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Customer Reviews for Bethany House A Sensible Arrangement, Lone Star Brides Series #1

Bethany House A Sensible Arrangement, Lone Star Brides Series #1

Marty Dandridge Olson is a widow looking for a way out of Texas. Widower Jake Wythe has secured a job as a bank manager in Denver, only to discover that the bank board wants him to be a married man. With Texas in his roots, he advertises for a Lone Star bride, and Marty answers the call. They both agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.
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Customer Reviews for A Sensible Arrangement, Lone Star Brides Series #1
Review 1 for A Sensible Arrangement, Lone Star Brides Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Loveless Marriage

Date:April 15, 2014
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MaureenT
Location:Syracuse NY
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I had the compelling feeling through out this book to keep turning the pages, find out what is going to happen. Then when I was looking for all the answers, the book ended….what? Well I shouldn’t have feared there is another book coming in June that continues the story. Now that I have reassured you and I and we will find out more. I fully urge you to pick this amazing historical read, I had the feeling that history has repeated itself so many times, with the economy in highs and lows.
We meet the high society of Denver, and never would I want to be one of them. This is also a mail-order bride story, two people who have been hurt in the past by love, and want a rather loveless marriage of convenience. So Marty Dandridge Olson and Banker Jake Wythe get married, so different, but entertaining. What a surprise Marty is in for when she arrives at her new home. She wants to be friends with the servants, and that is totally unacceptable.
Love how she shows her compassion and hires an indigent young woman with no experience. Also how she is rewarded by her actions by God, and this woman has a hand on leading her back to Him. There is some danger that seems to come with Alice, and somehow it all comes back to all involved. You will never know what are going to happen next, and your going to love how Marty speaks her mind at the snob ladies group.
Don’t miss this one, and your going to be putting A Moment in Time on your TBR list for more about Marty and Wayatt and of course Alice.
I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
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Review 2 for A Sensible Arrangement, Lone Star Brides Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Hard to Put Down!

Date:April 11, 2014
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Wanda
Location:NC
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Denver, Colorado 1892
____________________Book Quote____________________
"Texas-born man now living in Colorado, working as a banker, wishes to correspond with a Lone Star lady. Seeking potential wife who would display the virtues, sensibilities, and wisdom of a strong Texas woman. Must be willing to leave Texas for Colorado."
____________________End Quote____________________
Martha "Marty" Olsen answered the classified ad in the Dallas Daily Times Herald because she was desperate to leave Texas. After her husband of ten years was gored by a bull on their ranch she wanted nothing to do with Texas or ranching. Marrying a total stranger and moving to Colorado seemed to be the best solution. Now if she could only absolve her anger at God. Will she ever be able to forgive Him for the death of her husband? And will she be able to live with the arrangement she made with her new husband, or does she want more?
____________________Book Quote____________________
"You mean do they know about our sensible arrangement? This marriage of convenience?"
____________________End Quote____________________
Jacob "Jake" Wythe needed a wife for appearances sake as required by his job at the Denver Bank but, after two failed relationships, he didn't want to risk his heart. The only way to avoid the entanglement of his heart was to find a wife that agreed to a marriage of convenience, a sensible arrangement. The only requirement was that she be a lady of Texas because as soon as he set aside enough funds he intended to return to Texas and do what was in his heart--buy a ranch. When the threat of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act being repealed is brought to light and the very livelihood of the people is threatened, it begins to weigh heavily on Jake's heart. What hurts even more is the betrayal of the wife he has come to love. Will they survive the oncoming depression. And will God heal the very relationship he brought together?
This is my first book by Tracie Peterson and I must say there are many things I love about it. It starts out in Texas in 1892 and very soon moves to Denver, Colorado. The story flows in such a way that usually only comes from a seasoned writer and she is a very seasoned writer (This is her one hundredth book!). The attention to detail and the research that obviously went into writing this book, really draws you in and holds your attention. It's like you're there and you can see the entire scenes played out in your mind. I love the entire plot and feel that If one aspect were left out the story wouldn't have held together as well. Something I believe Tracie Peterson is very good at is holding a story together from beginning to end.
I also loved the characters. Marty was a strong woman that could take care of herself and anyone else for that matter. She could shoot with the best of them and drive a team of horses without batting an eye. I love strong heroines in stories so it's safe to say I loved Marty. She also had a lot of anger at God because of her husband's death and it was interesting to see her wrestle with her own mind and heart when it came to working through her anger.
Jake had his own form of demons chasing him. He had been hurt badly by his wife and because of this he worked harder to guard his heart. His job at the bank was a huge burden, too, and the heartlessness of his employers weighed heavily on him. He had also turned from God, not as severely as Marty but enough that he had to find his way back.
My favorite character was Alice Chesterfield, a seventeen year-old girl hire by Marty to be her ladies' maid. She is the very one that helped Marty work through her anger the most. The faith and wisdom she displayed at such a young age was remarkable and I loved the personal talks she had with Marty. She was an inspiring character and I hope to see more of her.
Mrs. Landry the housekeeper and Mr. Brighton the butler were a highlight of the book for me. Their sparring made me laugh and I looked forward to each time their paths crossed because I knew it was going to be interesting. They were the one spot of humor in the book and, I think, the perfect element to keep a reader entertained on a less serious level. The spiritual content is perfectly balanced. It deals with forgiveness and the characters' condition of the heart. Alice's conversations with Marty are so amazing and so well written it will inspire you to deepen your relationship with God, too. You can't ask for more in a book. A Sensible Arrangement is a total package. Everything you need to be thoroughly entertained all wrapped up in one neat little package. It's the first book in the Lone Star Brides series and it can be read alone, but you will definitely want to read the next book in the series to learn even more about the characters in this book. I'm a huge historical fiction fan and this book more that satisfies my craving for an historical romance I can sink my teeth into. I couldn't put it down and I am not-so-patiently waiting for book two. This book could rival any book by Janet Oke, only with a stronger emphasis on the romantic aspect, and that's saying a lot. Tracie Peterson is now one of my go-to authors. If you like historical romance and you want a story that will pull you in and hold you until the end, you'll love A Sensible Arrangement!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this books from the publisher for my honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone. I received no monetary compensation for this review.
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Review 3 for A Sensible Arrangement, Lone Star Brides Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Interesting, Sweet Romance

