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Customer Reviews for Shiloh Run Press Plots and Pans - eBook

Shiloh Run Press Plots and Pans - eBook

Average Customer Rating:
4.188 out of 5
4.2
 out of 
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(16 Reviews) 16
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14 out of 1688%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Plots and Pans - eBook
Review 1 for Plots and Pans - eBook
This review is fromPlots and Pans.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 21, 2014
Customer Avatar
jenilee220
Location:Ohio
Age:25-34
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
Another really great book selection to tell you about! I had so much fun reading this book. Kelly's books are always enjoyable and Plots and Pans was absolutely enjoyable!
From the first page where you learn some history of the characters to the first chapter where their pasts collide into the present to the following chapters that complete the story, you will love this book.
I love when there is history between the characters and that is well-played in their story. This book did that and more. History, family, faith, forgiveness, and of course, romance are all themes woven through the story.
Kathy Eileen Hake is a fantastic author and her books are a joy to read.
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Review 2 for Plots and Pans - eBook
This review is fromPlots and Pans.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Historical Fic. fun w/a pan-full of clean romance

Date:July 16, 2014
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Blooming with Books
Location:Bloomer, WI
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
Plots and Plans
By Kelly Eileen Hake
All Jessalyn Culpepper wants is her father to be proud of her and not because she was finished at the various lady's schools she's gone to over the last 7 years. After all being a "Lady" means sitting side-saddle, napping during the day, and just general foolishness. She longs to take part in the day-to-day activity of the ranch she loves.
But when Jessalyn finally returns home she doesn't get the homecoming she's been dreaming of. In fact it is as if everyone she knew is gone. But no one is going to stop her from making a place for herself not even ranch foreman Tucker Carmichael.
But nothing is ever easy especially when two people are equally mule-headed. But sometimes two parts stubborn is just what is necessary to get the job done.
This is a fun book that is easy to read. It is the perfect distraction from all the stresses of the day. Plots and Pans addresses several issues of the day including women's rights and racial prejudice. But overall this is a feel good book as Jessalyn and Tucker learn to work together and trust in God. This book is complete in and of itself, but I wouldn't mind a sequel and that to me is a sign that a book is good - the desire to read more about the characters.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Barbour through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 3 for Plots and Pans - eBook
This review is fromPlots and Pans.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A zany historical romance!

Date:July 7, 2014
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TellNJasmine
Location:Montana
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This zany historical romance is one that makes the reader laugh but also has some tearjerker moments that will cause you to look inward.
I honestly chose Plots And Pans partly because of the crazy title and mostly because it made me laugh when I read the back cover blurb. The story was exactly what I was looking for, a lighthearted historical romance with a dash of introspection.
This story had quite a few twists and turns. Just when you think everything Jessalyn and Tucker are getting things figured out something happens and there is a misunderstanding and tempers flare. I liked how both of them made mistakes, nailed each other with some hilarious zingers, and yet when it came down to it both of them were warmhearted and kind, even if sparks seriously flew when they were together.
In many ways Plots And Pans is a hilarious battle of the sexes, she thinks she should do whatever she wants no matter how dangerous and he is a bit smothering with his protectiveness.
Kelly Eileen Hake knows her craft well. Realistic characters, a great storyline, and cowboys! What else could you possibly need in a story?
(I received a copy of this book from Shiloh Run Press through The Book Club Network for my honest review. All opinions are my own.)
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Review 4 for Plots and Pans - eBook
This review is fromPlots and Pans.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Entertaining Historical!

