randomly chooses one to pursue. This sounded like a romantic comedy-type premise, which it was at first. But I had no idea that her desire for a husband would lead to so much heartache. Due to a part of the plot, a section of this book is likely slightly more graphic than most Christian historical fiction novels are, but it's never ...more
Sep 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 16+
I actually rather liked this book. The story was at times a bit silly and her rather "un-feminine" (nearly feminist) attitude irked me at times, but there was something that I liked about "Courting Trouble".
The mindset of many Christian girls today is one of, "I must get married or I'll just die", and in "Courting Trouble" Essie goes through the same thing. She's 30. She's lonely. All she wants is a husband and children. She decides if she can just have a husband then she'll be happy and fulfill
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was not impressed with this book. I have read many of her books and they have been on my "wall of fame" bookshelf but this one went on the back shelf of stinkers. This thirty-year-old woman gets it in her head to get married and aggressivly courts eligible men. She makes every blunder and mistake and fails miserably. Then she falls in love with a rogue and gets laid under a willow tree. They get caught by the sheriff and she is ruined. End of book. She wrote two more in the series. I read one, ...more
Apr 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
First half of the book was great and then it takes a bad turn. The author ruined a good story by involving sex. There's a bad problem today in our world where it has just become acceptable to have sex before marriage. Would have been nice if the author centered on Christian values of waiting and why she should have instead of focusing on a woman who couldn't hold off before marriage to have sex with the town drifter.
May 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
Seriously?! The only reason why I'm not giving this book one star is that I'm sure there's someone out there that can 100% identify with it and treasure it. The larger part of me, though, protests and is shouting out, 'Why in the world would someone write a book like this?!'. Maybe a person just has to be in the mood for it, and I know I, for one, never will be.
Jun 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I love this author! This was a fun, quick read. I can't wait for the next book to come out....
Oct 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
Yuck. So many things in this book bothered me. And the ending sucked.
Michelle R
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a charming book that didn’t end up going how I thought it would, but I was delighted all the same. So much so I ordered the next book to see what happens to Essie.
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
SUMMARY: Tired of Waiting for a Match-Made-in-Heaven,
She'll Settle for One Made in Texas

Whether it's riding bikes, catching snakes, or sliding down banisters, Essie Spreckelmeyer just can't quite make herself into the ideal woman her hometown--and her mother--expect her to be. It's going to take an extraordinary man to appreciate her joy and spontaneity--or so says her doting oil-man father.

Unfortunately such a man doesn't appear to reside in Corsicana, Texas.

It's 1894, the year of Essie's thirt
Wow! This is not your typical Christian historical romance. This really had a deep message that I took to heart and think many women would benefit from. This book went from having a funny almost slapstick beginning to a heart wrenching story that has the heroine Essie having to make some really difficult decisions and realizing that actions have consequences. I also liked the main message that you can't expect other people to fulfill the voids in your life. It shows that no matter how much you w ...more
Jun 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
If I had based it on the way this book began, my rating would have been three rather than four. When we're introduced to Essie, she's...a lot to take in. A very in-your-face personality that leaps off the pages of the book and feels more caricature than character. I was prepared for a somewhat silly read, with a few Christian references sprinkled in. And then I got to meet the well-developed townsfolk...and more importantly to get past my initial impression of Essie. By the midway point, I was t ...more
Andrew Hildreth
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
In thinking back and really reviewing the book, I discovered a little more I saw and have gotten out of it. It took me until the middle of the book to get me hooked to where it was hard to put it down. I saw myself in several character roles throughout this book, some good and some bad. But, by the very end, I saw myself in a character's role I didn't expect, which was also where I received the most revelation from. In my own life, I was seemingly trying to fill certain voids instead of letting ...more
Leni Sauls
Nov 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
If I could have, I would have given this book NO STARS. This book is a complete waste of time. It is one in a continuing story, as well as, boring. You are led to believe that it is a romance book, but, it is not. Essie the main character is too stupid to be believed, even back in 1874 she would have been considered dumb as far as men and relationships go. She is 30 years old for pity sake. What I can't take is how the reader is led to believe that it is a romance when it clearly isn't. I was so ...more
Jul 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I thought A Measure of a Lady was the greatest book until I read this. Essie was so much more loveable and lived her life to the fullest. She was very easy to relate to as well. I always thought that women always worried about finding a husband (some of them anyway) and that as they aged, they became more desperate and foolish that they forgot the most important things when it comes to finding that perfect relationship. You must love yourself before you can love others. And, God must be first in ...more
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, romance
In this charming Christian tale, Essie Spreckelmeyer, a woman unlike most other women and definitely ahead of her time, is a woman with a mission. And that mission is to be married. At age 30 in the year 1894, she is already being referred to as a spinster. And although she has many skills, bicycling, expert selling techniques, frog-catching, and snake-catching, man-catching is not one of her skills. But Essie has her own unconventional way of doing things, and giving up is not an option. Howeve ...more
Dec 06, 2010 rated it liked it
I was instantly drawn into this book by the spunky heroine's character. I loved the descriptions of her as a large hat wearing, banister sliding, bicycle riding, ankle bearing woman in 1875. She had a fabulous wit, a great relationship with her parents, her Dad, especially.