Date:April 9, 2014
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Callie
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
A Sensible Arrangement follows Marty - as a Texan widow she has decided to leave her old life behind and become a mail order bride for Jake Wythe, a banker in Colorado. After their marriage she soon discovers that Jake dreams of returning to Texas and owning his own ranch - which is just the life that Marty wanted to get away from. As their feelings develop for each other and a financial crisis threatens the bank that Jake works at, Marty has to decide whether to tell Jake the truth.
I really enjoyed this book! All the characters were likable, and the romance between Marty and Jake was really sweet, though subtle in it's development. I also thought the message of the book was strong as we read about Marty turning back to God after blaming Him for her husband's death for so many years.
The one thing that I have to say is that I feel like a couple of the plot elements weren't fully resolved - through the book Marty's maid, Alice, is being followed and threatened by a Mr. Smitth, who thinks she is in possession of some gold bonds that were lost when her father was murdered. At the end of the book we still don't know what happened to the bonds, or whether Mr. Smith will be caught. We also don't get to see how Marty and Jake's life will pan out - will Jake keep his job at the bank, or will they go back to Texas? I'm thinking (and also hoping) that we get to see what happens to these characters as this series continues? Regardless, this book left me wanting to read more!
Note: I received this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for this review. This is my honest opinion.
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Review 4 for A Sensible Arrangement, Lone Star Brides Series #1
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson

Date:April 9, 2014
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Joline Urban
Location:western PA
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson
How sensible is it to leave your home state of Texas to marry a man you have never met? That's what Marty asks when she finds herself on a stagecoach headed to Colorado to be a "wife in name only" to banker Jake Wythe in 1892. As a widow, Marty is ready to leave the memories of Texas behind. She vows to never again go through the hurt of losing someone she loves, so a "paper marriage" sounds perfect to her. What she finds in Colorado is a life of luxury- servants to meet her every need, unlimited bank account and too much free time on her hands. Knowing only the ways of ranching, going to society balls takes her way out of her comfort zone. Yet that is Jake's only request, to play the role of his wife to please his boss. Jake's ultimate goal is to get back to his home state of Texas and run his own ranch, but first he must fall in line with everything his boss says to earn enough money to buy his own land. Life isn't easy at first for newlyweds especially ones that are just getting to know each other. Along the way they must depend on each other, and Marty comes to realize that God never left her alone even after going through the death of her husband. If you love Christian Historical Romances this one is your typical novel. Though slow in parts, Peterson brought the historical detail of the 1890's into her story. The ending was sort of abrupt and left me wondering if there will be a sequel because the story didn't seem to end. I have read other books by Tracie Peterson when she co-authored another series. This one didn't keep my interest like I thought it would. Peterson included a lot of the main characters' thoughts, but there wasn't enough communication between Marty and Jake. Thanks Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group for sending me a free copy to read and review!
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Review 5 for A Sensible Arrangement, Lone Star Brides Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

I love this story

Date:April 8, 2014
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Darlene Dye
Location:ohio
Age:55-65
Gender:female
This was great the only thing I missed was a better ending .kind of left me hanging .but still enjoyed the story.
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Review 6 for A Sensible Arrangement, Lone Star Brides Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Christian Western Romance Fans will LOVE this one!