Date:July 4, 2014
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kingsdaughter1611
Location:IL
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: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
When I heard about this new book from author Kelly Hake, I was very interested in it. It was a historical comedy after all with cowboys and set in Texas:) Who could resist! Not me for sure. I have always enjoyed her mothers books so I knew I would like this one. I just didn't realize how much I would:)
The two main characters are Jessalyn and Tucker. But the secondary characters were almost my favorite. Jess was sent away to a young ladies boarding school in England when she was little and an accident happened. Ever since she believes she killed her father(Not going into details so I don't give anything away). When she finally gets the message he has passed away she escapes the boarding school and heads across the ocean to come home. One of the funniest parts is when she rides up to the ranch. Tucker thinks she is a drifter looking for work and instructs him/her to go to the bunk house. Then when he can't find the drifter he gets upset. You have to read it to appreciate the humor:)
Tucker is a great guy though a bit controlling. At the same time I often found myself taking his side in the arguments between him and Jess. She was quite bossy and wanting to take off by herself while he is trying to watch over her.
This is a really good book filled with humor and fun while at the same time imparting truth from Scripture. As I said above, the secondary characters were almost more sweet than Jess and Tucker. Excellent book!
I received a copy of this book from BookFun for my review purposes.
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Review 5 for Plots and Pans - eBook
This review is fromPlots and Pans.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Clever Title

Date:June 7, 2014
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
In Plots and Pans we meet Jessalyn Culpepper getting into one scrape or another in the beginning. Her father had sent her away when she was 12, from their Texas ranch to Britain, where her late mother was from, so that she could learn to be a lady. More than that though, her father sent her away because he thought that was the only way he could protect her from the dangers of the cattle ranch. However, Jessalyn just doesn’t fit in nor does she want to, so for the next seven years she is kicked out of one school after another. By the time she is ready for her father to send for her to come home, she receives some devastating news from her brother, Ed, who tells her just to stay in England till he can come fetch her. More than ready to come home, she decides to come home without letting anyone know she is on her way. When she finally gets to her beloved ranch she has many surprises in store for her. Relations she was not aware of, and her brother is not there to greet her. Instead it is Tucker Carmichael, the ranch foreman and part owner. He is set to protect her no matter what, and she is set to prove herself worthy no matter what. Those two butting heads can be quite comical to watch as their love story unfolds. There is another side romance story also blossoming. I really felt for Jessalyn and why she tried so hard to prove herself worthy. Her father, out of his love and what he thought was best at the time, sent her far away and never came back to bring her home. Then when she meets Tucker, he treats her like a child and I think at least in the beginning did not think she belonged on the ranch. I was rooting for her all the way. I received this book from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.
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Review 6 for Plots and Pans - eBook
This review is fromPlots and Pans.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Sparks fly

