Uneasy Fortunes - Mandi Ellsworth
Released June 2012
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
Uneasy Fortunes is a very enjoyable Christian historical western romance. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and watching them move past their abusive histories while learning what true love entails.
Jack's world changes when he learns his drunken father sold all of their livestock. When Jack's father dies, Jack also learns the ranch he thought he would inherit is all that's left to pay off his father's debt. Jack takes a job at a nearby ranch where he must work for free for five years to pay off the remaining debt. Something happens at that ranch that leaves Jack shaken.
Five years pass, and Jack finds himself on the doorstep of the Betteridge ranch looking for a new job. Will Betteridge takes him. Will's daughters, particularly the elder daughter, isn't as thrilled to have a man staying on the ranch. June, however, cannot deny that both her young son and her father have taken a shine to Jack.
June's mistrust of men is clear. As a teenager, her school teacher brutally raped her. Because that teacher had connections, nothing became of the case. June's an unwed mother who society frowns upon. The last thing she wants is another no-good male living at their ranch.
Soon, June finds her feelings for Jack are changing. Jack can't deny that June is taking up his every waking thought. Is it possible to fix the damage caused by your past and learn to trust again?
I truly enjoyed Uneasy Fortunes. I've always been a sucker for historical western romances and this one definitely warmed my heart. As a Christian novel, it's not preachy, which I appreciate, and still displays a level of passion that occurs in any normal romance.
I liked Jack. He was a solid, decent man who I think many women want in their lives. June was also enjoyable, though she does one thing towards the end of the book that niggled at me. I don't want to give away spoilers, but it just seemed out of character.
In the end, I definitely think that Uneasy Fortunes is a worthwhile read for anyone who enjoys historical western romances. It's got the right mix of romance and angst that leads to some pretty memorable characters.