Date:April 7, 2014
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Heart2Heart
Location:Victorville, CA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Whenever I hear the name Tracie Peterson, I know I am in for a great novel, that will completely captivate me heart and soul. There is something about the unique way she writes so well that you are simply not just reading her novels, she takes you along for the ride and you become part of the story along with her amazing characters you can't help but love. In her latest series, The Lone Star Brides Series, she picks up on one of my favorite topics dealing with life in the west, mail order brides.
In the novel A Sensible Arrangement, Marty Dandrige Olson is looking for a way to escape her life in Texas. Since losing her husband to being gored by a long horn she is struggling with how to move forward in her life without him and without God. Blaming God for not answering any of her prayers, she answers an ad for a banker in Denver searching for the same thing as she is. A marriage without the possibility of love. One simply of convenience and in name only. Seems like Jake Wythe would be the answer to a prayer but Marty has all but abandoned any notion of God or prayer in her life.
Leaving behind all her worldly good, she takes a stagecoach to Denver believing it is more suitable for women traveling alone without a chaperone, at least that what she has been told. Now traveling in the company of other women, her stagecoach is attacked by bank robbers. Rather than become a victim of circumstances, Marty pulls the pistol she always keeps handy and aids the drivers in putting a stop to the robbery. When the stage comes to a full stop, Marty learns that neither the driver or shotgun are fit to drive the stage into town. Without help they will surely die, so Marty does what anyone would do, and drives the stage into town. She not only saves the lives of the two men on the stage, but also becomes the talk of the town.
Fearing this won't lead to a good impression on Jake Wythe as a women of good character, she fears she will be rejected and sent back to Texas. But Jake sees something more in Marty than just a good candidate for a banker's wife. He sees her heart of compassion and softness without any fear of what others may think of her. Fortunately for both of them, theirs will simply be a marriage in name only and he won't have to worry about where his heart may take him instead. But it seems like God has other plans in store not only for Marty and Jake, but for those who are surrounded by their good natures as well.
I received A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions are strictly my own. I love this book because it took me back to a much simpler time in a sense, where Marty is struggling with coming to terms with leaving behind her cattle ranching days for a life of leisure as a banker's wife, being waited on hand and foot wanting for nothing. Jake on the other hand, would gladly give up the life in Denver for his own cattle ranch. He's doing all he can to save up for his own, when rumors of an economic fallout begin to rock the social world in Denver. Will Jake and Marty be able to come to terms with a new future of compromise or will they both be faced with holding back secrets that they know will hurt the other if they should ever come to light? You'll have to see how these two work to make their differences work together and I for one can't wait for the next novel in this series. Warning: a bit of a cliff hanger ending but one I would easily give a 5 out of 5 stars for!
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Review 7 for A Sensible Arrangement, Lone Star Brides Series #1
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Didn't care for it (2 1/2 stars)

Date:April 3, 2014
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BookLover
Location:Belington, WV
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
This is the first book I’ve read by Tracie Peterson and I’m sorry to say that I was quite disappointed. I have often heard how wonderful her books are, but I didn’t enjoy this one very much.
The story begins with Marty planning to leave for Colorado to be a mail-order bride. It started out slow and there wasn’t much to hold my interest. Thankfully it picked up about half way through and I was able to finish it. There seemed to be a lot of wasted detail and pages. This story could have been told as a novella and been excellent.
I found Marty very annoying, with her constant lying and commenting about how easy her new life was. She didn’t seem very likeable to me. The only thing I remotely identified with was her opinion of the upper crust society she was thrust into. My favorite part of the whole book was when she finally stood up to them.
I didn’t much care for Jake, either. We don’t see much from his point of view and he seemed to be a very flat character. I knew more about the servants than him. There wasn’t much to endear him to me. Yes, he was kind to Marty, but shortly into the book, he starts talking about his hopes and dreams, and doesn’t even notice that Marty wasn’t happy with them. This happens several times and he just ignores her comments and concerns.
This book is filled with descriptions and is well written, I must give Ms. Peterson that, but that seems to be all it is. There is very little dialogue between Marty and Jake, through they marry very early in the book. Of course, they come to love each other, but I have no idea how! How do you love someone that you never talk to or spend time with? It seems to be a mostly physical attraction on both sides, since all the comments are about their appearance and how attractive they are, or some other such thing.
I must say, that Ms. Peterson really drove home how lies can affect your life. I did appreciate that and there are several discussions about God, which were well done and didn’t seem the least bit stilted. Though, I did find their faith rather shallow.
I would recommend this book if you area huge fan of the author, otherwise I would suggest skipping it.
I received this book from Bethany House Publishing for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.
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Review 8 for A Sensible Arrangement, Lone Star Brides Series #1
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Interesting Story