Date:May 12, 2014
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Marilyn
Location:Coral Springs, FL
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
Jessalyn Culpepper is a independent, fun loving, tomboy and all around spunky girl. Who feels shoved out of the family when she is sent abroad for "lady lessons". After years away she finally is able to plot a plan to come home unexpected. In spite of her independent ways and how trouble seems to always find her she is very tender hearted and worried that she will not be loved and accepted back on her family ranch. She never imagined Tucker Carmichael would still be there and turn into the handsome strong opinionated man that he is. Can she trust him not to turn her away like she feels her family has done, or can she come to understand sometimes people do and say things they intend to protect even when you feel it is just plane bossy. Can she also learn to trust God?
Tucker Carmichael likes his orders and things done just so. He doesn't like surprise or the unknown. When Jessalyn returns, quite unexpectedly, Will he be able to keep her out of trouble? Can he keep the men from stalking her? And what about how she chooses to dress? Can he find it in his heart to accept her just as she is and understand some of why she is the way she is?
I enjoyed this book, it is full of wonderful "spunky" dialogue, searching for God's ways and a few twist. I would recommend this book to whomever like Historical christian romance.
I was given this book from bookfun.org (the book club network) for my honest opinion.
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Review 7 for Plots and Pans - eBook
This review is fromPlots and Pans.
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:May 9, 2014
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lcjohnson1988
Location:Indiana
Age:45-54
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
Jessalyn Culpepper is finished with finishing school! Her father sent her to England to become a lady seven years ago and she’s been at five different schools over that time period, being dismissed from each one for her behavior. When she discovers her father is dead, she cashes in her tuition money for a ticket back to Texas. She has outgrown school and needs to prove she belongs home on the Bar None. Her father sent her away and now she feels like she has to earn a place to belong on the ranch and in her family. She meets an aunt she had no knowledge of before upon her return home. She definitely benefits from having an older female influence. However, Jess can do without all the talk of God that her aunt, her brother and Tucker bring into almost every conversation. Jess and God aren’t on speaking terms as He never answered her prayers to come home or to save her mother from dying.
Tucker Carmichael is the ranch foreman. After Simon Culpepper dies, Tucker is now part owner of the Bar None Ranch. He knows Jess will be coming home sometime soon, but hopes it is later rather than sooner. She was a handful when she left and Tucker doubts she has changed much since she has been gone. He is in charge and likes to run a clean, efficient operation. Jess is impulsive and makes rash decisions, a style which doesn’t mesh with Tucker’s way of doing things. Once Jess arrives, they are at loggerheads a lot. He admires her spunk and her know-how around the ranch, but he promised her dad he would keep her safe. The decisions she makes keep Tucker hopping to ensure her safety. Maybe he should sell his part of the ranch and take a job as foreman somewhere else.
I’ve read all of Kelly’s other books, so when this one came out I knew I was going to read it. As with her other books, there are humorous scenes and dialogue sprinkled throughout the story, but this story for me was just average. The round up where some action actually occurs isn’t until late in the book and everything up to that point is very ho-hum and drags a bit. I just couldn’t connect with the characters. Hopefully, her next book will be back up to par with her prior ones. This book isn’t terrible by any means, but it just isn’t as good as her other
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Review 8 for Plots and Pans - eBook
This review is fromPlots and Pans.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

engaging, fun cowboy story!

Date:May 9, 2014
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SusanP
Location:Michigan
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
What a fun, heartwarming story about two stubborn people who learn to see beyond their own wants. I fell in love instantly with both Jess, the cowgirl in a society she doesn’t belong in, and Tucker, the cowboy trying to run a ranch. This author has a “voice” that I am totally in love with and could read all day long. The language and wording make this a smooth, engaging up-all-nighter. She makes you cheer for Jess, fighting to do what she wants on the ranch she grew up on, and Tucker, the man wanting to keep Jess safe and away from ranch life. The two butt heads from the beginning and have a hard time seeing the other’s point of view. The secondary characters are so lovable you can’t help but root for their happy ending too (which I won’t give away here!). I highly recommend this book and any others by this talented writer!
Given book by bookfun.org for an honest review
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Review 9 for Plots and Pans - eBook
This review is fromPlots and Pans.
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

What Might Have Been...

Date:May 8, 2014
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Pamela Jo
Location:Bucks County, PA
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: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Plots and Pans is a book I really looked forward to reading. Set on the Bar None Ranch in Texas during the 1870's, the book is rich in the history of the old Chisholm Trail.
The main characters are Jessalyn (Jess) Culpepper and Tucker Carmichael. Jess is the daughter of the ranch owner. She is sent to Europe and has lived in numerous boarding schools since her mother's death. Her father simply did not know what to do with her.
Tucker is the ranch foreman, but is very close to the Culpepper family. When the Bar None Ranch patriarch dies, Tucker inherits a portion of the ranch, along with Jess and her brother, Ed.
Sparks fly between Jess and Tucker. Tucker is very controlling and expects others to follow his orders. Jess is headstrong and independent. No man will tell her what to do. Regardless of their differences, they are attracted to one another. It was interesting to watch the plot unfold and to find out if Tucker and Jess would finally realize that they had grown to care deeply for each other. Plots and Pans was a good story.
All that being said, I am giving 3 stars to what might have been a 5-Star review. While I liked the story very much, I did not like the author's writing style. As I read the first few chapters, I noticed that the dialogue was repeated as each chapter transitioned into the next.
I found myself stopping to think "Didn't I just read that?" and then wondering "Why?," so I turned back to find out if I had missed something which would explain the repeating text. At first I thought the book was poorly edited, but as I continued through to the end of the novel, I realized it was the author's intent to transition the chapters in this way.
I did not enjoy the book as much because of this. It caused me to lose my focus far too often. To me, that made the book feel "choppy" and disconnected. I've never before seen this issue in a book. It really bothered me.
In conclusion, the storyline would be worth 5 stars had the author written it in an easier to read, more free flowing style. Maybe other readers can overlook the unusual dialogue transitions and enjoy the novel. I could not.
I received this book from the publisher, through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 10 for Plots and Pans - eBook
This review is fromPlots and Pans.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An Awesome Book

