This book is one that I received from Baker Publishing Group as a review copy. It is written by Karen Witemeyer, and I believe this is her first novel. It is published by Bethany House, which is a division of Baker Publishing Group.
"A Tailor-Made Bride" begins as we meet Hannah, a dressmaker living in Texas in 1881, who has just been given the opportunity to open her own shop. However, as soon as she arrives in her new town, she is immediately confounded by the local liveryman, J.T., who seems to have issues with her chosen profession. Of course, as the title of the book proclaims, romance ensues.
Both of the main characters in this story are Christians from the start of the book, which to me was refreshing. Now, don't get me wrong…I love to read stories about people and their journey to Christ. It was just nice to read about people who already have a mature faith and how they deal with troubles and blessings in their lives. One thing I really liked in this story was that whenever these characters have problems or questions, they go to the Bible for answers. They did this either by reading the Bible or recalling Scripture from memory.
Honestly, I really liked this book. It was easy to read and lighthearted. It brought to mind many thoughts of the balance that is needed in the lives of Christians. The main thoughts about balance in this story were related to inner and outer beauty, although other issues of balance were also brought to light.
The only thing that I was a little bit disappointed with was the many physical descriptions of the characters. While I realize that the main focus of this book was appearances, there seemed to be a lot of vivid descriptions about the characters' physiques. Yes, this is a romantic story, which should tell why/how these two are attracted to each other; however, this is also a Christian novel, and sometimes the descriptions were a little too romance novel-like.
Something that was funny in this book was that the main male character, J.T., constantly chewed on toothpicks. I thought it was a funny feature to put into his character and one I would never put in a character! Anyone who knows me really, really well knows that I HATE wooden things in my mouth. I even take popsicles and ice cream bars off of the stick before I eat them (if I can) because I hate the feeling of wood on my teeth. It's weird, I know. I don't know why it bothers me, but it does!
As I said earlier, overall I really liked this book. This type of story is right up my alley. The story was heartwarming and interesting and not at all depressing (unlike some other recent books I have read…more reviews to come!).