Author: Deanne Gist
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Howard Books (May 6, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
My Rating: 4 Stars!
From the bestselling author of It Happened at the Fair comes a historical love story about a lady doctor and a Texas Ranger who meet at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.
Saddled with a man’s name, Billy Jack Tate makes no apologies for taking on a man’s profession. As a doctor at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, she is one step closer to having her very own medical practice—until Hunter Scott asks her to give it all up to become his wife.
Hunter is one of the elite—a Texas ranger and World’s Fair guard specifically chosen for his height, physique, character, and skill. Hailed as the toughest man west of any place east, he has no patience for big cities and women who think they belong anywhere but home.
Despite their differences of opinion, Hunter and Billie find a growing attraction until Hunter discovers an abandoned baby in the corner of a White City exhibit. He and Billy team up to make sure this foundling isn’t left in the slums of Chicago. As they fight for the underprivileged children in the Nineteenth Ward, an entire playground movement is birthed. But when the fair comes to an end, one of them will have to give up their dream.
Will Billy exchange her doctor’s shingle for the domesticated role of a southern wife, or will Hunter abandon the wide open spaces of home for a life in the “gray city,” a woman who insists on being the wage earner, and a group of ragamuffins who need more than one breathing space?
There is a well know fact about me that some of you may not know, especially when you look at my TBR pile and see lots of YA books or NA reads or even my shelf full or PNR and UF, and that fact is, I am a sucker for a really good historical romance and usually I wait way too long between reads before I sneak one in. But when I do, Gist is one of those authors that I know I can go to for a great fulfilling one. One that will sweep me back in time and transport me to a different time and place and make me love every single minute of it.
Another thing I love is a good feisty heroine. I do not like my leading woman to be MarySue's regardless of what time period I am reading. There is nothing wrong with a woman that knows what she wants and is willing to fight for it to get it. Someone who stand up for those they love and for themselves.
Gist can create those type of woman and you can't help but fall in love with them. And trust me on this one, Billy Jack Tate is the kind of heroine you will love. She has all the qualities of a modern woman living in a very unmodern world. She is strong, smart, fierce, loyal and determined. I liked her right away and my love for her only grew as the story progressed and her character grew even more.
Hunter is also someone that I defy anyone to not fall in love with. He is charming, sweet, a true gentleman, and come on now ladies, he is a Texan cowboy with all the quirks and funny sayings that go along with it, not to mention the armadillo boots.
I love how Gist blends the right amount of story with romance and always, always has her books filled with rich (true) historic detail. The circumstances and life in the West of Chicago was truly heartbreaking. The jails, revolting and sadly, all of it was true. The one bright spot in it all was the very fact that Ms. Addams and Hull House were real and very much as fantastic as the story portrayed them to be. Without her and her volunteers life would have been so much worse for so many.
Once again Gist reminded me why I love her stories, her writing and why I will always depend on her work to give me exactly what I want when looking for a good historical romance that will blow me away with how invested I become in the characters and their outcome, you can't help but root for them to get their happily ever after.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*