Date:May 2, 2014
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homeschoolmom24
Location:Alabama
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
About the Book:
Order dictates Tucker Carmichael’s life— his orders. On a cattle drive, a moment’s hesitation can mean death. The Chisholm Trail is dirty, dangerous, and no place for women. After years at school, Jessalyn Culpepper has come home and is determined to show everyone that a woman can manage everything from cooking to cattle—whether they like it or not! Tucker tries to manage his partner’s headstrong sister, horrified when she wants to join the cattle drive. But when they need a chuck wagon cook, Jessalyn seems the only solution. Will God stir up love along a trail filled with their Plots and Pans?
About the Author:
Kelly Eileen Hake is a reader favorite of Barbour's Heartsong Presents series, where she has released several books. A credentialed Secondary English teacher in California, she is pursing her MA in Writing Popular Fiction. Known for her own style of witty, heartwarming historical romance, Kelly is currently writing the Prairie Promises trilogy, her first full-length novels. She has been writing since she could hold a pen and was first published at the tender age of eighteen.
My Review:
As a young girl, Jessalyn was sent away to a girls boarding school. Now an adult she is expected to go back to her past life at home before school. But sometimes things just don't go the way they are expected to go. Soon Jess receives a letter informing her of her father's death, heartbroken from the time she has lost with him, she begins to plan her trip back home. Her brother decides its in her best interest not to come back, but Jess has other plans.
Tucker has worked at the Bar None Ranch for quite a while now, and when he hears that his partner's sister is headed back home, he has mixed feelings. There are so many men on the ranch it isn't the best place for a woman. The plot line has many twists and turns, this book isn't your typical wild west story. Jessalyn soon realizes that these "men" aren't going to allow her in on any of the work to be done. She is so head strong that I don't know if they will even be able to stop her.
**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from Book Fun.
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Review 11 for Plots and Pans - eBook
This review is fromPlots and Pans.
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Okay Read

Date:April 30, 2014
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weatherlover1
Location:U.P Mi
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Jessalyn was a handful as a teen and her father sent her away to England to become a lady. But no school could take the cowgirl out of her. When her father dies she heads home to her brother to take her rightful place on the ranch. Tucker was just a young ranch hand when Jessalyn left. Now he is part owner and very much in charge. When Jessalyn shows up unexpectedly and with her brother gone it’s up to Tucker to keep her safe and out of trouble until he returns.
Plots and Pans is kind of sad due to Jessalyn being sent away and her not getting to see her dad again. She is a woman with a backbone and everyone keeps trying to put her in a box and all she wants is to be herself.
What I liked: Jessalyn was a likeable character. I felt bad for her yet she pushed forward and kept trying to get her brother and Tucker to except her. Tucker and Jessalyn had some fun interaction’s and the chemistry between them was enjoyable.
What I did not like: The author did an odd thing. When the characters switched who was telling the story at the start of a new chapter they would overlap the scene. It was done a lot and after a while it got annoying to be honest. It was just over done and took away from the book at times. I also found the title was a little misleading.
Overall this was an okay book. The book seemed to drag on at times and the overlapping between chapters made it less enjoyable than I had hoped for. It was still a good story though. I have read books from this author before so I was surprised at her style in this book.
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Review 12 for Plots and Pans - eBook
This review is fromPlots and Pans.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A Western with a Twist

