Aimee's Reviews > A Tailor-Made Bride

A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer
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Aug 05, 2012

really liked it
Read in January, 2011

Hannah Richards is a seamstress in a fine dress shop in San Antonio. Her excellent skill and sweet disposition endear her to a wealthy client, who generously gives her the deed to a shop in the small town of Coventry, Texas, so Hannah can open her very own shop. Believing God is directing her steps, she purchases what she needs to open her shop and travels to Coventry to begin her new life. J.T. Tucker, owner of Coventry's livery, is hired to drive Hannah and her belongings from the depot to her shop. He's not impressed with her fancy clothes and feels she must be vain and shallow. Hannah cannot understand why J.T.'s actions toward her are very kind, but his manner is very gruff. Needless to say, they are curious of each other and in seeking to understand each other, begin to feel an attraction. They both feel the other is a study in contradiction, and this is the cause for many entertaining situations.

Secondary characters round out the story quite nicely, from Tom, J.T.'s child-like employee, to the widow's children both Hannah and J.T. try to help, to J.T.'s own sister, Cordelia, and finally Ezra, the sad and lonely widower with very poor hygiene. The town of Coventry is a lovely setting for the charming story. Hannah and J.T.'s romance is slow and sweet, and wonderfully paced.

As this is the author's first book, however, there were a few elements which kept me from giving it a 5-star rating. For one, the reasons why Hannah and J.T. were so drawn to each other is not fully explained. They both admire each other's kindness, but more internal dialogue is needed to make their feelings for one another more believable. (Hannah reminds J.T. of his selfish mother, who left the family when they were children. This seems like an enormous obstacle he'd have to overcome before his feelings for Hannah could grow to admiration, much less love.) Likewise, he was so grouchy and ill-tempered toward Hannah that I could not understand what would make her think he would be a good husband to her. As strong a character as she was, I didn't expect her to allow him to get away with his surly attitude so much.

All in all, it was a very charming book, filled with memorable characters in a lovely setting. The romance is light and pure, and the Scripture references enhance the plot without overwhelming the story. As a debut novel, it is remarkably well-written, and I am looking forward to reading more from Karen Witemeyer. I believe she is an author who will continue to get better and better with each new novel.
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