I laughed out loud several times during the book as she tries to nab herself a husband. She is determined to say the least, although a bit naive. I was happy that her experiences helped her smarten up some at least.

The ending
Natalie Monk
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
The message in this story is beautiful. The Lord truly is enough. He will meet every need.

Essie is such a fun character. I love the Texas setting. The plot was daring and different, stretching the bounds of the genre, which I liked.

Reason for only 4 stars is because the sensuality came on a little strong for my taste, but I did like this book. I would feel more comfortable recommending this work to single ladies if more was left to the imagination regarding the characters' indiscretions.

That s
Jul 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was not what I expected, but I really loved the message of this book. The main character took some time for me to grow and love, mainly due to the experiences she had and choices that she made. And the outcome of the book really surprised me! But I love the Christian values expressed in it and the overall message of forgives and trust in the Lord. It was very tastefully written, very well researched (as are all of the books I have read from her so far), and I look forward to reading the nex ...more
Sep 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
I thought I shouldn't give up on Deanne Gist after just one book, but I didn't like this one either. Again, too much kissing (and more). I also didn't like all the switching between characters. I'm okay with that if it's a main character, but just randomly switching to someone else's point of view didn't sit well with me. I like to be able to flip through a book and know who the main characters are. Anyways, I don't think I'll read any more Deanne Gist.
Not nearly as good as her previous books, though not in the same formulaic plot-line as the others either. I lost interest by the end of the book - it just went off on a strange tangent with very little explanation. The religious thoughts were well clarified and illustrated. Perhaps the sequel will return to a less dark and troubled storyline.
Disappointed I spent 99 cents on this. Didn't like the main character, didn't like the three prospective husbands she had and though I was surprised by the end, the fact that this book has a sequel means she didn't stick to what she had agreed to at the end of this book which disappointed me. I've read quite a few books by Gist and enjoyed them, but this is not one of them.
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With over a million copies of her books sold, international bestselling, award-winning author Deeanne Gist has rocketed up bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her original, captivating historicals. Her latest release, Tiffany Girl, was touted as a “Must Year of the Year!” by USA Today, was one of the Top 10 Most Anticipated Books of 2015 by Huffington Post, and one of WikiEzvid' ...more

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Trouble (2 books)
  • Deep in the Heart of Trouble

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“Pulling the covering from her basket decorated with pink-and-white polka-dotted ribbon, she withdrew her journal, a pencil, and some cheese. Jesus Christ She formed the letters of His name with careful script. Points of Merit: • Will never leave me • Nothing can separate me from His love • Took my sins upon himself • Forgave me • Turns my darkness into light • Cares about everything I do, even knows how many hairs are on my head. Drawbacks: She took a bite of cheese, then tapped the top of her pencil against her lips. • Can’t see Him, touch Him, or hear Him with my physical body Yes, but blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. • Is always right about everything True. But if you depend on me and trust me, I will take care of you. • Expects absolute obedience I have warned man that it is better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered woman. It’s in Proverbs, in case you’ve forgotten. She took another bite of cheese and suppressed a smile. • Has a droll sense of humor A feeling of shared warmth and amusement washed over her. She giggled. Wrapping her arms around herself, she basked in the warmth of His love. It was more fulfilling than she had ever thought possible. She knew, of course, that she would still go through difficult times. But she also knew she would not be alone. Smiling, she closed the journal and bowed her head before partaking of her meal. She thanked the Lord for her daily bread, for blessing the bicycle club and, most of all, for being her One and Only.” 0 likes
“cannot make yourself righteous by simply changing your behavior,’’ Mother replied. Essie stiffened. ‘‘I’m sure I don’t know what you mean.’’ ‘‘What I mean is that when Christ died on that cross, He took your sin upon himself. The very one you committed with Mr. Currington. As well as all the ones you have committed in the past and will commit in the future.’’ Cracking another pecan, Essie stuffed down the lump rising in her throat. ‘‘Have you so little appreciation for His sacrifice that you would fling it back in His face by trying to earn your way to heaven?’’ Mother rose.” 0 likes
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