Date:April 8, 2014
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KGD history teacher
Location:Florida
Age:55-65
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
What would you do if you were Jessalyn Culpepper and your mother was dead and your father had taken you from the world of your beloved Texas ranch and placed you in a find young ladies’ boarding school in England? You are desperate to go home, but all your schemes accomplish is getting you kicked out of one “fine young ladies” school after another. Finally, one day Jessalyn received work that her father has passed away. She immediately begins to make her way, only accompanied by her horse, back to the ranch. When she reaches home, she finds her brother on a business trip. He had left Tucker Charmichael in charge. Tucker is not only the ranch manager he is also a co-heir of the ranch. Jessalyn remembers him as someone who is partially responsible for getting her banished to England. Can Jessalyn reclaim what she feels to be rightfully hers? Can she accept members of her family whom she did know existed?
This was an entertaining read with the characters of Jessalyn and her aunt being particularly interesting to me. As a side plot, we get a peak of what the life of a slave child was like whose father was the white master of the plantation. This was a refreshing addition to most of the normal Western fiction. There is a nice resolution to this by the end of the story.
I received this from NetGalley in exchange for my opinion.
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Review 13 for Plots and Pans - eBook
This review is fromPlots and Pans.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Plots and Pans

Date:April 4, 2014
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Amy C
Location:VA
Age:35-44
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 thought Plots and Pans was a good, clean, quick, easy and sweet read. At times, there were some humorous scenes and found myself laughing out loud. The middle of the book was a little slow and found myself doing some skimming. But it is worth the read! I would recommend it. 4 stars.
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Review 14 for Plots and Pans - eBook
This review is fromPlots and Pans.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

You'll want to scoop this one up!

Date:April 1, 2014
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Dora
Location:North Carolina
Age:45-54
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
This was the first book I've read by Kelly Eileen Hake and published by Shiloh Run Press. I was curious about the new line after reading the Publisher's Weekly article dated 1/7/14, "Shiloh Run Press will provide a new category umbrella for Barbour’s successful original full-length fiction line.”
Jessalyn (Jess) Culpepper grew up on the Bar None ranch, but her daddy sent her overseas to finishing school, hoping the headmistress could offer what the ranch could not: a female's touch. Tucker Carmichael feels responsible for Jess after promising her daddy on his deathbed that he'd look out for her. Of course, he'd made that promise while she was safely ensconced at boarding school on the other side of the world. Now that she's back on the ranch, keeping that promise isn't so easy. Especially since Jess is headstrong and stubborn, and harbors a deep desire to belong. I could easily relate to Jess and Tucker, but I would have found their romance to be more believable with less sparring and definitely with more physical tension.
Some people maintained that prayer required knees on the ground and eyes screwed tight against distraction. But the way he saw it, God made man for company, and he could talk while riding. If anything, working in tandem with another of God's creatures out in the open, breathing fresh air and drinking in the seemingly endless expanse of the sky strengthened his connection with the Creator.~Tucker
Gentle spiritual nuggets like this trickled throughout the story, seamless and natural, and deeper issues made me pause and reflect.
"...when you stop looking for what you have in common with other people, it's the first step to not seeing them as people a'tal." ~Aunt Desta, a former slave
The slang tended to weigh the story down a bit in places, but all in all, Plots and Pans is a solid read and a great taste of what's to come with Shiloh Run Press. If you enjoy clean, historical romance with strong characters and a gentle spiritual thread, you'll want to scoop this one up.
Disclaimer: Sending a big thank you to Shiloh Run Press/Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me the privilege of reviewing this book. I received a free copy of Plots and Pans in exchange for my fair and unbiased review. This opinion is my own, and I received no compensation.
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Review 15 for Plots and Pans - eBook
This review is fromPlots and Pans.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Another fine novel from Kelly Eileen Hake