Date:April 2, 2014
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LauraV
Location:Houston, Texas
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I had some problems with the theology in this book. At one point Alice says that Jesus is a part of God which really isn't true as Jesus is God; this is a form of modalism. I also had trouble with them accepting Jesus as their Savior since we are wretched sinners and cannot do this; instead Christ gives it us salvation as a gift. I also had problems with Marty thinking that she needed to do something to earn God's favor. This is really the same problem as the last one as God's favor cannot be won by us rather God gives us His favor because of His Son.
Setting aside the theological problems, the plot was okay. I would have liked to know more about the characters lives prior to them meeting. It would have been nice to have more background information about how life went on prior to their engagement. I think it would have made it easier to connect with them. I was disappointed with the ending of the book as well because it really cut the story abruptly. I felt the author was trying to make the ending of the book based on the spiritual well-being of the characters rather than where the story would have naturally ended had it been a story for the sake of a story rather than a story for the sake of the religious aspect. The whole book did not seem like it was about the religious aspect, but the last quarter of the book did seem that way. Also, it would have made more sense for the couple to communicate more. The lack of communication between the couple was really quite amazing. Perhaps it was common then for couples not to communicate very much, but it seemed like their lack of communicating was extreme. Regardless, I did enjoy the story and do wonder what will happen to Marty, Jake, the orphans, and Alice. I would read the second book in the series to find out what happened.
I received this book from the publisher at no cost in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 9 for A Sensible Arrangement, Lone Star Brides Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A Page Turner!

Date:April 1, 2014
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Gabrielle
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I've read many of Tracie's books and I'm a big fan of hers. She's a well-known, well-loved author in the Christian writing community, and for good reason. Tracie's books are engaging, thoughtful, and full of romance. She also has the ability to weave in spiritual truths that stay with the reader long after the last sentence has been read.
I wasn't disappointed in A Sensible Arrangement. The story has a feisty heroine who is independent, courageous, and compassionate. She's flawed, as we all are, but in a way that is redeemable and relatable. The hero is brave, strong, and honorable. He's also flawed, but in a way that leaves us cheering for him until the final page.
Marty Olson leaves her past behind in Texas to marry a stranger from a newspaper advertisement. She was widowed four years before, and no longer desires to live the life of a rancher. She will marry in name only, as both she and the groom are eager to keep the marriage as more of a business venture.
Jake Wythe is managing a bank in Denver, but longs to return to his ranching roots in Texas. His boss insists a man in his position should be married, so Jake advertises for a Lone Star Bride to come fill the part. He is disillusioned with marriage, and only wants a wife to be a companion and to attend the necessary social obligations of her position until he's saved enough money to return to Texas.
But when Marty arrives in Denver, their sensible marriage arrangement might not work the way they had hoped.
This book has a strong plot, is easy to read, has enjoyable characters, and has a thread of suspense that kept me turning the pages. The story is set in the opulent neighborhoods of Denver in the 1890s, with a hint of Texas woven in. I thought the book would end in a predictable way, but it didn't turn out like I had imagined at all!
My only complaint is that I didn't feel the hero or heroine had very strong goals. They responded to the circumstances around them, but neither one had a significant noble quest. Marty becomes involved with the orphans, and tries to help find them a home, but that isn't a very important thread in the story, and only feels like a secondary goal. Other than that, I felt that the characters were well developed, and the story was believable.
It's the first in the Lone Star Bride series, so I didn't feel like it had a clean ending, though most of the main story threads were tied nicely by the last page. I was left with a few unanswered questions, so I'm eager to read the next book in this series.
Overall, the book was a good read and I would recommend it to anyone.
I received a free book from the publisher for my honest review.
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Review 10 for A Sensible Arrangement, Lone Star Brides Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 31, 2014
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Melissa
Location:Greer, SC
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Book description: "Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past.Answering an advertisement for a "Lone Star bride," she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn't know. Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her.
Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.
When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake's yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty's dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.
What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways...and dreams and secrets collide?"
My review: This is the first book in the Lonestar Brides series by Tracie Peterson. If this is a taste of what the rest of the series will be like, I look forward to reading them all. Marty exemplifies so many women. She is always trying to manipulate the situation to accomplish the outcome she desires and learning many lessons along the way. Marty also has a sense of humor that makes the reader laugh in unexpected places. Her many unexpected circumstances leave the reader anxiously waiting to see what she will get into next. Jake compliments Marty, and the two of them create a wonderful, captivating, sometimes hilarious story. "A Sensible Arrangement" is another book by Tracie Peterson that I highly recommend. It is a thoroughly enjoyable book. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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