Date:March 30, 2014
Customer Avatar
Jael Kenney
Location:Lachute,QC
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
Jessalyn Culpepper has been set aside “for her own good” for far too long. This has only encouraged her independent streak and stoked her stubbornness to prove herself to the overbearing and controlling men in her life. Unfortunately, the man who she most wanted to prove herself to is no longer living. Now, as part-owner of a successful ranch, Jessalyn comes home determined to take part in the life that she has missed.
Her shenanigans make her foreman and partner, Tucker Carmichael, lose patience with her time and again as he seeks to protect her from herself. What will it take to show them that they work better with each other than against? And who will Jessalyn trust with her future and her heart, herself or someone else?
This is an enjoyable romance. The dialogue between the main characters is full of sparks, romantic and otherwise; and the dialogue between Jessalyn and her aunt is contains sage advice and piercing questions. Add a bit of drama, and a few laughs and you have yet another fine novel from Kelly Eileen Hake (who is now married BTW).
It comes out April 1st 2014, so you can get it hot off the press!
Thank you to Net Galley (https://www.netgalley.com/) and Barbour Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review.
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Review 16 for Plots and Pans - eBook
This review is fromPlots and Pans.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Fun with numerous nuggets of wisdom

Date:March 14, 2014
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An Old Fashioned Girl
Location:Minnesota
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
In Kelly Eileen Hake's latest novel, Jess Culpepper, the daughter of a Texas rancher, was shuffled off to finishing school in England after an accident that left her and her father injured. After waiting for years for her father to send for her and bring her home, she receives word that he has died and that she is to stay with her grandparents until her brother can spare the time to fetch her. However, Jess is tired of waiting impatiently, so she hops a ship to the States and heads home to Texas. Several surprises await her homecoming, including an unheard-of aunt and an extremely bossy foreman, both of which, as it turns out, have been made partners in the ranch. Jess and Tucker are immediately at odds and stuck together until her brother gets home to look after her welfare. And then to top things off, Jess worms her way into running the chuck wagon for the cattle drive . . .
Hake has written some fun characters. I loved Jess and Tucker's verbal sparring - as an observer, sometimes I would side with one and then the other, since neither was always right or in the right. In general I liked what Tucker has to say (or at least could see where he is coming from), but he suffers extreme foot-in-mouth disease and I simply could not sympathize after some major verbal blunders. Jess is more abrasive, but that stems largely from feeling unwanted and hurt, and she can be a gentle, loving soul when Tucker is not involved. Her interactions with her aunt Desta are among the tenderest and most insightful parts of the book.
One little thing that bothered me was the tendency to repeat dialogue when the point of view shifts; it was jarring to suddenly be a sentence or two back in time. Normally when the point of view shifts in the middle of a scene, the second viewpoint picks up immediately where the first leaves off, rather than recapping the dialogue from the second point of view. It happens maybe half a dozen times in this book - not a lot, but enough to lose some conciseness and feel like words are being wasted.
I like how Hake has interspersed the story with little nuggets of wisdom, both humorous ("a closed mouth gathers no boots" (74)) and serious. I especially like the conversation Desta and Jess have about slavery, when they are still a little awkward and getting to know each other. Hake writes, "When you stop looking for what you have in common with other people, it's the first step to not seeing them as people a'tal" (125). It was a reminder that we do that all the time - on a personal level with that annoying jerk we just can't stand, to on an international level with whomever we fight against in war.
I would not have minded a little more conclusion to the novel to wrap up the whole story a little better and not just the romance - it was a rather sudden ending. However, I enjoyed the story as a whole. 4.5 out of 5 stars!
Thank you Barbour and NetGalley for providing a free e-copy for the purpose of review; I was not required to make it positive, and all opinions are my own.
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